I’m currently taking an online class on computer programming. We’re working with Alice (the program) and everyone in the class was stuck on a particular problem. Unfortunately, the course interface did not give us much opportunity to collaborate beyond a message board. To remedy this I invited the class to join me in working through the problem using Adobe’s Connect Now. (See screen shots below)
This is a great collaborative tool that is free and extremely easy for anyone to use. If you sign up for a free buzzword account from adobe, you’ll have access to it. Just click on the “meet” icon at the top right of your screen. This opens a separate window that allows you to chat, webcam, use audio, and share your screen. For others to see it, nothing is required but going to the web address adobe connect gives you. Users don’t have to download anything or know any special tricks to participate. They just navigate to the link you send them.
Everyone who joined me to hash out our programming problem loved it. In the end, we found a bug in the program that was causing everyone fits. The simple collaboration was a huge benefit.
I look forward to using this with my students during the year – possibly as a way to review before a test.