Blowing Bubbls

bubblQuite a few of the next few posts will be focused on some of the things I’ve been trying with my AS Level Sociology class over the last term. One of those was using Bubbl.us to put together a collaborative mind map of one of the topics we were working on.

It became clear that one of the problems for the students was seeing the big picture. I was hoping that this would allow them all to produce one section of the diagram, and receive a full one in return.

How did it work?
One class I was able to get into a computer room and get set up, the other I demoed in the classroom and sent the students away to try themselves. This second class pretty much failed. In the end we did a version in class using post-it notes.
To get the pupils onto the shared sheet, I invited them all via an email to their school email account. However, with the class in the computer room I discovered that Bubbl.us doesn’t allow simulationious editing, and so the whole process ground to a halt. Around half the class were able to get on and add their bubbles, the rest emailed their content to me and I added it.

So it failed?
Not really. The finished product was good, although the process by which we ended up with it ended up hinging on them emailing things to me to add. The thing that did surprise me was how unwilling or unable the students were to work out this ‘new’ site by themselves.

Would you do it again?
Yes. Sort of! If I was to repeat the activity I would have got them logged in and creating their own first, to get them used to the site and the interface, and then tried to create a collaberative one.

Dave Stacey

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