Sunday, May 6, 2012
Edistorm on the IPads
I have always ranted and raved about Edistorm, a Web 2.0 tool that is perfect for brainstorming, for pre-assessment of student knowledge as well as organizational for students doing a project. The different printouts help teachers to mark student work, and get a great assessment tool of critical thinking on the part of the student. But like so many other Web 2.0 tools that don’t work on the IPads due to lack of Flash, I was concerned about the same problem with Edistorm. To my surprise, they were building (as we speak) an IPad friendly beta site, using one finger and two-finger control. So lets take a look.
Students can start brainstorming online by creating a new “Storm”—a project page. Or the teacher can set one up, type in a name for the project, add a goal or description, and start inviting collaborators (her students). You can make it public or visible to anyone. Once you’re on your Storm page, you’ll see a wall and a virtual stack of sticky notes on the left. You can change the wall to a SWOT or Venn diagram or many others, depending on your needs. Anyone you’ve invited to participate can type an idea on a sticky note and place it on the wall wherever they want. You can change the color of the sickies as well. Notes can be moved and organized in an endless number of ways, or grouped by color to better illustrate whatever point it is you’re trying to make. There are drop down menus to help you with this feature or the users can use one finger to move the stickies or two fingers to enlarge the screen or make it smaller. Because Edistorm operates in real time, you will SOMETIMES immediately see whenever another users adds a sticky or makes adjustments to the wall. On the pads you need to refresh the browser every one in a while to update what has been added to the wall.. The best part of this app is the ability to think on the fly and to share ideas instantaneously.
As stated before two fingers will shrink or make larger your screen. One finger moves the stickies around. There is a voting system, you just click the sticky by the number and that creates the vote. You can assign how many votes each student gets when you set up the storm.
I still love this program for the pre-assessment value, the post-assessment value and just the idea of being able to jot down all your ideas at once, then organize them, and get others to help you consider everything by commenting on your ideas and stating which ones are the best. The possibilities are endless.
Thanks to Jennifer Spain @jennifer_spain for trying out this program with her French class. Both the teacher and the students loved it (they used the browser to work with the program).
Get your storm going!