Tuesday, July 25, 2006
This is the first tool that I have used that adds Interactivity to the portfolio (other than the blog tools). The software allows these forms of Interactivity:
- Message Board - Invite people to post a message on a page
- Ask Me - Answer questions (about anything)
- Debate - Pick a topic and have a debate with others
- Vote - Have an election or poll on a page
- Brainstorm - Invite others to share their ideas on a page
There are also five types of "Media and More" that you can add to a page:
- Pictures - Upload your favorite GIFs and JPEGs
- List - Make a list of assignments or other things
- Mini Pics - Add artwork to a page from the Mini Pics gallery
- Multimedia - Upload Music, Movies and Animations
- Files - Upload files from Word, Claris Works and other programs
The only downside of this tool is the ability to export the data for use outside the system. All readers must be members of the Think.com community to be able to read the portfolio, which is very appropriate in a K-8 school environment (and why I don't have a link to the portfolio here). Think.com is available as school accounts only and the principal has to sign the AUP agreement with Oracle. There is also no data management tool, to aggregate assessment data. Therefore, this is a great tool for formative assessment (providing teacher and peer feedback on student work) but not for summative assessment. But that's not a bad thing in K-8 schools, where we have plenty of accountability measures, but need better online tools to facilitate formative assessement strategies.
My experience has been that a few students will visit strangers' sites and leave inappropriate stickies. Somehow, since they don't know that person, they assume they are strangers as well. I've usually received emails from the teachers of those victims and been able to follow up.
You can't actually revise student work, but you can deny them access and of course, send them messages. All authors can choose to make work available or not to your own group or all of Think.com.
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