BigBlueButton is an open source web conferencing system built on over fourteen open source components to create an integrated solution that runs on mac, unix, or PC computers
Few days ago, Google launched the Google Shared Spaces that is based on Google Wave technology. Google Shared Spaces allows you to easily create a custom space with a collaborative gadget and a chat box in it. You can add placemarks to a map, draw on the same white board, play Sudoku, create lists, find the best budget accommodation, brainstorm, create diagrams and answer to polls. There are approximately 50 Wave gadgets available right now across different categories, like games, productivity, planning, and polls. Users can create a new space by going to the gallery and clicking on one of the featured gadgets. Each shared space comes with a chat area for additional interaction. Also, spaces can easily be shared by just pasting the URL into a chat window, an email or a content sharing platform like Google Buzz or Twitter.
Google Docs is an easy-to-use online productivity suite including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, and form applications provided free by Google. Google Docs has gained popularity in schools over the past couple of years because it is a simple but powerful application for teachers and students to create and/or edit documents online and collaborate on projects over the Web. Teachers and students can create or upload their own documents, invite others to share them by email address, edit documents online with anyone they choose, publish the documents online to the world or only to whom they choose, and post their documents to a blog. Google Docs allows more than one person to work on the same document at a time, though they can work on the collaborative document at different times. Students no longer need to e-mail files to other group members and deal with the confusion that often occurs regarding software compatibility issues. The documents are stored on Google’s servers, and multiple students can collaborate on a document simultaneously. Also, Google Docs includes a chat window to allow collaborators to communicate about the documents as they edit them in real-time, without the delay of waiting for others to update their portion of a document or presentation.
Martha Abadie and I just did a presentation “Promoting Creativity & Collaboration in Your Classroom with Google Docs” at the 2010 MECA Conference in Jackson this afternoon. Below is our presentation. We welcome comments and suggestions for our presentation.
Besides Google Base, blist is another collaborative, Web-based database application. blist is a visually rich, social online database. It requires no software installation and comes with a very slick Flash interface running against a SQL backend. You do not need to know any SQL in order to use blist. blist offers an array of templates that can be selected for a variety of purposes, from common to-do lists to fantasy football stats. It is very easy to create a database in blist and collaborate with your friends or colleagues. You can simply drag field types onto a spreadsheet-like grid. Data types include names, phones, URLs, and images. blist allows you to easily share their databases with other blist users through the standard interface or widgets. Also, you can incorporate multimedia items like photos or videos into the databases.
I think blist has an intuitive interface that provides non-technical users the easy-to-use tools to create and manage databases online. blist is functional and is free. I think blist is a great tool for teachers and students. You can give blist a try.