Working well with others

Recently I have students doing projects in the run up to mid-term and over mid-term break. The students have been given the option to do the projects on their own or in groups. These options have created a dynamic in the classroom with students communicating and organising with one another as to how they are going to do the assignments with some families and friends taking the break as an opportunity to leave the country.

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These students are facing the challenge of communication and working well with others. Though I already have a blog done on communication and working well in regards to the Key Skills – it is interesting to review how can you facilitate projects without spoon feeding students.

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Using Web 2.0 technologies that I have learnt and used over the course of the module I tried to facilitate projects through these web 2.0 technologies.



For example, students who were away over the mid-term could communicate via edmodo. Additionally, if they had questions about their projects or wanted to collaborate with other students they could use the wall feature on edmodo.



However, some students said they didn’t like using edmodo as they had downloaded the app feature which took up too much space on their phones – thus they deleted edmodo. Therefore, we had to go look up a new web 2.0 technology which the students could use. We finally settled on twitter as the students could use the hashtag to look up other resources and websites. Though I must admit that I presume students will probably end up using the social media website facebook.



Key Skills – Working together!


While reading the document outlining the elements of Working together I noticed word Group was mentioned a total of 97 times over 31 pages.

Each time the word group was mentioned it was in reference to group work and how students should be encouraged to teach each other.

Thus this quote from William Glasser in the document was eye opening and a good reminder!


Thus I have a few Web 2.0 tools to help make groupwork a little easier for the tech savy teacher whos not afraid to spice things up a little!

Google Docs

Google docs let you collaborate with students – even when you’re not in the classroom with them.

You can upload and edit assignments online – which is great for groupwork or class projects.

Also you can have control over who is invited to edit the document and you can see each edit and change made – thus no need to worry about cheating.



Channelme is a web 2.0 tool which allows you to ‘surf the web the web’.

This is good for groupwork as students (similar to google docs) can share a web site  to collaborate over a web page. One feature which stands out for me is the real-time chat and the ability to add notes and comments right on the page. This can allow for participation and bouncing around of different ideas which may not get heard in a sit down group discussion. It gives weaker and shy students a chance to have their opinions and ideas heard and recorded.


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Join me is an easy to use website that you can host meetings on – handy for groupwork and discussions.

One huge plus about this web 2,0 tool is it’s designed to be mobile friendly!


Dropbox is a service that keeps your files safe, synced, and easy to share. Bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and never lose a file again.

Dropbox is well known – but I see it rarely used by teachers in the classroom! Yet I hear the constant complaint from students that they lost work which impacts on other students grade and performance in groupwork assignments.

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Please refer to previous blog on


If your reading this you know how great is 🙂



Please refer to blog on working with others 🙂

Random name picker

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Save the headache making groups by using random name picker.

It’s fair and easy to use in the classroom.

Caution: Emotions can run high if students are paired with people they don’t like. Set ground rules about how this web 2.0 tool works before using it in the classroom.

Key skills – Being Creative


One of the key skills on the Junior Certificate is Being Creative.

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The key elements in regards to Being Creative are:

1.  Imagining
2.  Exploring options and alternatives
3.  Implementing ideas and taking action
4.  Learning creatively
5.  Stimulating creativity using digital technology.

Keeping this in mind – I want to look at Web 2.0 tolls which might fit into this theme of Being Creative!







4.Learning creatively

5.Stimulating creativity using digital technology.


Powtoon is a creative tool which I think fits this category of the Key Skills perfectly! Though I have only been using @PowToon recently – I find it has allowed be to be very creative and interactive with my lessons.

I have made three Powtoons so far and each has been easy to create and use in the classroom. No ads, no huge long trail, easy demo and best of all engages the students!

So far, it’s been a huge hit with the students as they are amazed that they can create a shirt video and have different elements come in at certain times. (Santa waving has been a huge hit with 1st years)

Additionally, I feel it’s also a great starting point if you are doing multimedia with a class as sometimes they are overwhelmed using Windows moviemakrer and other editing online products.




These are two web 2.0 tools I would highly encourage use of if trying to embrace the key skills into the classroom if teaching history.

According to the Key skills document:

Photos can be used in language classes, History, Geography, and lots of subjects to develop students’ capacity to imagine what it would be like to be in that moment. You might use historic images of people and events, or current images of people who are experiencing challenges or triumphs and ask students to imagine what they would think, feel and do if they were in the picture. Students might choose a character from a photograph and take on the role. Other class members can then question them in role. Or each group might be given a photo mounted on a large sheet of paper and then write what they think the character in the photo might be thinking and feeling.