In order to encourage my students to brainstorm for their research paper projects, I decided to use BUBBLE.US to have them create and collaborate via virtual word webs. In addition to being simple and easy to use, this site allows students to get their daily fix of networking. I was able to establish an account so that they could network with me. That way I could check their word webs from home. Also, I had them link to each other so that they could collaborate together by topics.

Typically I have trouble getting them to get excited about word webs. (Did I just use the phrases “get excited” and “word webs” in the same sentence?) However, they were VERY excited about doing this. The guys loved how the bubbles exploded when you deleted them, and the girls loved the colors. However, the thing they seemed most interested in was the fact that they could network.

Then, during lectures about organization, all I had to do was turn on my projector and pull up my account and view their word webs. We were able to have engaging discussion on how we could organize different topics. And organizing their peers’ ideas helped all of them, even though they didn’t share the same topics.

One other neat-o thing about this site is that you can print them out as they appear or as html, which will look like an outline but without the Roman numerals.

Anyway. That was one of my successes.

Have a good day.

Ben Davis
11th Grade English Teacher
http://www.esoterium.us

Tags: 2.0, Web, classroom, ideamaps, orgainization, technology, website, writing

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Hi Ben,
This sounds gr8 but I wondered how you actually linked the students' and your networks - I don't understand that process.
Ben, I am interesting in using this tool in an elementary setting. Do you have any ideas?
One thing I noticed is that accounts can be setup using the same email address, and that you look for bubbl.us friends by email address. An elementary teacher could use this to their advantage in a couple of ways.

1. The teacher could set up a generic gmail or yahoo email address and require that all student accounts use this email address, which would really cut down on the headache of managing of bunch of emails, getting kids an email account, etc.

2. Makes searching for friends much easier. Type in the email address and you get a list of fellow classmates.
Thanks for the tip - I'd not heard of this and am anxious to try it with my seniors and sophs. My sophs have been game for anything new this year; the seniors less so. I'll start with them; at that age organization is always an issue. *Terri*
This sounds great and I'll be keen to give it a go as well! After reading all the posts I think I have some ideas of how I could incorporate it into my lessons. Thanks!

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