One of the benefits of the read/write web is the variety of tools available to share information and gather feedback. I’ve taken some time to explore some options I just learned and found several that I’d like to implement myself. I’m trying to figure out why I have never heard of Zoho before now! They have so many different components to it. One I need to investigate more deeply is their project planner. One that seems incredibly versatile is Zoho Notebook.
I could envision putting together a Zoho Notebook on virtually any given unit. As the teacher, I would start by compiling resources in the notebook, combining my own materials with a variety of web-based resources. I could use those to target the learning styles of the students in my class, adding videos, charts, visual organizers, etc. for the visual learners, upload a lecture or directions for an activity for those who learn best by hearing and written documentation for the ones who need to read it. As the teacher, I would probably have some standard components for everyone, then let students self-select which other components they felt would be most beneficial to them. Another option would be to have separate pages for several different learning styles and send the student to the corresponding pages.
One of the benefits of Zoho Notebook is the ability to have so many different types of objects all in one place. Another way to use it would be to have each student assigned to their own page, include the class calendar, resources and assignments and have them post their responses, questions and homework all right there. If the teacher could then use RSS to subscribe to changes in each page, it would make an easy way to find and track homework, questions, etc. No more “the dog ate my homework” or “I forgot it at home”. Giving parents access to the page, or at least certain components of it such as the calendar and assignment list, could be a great way to help them stay up to date with what their son/daughter is doing.
I think my first step will need to be to set up a notebook for myself and get some practice using it, especially figuring out what objects can be included and how work. A good example of how to use it is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDL-vFQv5p4