As I stated in the previous two parts of this four part series on instructional technology tools that can be used in the classroom to enrich learning, I actively participate in a personal professional learning network using Plurk and Twitter. Through these two web services I have learned copious amounts of information, training and resources in the past six or seven months than I have in just about all 19 years of teaching. It is amazing and I wanted to share some of the tools that I deem extremely useful to enrich learning in the classroom.
The third tool I want to share is Dabbleboard. I have written about this unique tool before but I wanted to share it again with you. At first glance, Dabbleboard looks like a limited version of Inspiration or CMAP. While that may be partially true, the biggest asset of Dabbleboard is the ability to collaborate and share a diagram with a team of students. Students can be at different computers, different locations, and work on the diagram at different times. Dabbleboard diagrams are shared by the use of an invite via email and now a URL generated by the site. Several enhancements were made with the most recent release.
Within the Dabbleboard layout, any previous diagrams created are stored in the library and can be reused and imported into new diagrams. When I logged into Dabbleboard, the diagram that I originally created back in July was automatically loaded for me. I can continue with that or begin a new diagram.
Dabbleboard is an excellent way to brainstorm story maps for digital storytelling, generate a hypothesis to test as part of the scientific process or create a flowchart depicting a process or steps of a group project. You can create a template for students to access with the capability of adding weblinks, images, and sharing with others in real time. New features have recently been added such as rotating or flipping images and auto detection of shapes drawn by hand to create resizable, neatly drawn objects.
I really like that you can share diagrams via a URL instead of limited to an email from Dabbleboard. If I were having students create accounts, I would have specified usernames and use my email address for the registration process as displayed to the left. I could also set up a generic email address and add the individual student’s names to the main email address.This way I would still have access control to the students’ accounts. Diagrams can be made public or private allowing only designated students access to collaborate on a diagram. This is a great security feature when working with students.
To the right is the original diagram I created in July. If you click on the thumbnail image, it will take you to the public link of the diagram. Take a few moments and experiment with the diagram and move items, change colors, etc. to see the full capabilities of Dabbleboard. Dabble with Dabbleboard!