04/01/2013

Blog 13: Collaborative learning using Linoit

This is another blog about something I picked up at a Teach Meet. I cannot remember who was using it, but many thanks as it has had a big impact on part of my practice. Read on to find out how.

From my early days teaching I have been a keen user of post it notes in my classroom, from using them to annotate evidence of progression to collecting ideas and questions from pupils.  I mainly used them in my Science investigations, which was great yet frustrating.  Great because it was a quick way to collect ideas, questions and hypothesis. Frustrating because every morning I would enter my classroom to see a blank display with fallen post-its littering the carpet beneath.  Not great stickiness in my sticky notes!

I'm happy to say, thanks to Linoit, I don't have this problem anymore.

What is Linoit?
Lino (http://en.linoit.com/) is 'a free sticky and canvas service' that allows you to share ideas, photos, videos, websites and more.  Essentially, a virtual post-it noticeboard that can be used to share ideas/ questions etc.  It requires a web browser, alternatively it is available as an app for iPad.

How does Lino work?
To start, go to the above URL and sign up.  I created one account for our school, so all teachers use the same login.



 You will then have created a collaborative noticeboard that multiple users can add notes to. A working one, complete with custom background, will look like this.



Each note was added by a different pupil using a different computer/ laptop.
There are numerous ways of sharing a noticeboard. You can simply share the URL by creating a shortcut on the desktop or emailing it to pupils. Alternatively you can embed it onto a class blog or webpage (see my class page for an example). 

My preferred way of using Lino, however, is via the app. We are lucky to have enough iPads for 1:1 distribution, but it'd work well in group work. Each iPad has the Lino app, which has been activated using the same account. This means that new sticky notes will appear on all devices, simultaneously in real time.  Another advantage of using the iPads is using the camera to capture pictures which can be added to sticky notes.  This is great for evidence collection in investigations.

Lino also has features which integrate with calendars, task lists and email accounts, but I am unfamiliar with them.

So, to summarise:
  • Lino removes the messy process of sticking post it notes on the wall
  • Lino allows all pupils to see other pupils' notes in real time
  • Lino can be accessed and added to at home and in school
  • Lino can be embedded into class logs and web pages
  • Lino is free and easy to use
Ideas for use:
  • Planning investigations
  • Creating word lists for writing
  • Collecting visual evidence
  • Collecting feedback within lessons (leave one open for pupils to freely add comments to throughout the lesson)
  • Creating photo logs
  • Collecting pupil evidence

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