Building online communities of learning with free web 2.0 apps

  1. Where and when to meet online

    First, engage everybody in scheduling decisions by having an initial online meeting via Skype. Then use tricider, a service that asks all participants which days and times that were best for them to meet and everyone is invited to submit their ideas and vote for their favorites. Next, all the votes from that step were plugged into a Doodle poll, to expose where the choices converged. 

  2. Where to Conduct Virtual Sessions

    Use Google Hangouts or  Zoom to hold virtual meetings online as a group.

  3. Use Back Channel Conversation to Keep People Connected

    To accommodate community members’ need to stay connected outside of the synchronous sessions, lets users create a room link, share the link with others and allow them to come in for conversation on the fly.

  4. Share Information

    Padlet is an online service that lets people share content. It has a wall space “where you can put sticky notes with whatever it is you’re talking about.” For example, if somebody posts a question on a given topic, other users can post their responses, which can be moved around, and the results can be viewed as a group for further discussion or for work outside of the virtual meeting.

    Socrative provides quick questioning, quizzing and surveying. Reporting can be downloaded to Google Drive for later analysis.

  5. Promote the Use of Collaboration Spaces

    Using Google docs to share documents all participants are working on.

Read more: Building Real Community Online with Free Apps

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