Module 2: Online Collaboration

Slack: How Was It?

I enjoyed learning about the online collaboration tool, SLACK. Of course, Jennifer is a great instructor and the lesson in Module 2 was pretty easy to follow. I appreciate especially how her lessons are not only broken up into small steps/chunks, but also how each video includes a timeline.

I’m working on a MacBook Air, and while using Slack it prompted me to a SLACK app for MAC at the iTunes store. This platform worked well and was somewhat more seamless until I asked a “help” question and could NOT get back to the main workspace. I’m pretty savvy and it took quite a while to find a link at the VERY bottom of the page “back to home”. NOT user friendly.

I was able to link my Google Drive for ease of attachments; however, I inadvertantly gave SLACK permission to notify me of Google Drive activity. So when my daughter shared a file with me to read, I got a desktop notification from Google AND SLACK! Argh.

Other than these few things, I was able to easily create/post/mention etc. as the interface for the most part was pretty straightforward and had a familiar feel to it. I enjoyed the module and can imagine a few ways to apply SLACK in my class.

Slack: Classroom/Educational Application

I recently attended a PD training from Katlin Tucker on her Blended Learning model of Station Rotations. She was an engaging speaker and the ideas she shared were logical and enticing. Having groups rotate through stations essentially ‘frees up’ the instructor to work more closely with student’s specific needs, or differentiate for each learner.

Her management of such stations is where I got stuck. She works both at the elementary and high school level. Try as I may.. I can’t quite get ANYONE (other than crazy people like myself) to relate to just how different middle school student are. They are unique, hormonal beasts, my 11-year-olds. Enter stage left: SLACK.

THIS could be the way for me to manage my myriad of groupings, as well as monitor their work, all while they collaborate with one another. I LOVE the idea that there is accountability for EACH member of the group to contribute! This is nearly impossible to monitor/enforce/grade.

We are just beginning a unit on the Contributions of Ancient Egypt, and the students will be creating a board game as a way to share the information/research they’ve acquired. I’m going to hop OFF this blog, and hop back IN to SLACK and see if I can create some groups for tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

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