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Bubbl.us
by Tanner and Maria

Description:

It woold be great if Bubbl.us allowed you to see who added what to each concept map!

Like most well designed tools, bubbl.us is intuitive. I stumbled upon bubbl.us when I was scrolling through the list of the top 100 web 2.0 tools on the Wiki. Most of the tools on the list I had either used or had heard of, but bubbl.us caught my eye. Collaboration is at the heart of every well designed project (and this course…) and the application of bubbl.us seemed far reaching. Bubble.us takes outlining a step further by creating cross-referencing tool that is absent in top down outlines. Many teachers may also find this tool useful as it helps students in their prewriting stage to organize their ideas, share with their peers and save the document as an image to keep for future reference.
Initially, I would like each member to create an account (top right) so that you may share outlines with other members of your learning circle. Each document will begin with a single bubble which is where you put your main idea. From there you may add bubbles to the side which will represent more main ideas or to the bottom which will add bubbles that support your main idea. The bubbles are easy to manipulate so that you may place it in the desired area on the page.
Bubbl.us has many useful features including embedding and sharing. Sharing is done through the “collaborate” tab in the top right. Once you have added others to your document, you may all make changes. The one downfall is that two people cannot edit the document at the same time. However, the upside of this tool is that it can be embedded in any webpage like I have done for my action research project here. Embedding is just as easy. Simply click on the menu button in the bottom right of the page and then click on HTML Embed Code. You can even place it inside a wiki with this if you would like. Overall, the best way to learn the tool is to jump right in and try it via their home page. Once you create your own mind map and start moving things around, you will get the hang of it quite quickly. One great feature for new users is the help box in the bottom right corner of the screen. Whenever your mouse rolls over a tool, a description of the tool or bottom pops up automatically in the help box. Have fun with this tool and remember the undo button is in the upper left hand corner.



TechEdge Activity: Bubbl.us is a very easy application to learn and it is a great way to put all of your ideas down on paper. For this activity I would like you to add to the Distributed Learning and Distributed Cognition bubble I initially created. I think this will be a good way for everyone to be able to sort their ideas out. Feel free to add as many bubbles as you feel necessary or maybe even add more main idea bubbles. I hope this activity helps you!


Maria's Reflection
It seems to me that since VirtCamp my mind has been thinking about this program non-stop. I still have people asking me about the experience and wanting to know what I am learning now. I find myself getting frustrated with jobs and suddenly the thought of "it's all about the process" jumps into my mind. It is amazing how that one phrase has changed me. I share this phrase with others around me and I can see they have changed too.

This cadre gift for me was hard fun. I think I am a visual person and I love to show people how to do things. However, when I had to become and expert on a tool and demonstrate the tool to people that I was not in direct contact with, I became very frustrated. It wasn't so much that I had a hard time grasping the concept of the tool, I was having a hard time figuring out how I was going to create an activity that would not only demonstrate how the tool is used, but also create a meaningful experience for the person so that he or she could find the tool useful.

While we were at camp and were all looking at the Web 2.0 tools, Tanner and I discovered that we were looking at the same tool bubbl.us . I was amazed to see that although we were looking at the same tool, we both saw very different uses for the tool. Tanner saw it as a great way to share information and collaborate. Although I was able to see those uses as well, I also saw it as a great organizational tool for students to use when they are extracting ideas from text or even as a prewriting tool. I think our conversation helped both of us extend our ideas.

Working together to create the instructions for the tool was also hard fun. Most of the collaboration was done asynchronously. I found myself anxious to hear back from him as I am part of the "instant gratification generation" and I wanted feedback about my work as well and the ability to continue on in this assignment. I felt that it went extremely well. I think had we not worked together I would have been limited in my thoughts of the capabilities of this tool.

We also discussed how we would present the tool to the cadre. Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to do so, but the fact that we were able to practice also gave us a better understanding not only of our tool but of the capabilities of Elluminate as well.

I was completely blown away by our ability to present as a cadre on Elluminate. In fact I had some family members at my house and they came in the room to see all the fun we were having! I know some of them are looking into getting the program for their workplaces. Overall, I think everyone did a fantastic job with their tools. It is obvious that everyone took their time in becoming experts, creating an activity and presenting it to us.

I think the cadre gift presentations at the end of this summer session could not have been better timing. It helps me to realize once again what a great group of people we have. It makes me even more excited to think of all the "hard fun" we are going to have as we continue to enjoy "the process".

Maria