BP5 RILS Cacoo Research

The Dilemma

When starting the idea for my RILS project, I thought I would be able to use my church’s youth group.  However, as life would have it, the youth group does not meet for another couple of weeks and I wanted to get some ideas on what I could do in collaboration.  As my children (ages 16, 11, 8 and 7) have been the guinea pigs in several of my projects, I wanted to do something a little different.

An Opportunity

Jennifer Tuttle is a fellow graduate student pursuing a Masters of Science in the Education Media Design and Technology Program at Full Sail University.  I “met” Jennifer during our first class in which we joined a group with other members and named ourselves “Google Groupies” as we decided that during a project Google Hangouts was a place we would meet, see and interact with one another.  Jennifer teaches in a middle school in Nampa, ID and offered one of her 7th grade classes to me to complete the RILS project.  I live in Fort Myers, FL.

Collaboration/Teaching over the Net Live?

I was completely excited to do this as:

  1. My children wouldn’t have to submit to another one of my projects and
  2. It gave me the opportunity to research and test out some collaborative software application that could be used with middle school aged children, over the Internet, in a collaborative environment.

Enter Cacoo

Image

I choose Cacoo for the following reasons

  • Cacoo is a free, user-friendly online drawing tool
    • Points can be purchased to buy stencils although there are many for free.
    • There are single license usages (typically for free) to team license on which everyone with an account can use the stencil on the team and access it.
  • Allows you to create a variety of attractive diagrams such as:
    • Site maps
    • Mind maps
    • Charts
    • Outlines
  • Has library of stencils
  • Variety of tools
    • Alignment tools
    • A background sheet which can be viewed while work on multiple layers
    • There are freehand options
    • Ability to insert pictures, links and videos for a multimedia presentation.
  • Real-Time Collaboration
    • Multiple users can share and edit one diagram simultaneously.
    • Changes are shown on the sharers screen in real-time.
    • Collaboration can be creative and productive as team members can plan and review cooperatively.
    • Team members can utilize the chat inside Cacoo to communicate with one another

In working with Cacoo I found it easy to use, navigate and work with a template or start out on my own.  I can see how effectively this can be used.  I also noticed on Google Hangout there is an app to add it to the Hangout so you can see your team members as well as collaborate with them. I loved this tool and look forward to using it during my RILS project.

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