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Enter The Group – Making Group Work Easier for Students and Educators

by Kelly Walsh on June 8, 2011

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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

 

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer, and an adjunct faculty member, at The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY and is the founder and author of EmergingEdTech.com. As an education technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, periodically running Flipped Class Workshops online. His latest eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book was published in September, 2013 and is available here. In his spare time Walsh also writes, records, and performs original (and cover) songs (look for "K. Walsh" on iTunes or Amazon.com or check out his original song videos on here on YouTube ).

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

K. Walsh August 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Hi Marci -

EnterTheGroup.com appears to be down presently. I see they’re still active on Twitter, so I assume they’re still in business. I imagine they’ll get the site functional again soon.

marci August 21, 2012 at 9:38 am

Is this site still active? It looks like an ad site, not a functional site. Or am I missing something?

Ginny Paoletta November 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Excellent blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get feed-back from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Bless you!

Meredith June 8, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Really neat tools. As a fellow ed-tech advocate and online collaboration geek, it’s always great to see innovations emerging for schools, teachers, and students. Thanks for the shout-out for LearnBoost on Classroom 2.0, Sal! We’re all working to make education more fun, engaging, and meaningful!

TestSoup June 8, 2011 at 11:26 am

Another triumph for EdTech!

I have also heard of schools using wikis in their classrooms to allow for more flexibility. These can be modified and set up to aid in student collaboration, but they can also be used for teacher-student communication and even as the basis for projects.

Some case studies from PBworks, the wiki we use most often for business stuff:

http://pbworks.com/content/casestudies-academic

Conor Cusack June 8, 2011 at 8:03 am

Enter the Group in a fantastic tool that can and will bridge the digital divide. ETG is a learning platform that can be adopted easily and quickly across stakeholder lines, and create limitless opportunities for students and instructors alike. ETG allows for virtually seamless content/information exchange between and among students and mentors, not only within classrooms but the community as well.
Bravo Sal!

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