This week's midweek post is a guest contribution from Sal Pellettieri, who is the creative force behind “EnterTheGroup”, a great free online group project/work application.
It’s not hard to figure out that many students have a dislike for group projects. A search for “group projects” on Twitter will reveal some interesting thoughts – many quite negative. The problem is twofold; first, students are rarely given training in project management and second they don’t have the appropriate tools to get organized and communicate with their group.
Enterthegroup.com is the solution to this widespread problem which exists everywhere from junior high schools to MBA programs. The site provides students with a free platform to learn how to manage a project by following templates like a Project Outline, task management, a project checklist and a lessons learned form. ETG lets students create private group pages where they can schedule meetings, share files, IM, upload videos and create polls. Students can get project advice by reading many of the helpful articles and a specific user guide in our Library.
There are also tools for teachers. They can use the site to create virtual classrooms, which are a great compliment to their conventional classroom. The virtual classroom enables teachers to upload assignments, put important dates on a shared calendar, upload readings & videos and create polls. The great thing about this is that helps everyone get organized since they can access class info anytime, anywhere. It also enables a new dimension of learning since students can post comments, vote on polls, chat online and ask questions. These are all things which students can’t do in a regular classroom. We’ve created a specific user guide for teachers along with A Guide to Developing Awesome Virtual Classrooms to help teachers get started.
Since the beta version of the site was launched in February of 2011 we’ve had enormous positive feedback from educators and students. Educators from all parts of the globe and walks of life have started using the site. For example:
- There are numerous ESL teachers who use the site to upload videos, audio and test their students English skills with polls.
- There are junior and high school teachers who use the projects application to help their students with project based learning.
- There are students, at various levels, who are using the site to get their groups organized for projects.
- Teachers are using the virtual classroom to add another dimension to their classrooms, engage students and share ideas.
- Students have been using the site to create blogs, to-do lists, instant message and add comments to content in classrooms and projects. There are also students who have been using the site to create their own classroom pages as a private network for classmates.
Enterthegroup.com is a completely free site, requires no IT support and it’s easy to get started. Have a look and please let us know what you think!
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Google Docs: Why Teachers and Students Should Be Using Them For Course Work
Social Learning With Social Networking Tools Designed Just For Education
EctoLearning is a Solid Contender for Best Free Online CMS