If you are a teacher and are looking for some tools to use to collaborate in the classroom, investigate Lino.it. I was told about the site last semester because I was using Wallwisher and had some problems with the overall site. Upgrades or something were frustrating me and I needed a quick way for the students to share what they know. I tried it and the concept went very well.
First of all, lino is a site that allows you and collaborators to insert sticky notes onto a wall, or a canvas as lino calls them. You can custom design the canvas you want to use (special images for backgrounds, etc.) and you can customize your sticky notes. What is fantastic about this site, you can create private groups and invite people to join them. I did that for my classes and each class had a canvas to use and work with.
Here's how I did it. Each of my students set up twitter accounts on the first day of school. We do use it sometimes in class so I found that was the easiest way to create a lino account- via twitter. After the kids created an account, I invited them to join the group, made a canvas within the group and off we went.
I teach French so I used the canvases to review grammar with the kids. I asked them questions and allowed them to answer the questions. To the left, you see a sample canvas. This is one we did to review the reflexive verbs. My stickies were larger, I started the collaboration. I had the kids color code to match the question so it was easier for them to see what they had done so far. Each sticky labels the collaborator so you can see who posted. I also went to the student's stickies and made corrections. The one thing I dislike is not being able to use more than one color for the font. If I made corrections, it had to be in black.
So, what can you do with this?
1. Exit slip/ warmup Use it to see what the kids learned and picked up that day or the day prior. Have them login and go as soon as class starts or a few minutes before end.
2. Review games. Make a whole bunch of stickies that need to be matched up. Kids can work in groups and line up the notes to make them work. You would have to have several canvases, however since the collaborators can move things around and everyone working on it sees it move.
3. Task management. Train students to create a daily lino canvas that has tasks and such. Kids can keep it as a means of organizing their day.
4. Research paper organization. As students work on a paper, have them use the sticky notes as their note cards where they detail the paper. They could do the first note as the MLA/ APA entry for a works cited page and then each note of that color could be the information for the paper.
5. Vocabulary Review. Have students create a canvas for each chapter you study and require them to document the words being studied. The cool thing, for the visual learner, is that you can insert an image to the sticky. Color code again> First sticky is the word, maybe the origin. Second sticky is a photo of the word, third is definition, last maybe using it in a sentence. If you are reading a novel in a lit class, this would be a great way to organize notes.
How many ways could you see this being used?