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Topic: "MSPnet Academy: Using the WeCollabrify Suite of Productivity Apps"

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MSPnet Academy Discussion
October 20th - November 6th, 2015

Presenters: Elliot Soloway, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI and Cathie Norris, Regents Professor, University of North Texas, Denton, TX

Using the WeCollabrify Suite of Productivity Apps to Enable Synchronous Collaboration and Support Social Learning

Intergalactic Mobile Learning Center:

Towards supporting social learning (learning from and with others) -- and towards supporting the development and use of the key 21st skill of collaborating and working productively and enjoyably with others, we -- the digital cobblers in the Intergalactic Mobile Learning Center -- have developed the WeCollabrify Suite of "collabrified" apps -- apps that enable two or more students, each student working on his/her own computational device, co-located or NOT co-located, to co-create or co-edit a text document (using WeCompose), a concept map (using WeMap), a KWL chart (using WeKWL), or a drawing or animation (using WeSKetch). Key is that the students can be talking full-tilt as they engage in synchronous collaboration, as they co-create or co-edit their artifact. In our webinar, then, we will demonstrate how the WeCollabrify Suite of Productivity Apps can be used by teachers and students to engage in synchronous collaboration and social learning.

(a) Expected audience: The tutorial is directed at classroom teachers from grades 1-8.
(b) Tentative list of activities: We will have two curricular lessons, one from English (aligned with CCSS) and one from school science (aligned with NGSS) as the core examples in the webinar. We will show how each of the collabrified tools can be used in those lessons.
(c) Take-away: After viewing the webinar, (1) a teacher will be able to decide whether using the WeCollabrify apps in her/his classroom would be beneficial for her/his students. (2) And, a teacher will know where to find resources on how to use the WeCollabrify apps.

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This topic has 6 posts, showing all.

The REAL challenge with using the collabrified apps is the need for good curricula

posted by: Elliot Soloway on 10/22/2015 12:04 pm

The REAL challenge with using the collabrified apps is the need for good curricula... it is NOT obvious how to create a lesson where collaboration is at the core of the unit.... where, pairs of students, say, work together on a task. In the doing of that task, then, conversation will take place, problems/questions/differences of opinion will emerge - in the resolution of those problems/questions/differences of opinion will come REAL learning. But creating the tasks - the contexts that will insure that the "right" conversations take place.. WOW.. how does one go about doing that? We are looking for folks to help us in creating those curricula. Step 1: use the collabrified apps on SOME task, just to get going. Step 2. Reflect on what just happened! Comments are MOST welcome!!

post moderated on 10/22/2015

The "right" conversations

posted by: Dave Smith on 10/23/2015 7:58 am

The website has some helpful tools around creating effective science dialog in the classroom that might be useful in creating curricula around WeCollabrify apps.

Dave Smith, Da Vinci Science Center

VERY good suggestions...

posted by: Elliot Soloway on 11/5/2015 6:12 pm

"Great teaching can be learned" = this the first sentence on the suggested by Dave... What a powerful way to start!! and there are indeed guides to what a GOOD science conversation is... thank you for the pointer to a VERY interesting site!

TRY the free apps!!

posted by: Elliot Soloway on 10/22/2015 1:44 pm

Folks, if you want to try the free, collabrified apps -- WeCompose (writing), WeMap (concept mapping), WeKWL (KWL charting) WeSketch (drawing and animating), drop me an email and i will give you a personal walk through in about 15 minutes! About 500 students in grades 1-7 in Michigan and California are using the apps now.

All the apps are device-agnostic - they will run in a browser on any device!! The apps are perfect for BYOD classrooms

the apps are at:
my email is:

Drop me a note and we will schedule a time to chat.


posted by: Larry Suter on 10/23/2015 11:06 am

Elliott, talk to some sociologists. Group behavior is pretty well understood. Elizabeth Cohen at Stanford performed some very interesting studies in which students where assigned specific roles in a discussion. Talk to some of her colleagues. Actually, there are some good people in sociology in Ann Arbor too!

A friend from the past!!

posted by: Elliot Soloway on 11/5/2015 6:30 pm

Hey Larry!! VERY nice to hear from you! I will indeed look into the social folks... thank you!