Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tatango! Two Way Mobile Group Collaboration

A few days ago I posted about Wiggio, a site that allows for group communication and collaboration, where you can get notifications via SMS text. One of the limitations of the site is that you cannot post from your cell phone to the group, you must have Internet access to get to the Wiggio site. I think this may limit how many students can fully participate in Wiggio since some of them will not have Internet access at home. A site called Tatango may be an alternative for groups where all members do not have accessible Internet outside of school.

Tatango allows for group communication via web and/or cell phone. Tatango allows anyone to create a group, add members, and have text or audio message communication via cell phone. The cell phone communication is two-way, so group members can post to the other members via cell (audio or text) and respond via cell. All of the communication is documentated in the Tatango site. Tatango does not do is have a nifty calendar/schedule or resource folder like Wiggio does. But Tatango is more accessible for visually impaired students because they can take advantage of the audio feature for posting and replying to the group messages. In addition, Tatango does have a "public" option where you can create public groups. While I think most teachers would deselect this option for obvious safety issues, there could be some interesting class projects using this feature. One example would be to have a group created around a current events topic and get quick opinions on the topic (for example stem cell research in science or a supreme court ruling in social studies), especially if the topic affects different areas of the country in various ways (such as more federal funding being given to New Orleans and less federal funding to another area).

Comparision Wiggio & Tatango
Privacy Options - Both
SMS notifications - Both
Audio notifications - Tatango
Reply via Cell to Group - Tatango
Calendar/Schedule Feature - Wiggio
Resource Storage - Wiggio
Conference Calling with Group Members - Wiggio
Online Polling (not cell phone based) - Wiggio

Curriculum Integration Ideas for Tatango
Homework Help
Tatango would be a great way to create a homework help line that students could participate in. Since all communication is documented it is a great way to not only get help, but for the teacher to see who is struggling and in what areas.

Discussions on Curriculum Topics
After students finishing reading an chapter in their class novel, they could have an SMS text or Audio discussion on the reading to get them ready for class the next day. The whole discussion is documented in Tatango, so the students can use it for review later on and the teacher can use it to learn what they students understand and what questions may have arisen.

Documenting Group Work
This is pretty obvious but still should be acknwoleged that studnets in groups could use this to forumate and brainstrom ideas.

I could see students who are reporters for the school newspaper using this resource to get quotes and interview community members. Since the quotes and interviews can immediately go to all the reporters (or just the teacher/student editor) they could get immediate feedback on their quote and find out if there are other questions they should be asking.

Language Practice
Students in foriegn language classes could use this to practice their oral and text language skills with each other through a group conversation. Since text messaging is so popular in other countries (as I have learned from Kevin Gaugler and Barbara Lindsey) students should know how to communicate via text in foriegn countries as well as orally and by traditional writing.


Anonymous said...

Hi Liz,

My name is Dana Lampert, and I'm one of the founders of Wiggio. Thanks for mentioning Wiggio as a tool that classrooms can benefit from - we're working hard to add all the necessary functionality and enhancements, and have some cool features in the works. One on our list is this two-way mobile integration that allows postings from your cell phone, just as you mentioned. We're also about to release real-time document editing, group list-servs, and several other features.

Please let me know of any other features or enhancements that you think would add value - dana@wiggio.com.



Wesley Fryer said...

Liz: I've been contacted by a group of teachers in Oxford, Kansas, who are really interested in implementing a cell phone learning project. They have support of their superintendent. I'm really interested in amplifying examples of student and teacher projects which are using tools like this in 2009. I'm going to be involved in a project starting in mid-January that I'd like to visit with you about. If you don't already have one or know of one, I'd love to see you create a wiki for links to classroom/school use examples of cell phone learning tools like these. These are great ideas, and as innovative teachers use these tools to support collaboration I think we should amplify their findings. Do you have or know of a wiki with example links like I'm wanting here?

Liz Kolb, Ph.D. said...

Hi Wes
Fantastic to hear about the project. Would really like to hear more about it. I do not have a wiki with that information, but I love the idea. I do have a database of past and current start-up basic cell phone projects. I will try to get started on it over the next week.

Unknown said...

Great to see there are other educators, not falling into the stereotype mass hypnotic state of mind, that cell phones are a GREAT tool for education.

I have started a school on UPOC.com called Cellphone Education School that will be offering a similar type of educational process.

Richie Suraci

L. Rosen said...

Tatango, be careful. I love the site and the ideas but... and I haven't yet checked this on Wiggio yet... if you read the fine print that is connected to the "terms of agreement" on Tatango you will note that you must be 18 or older OR consent from a parent (specifically states parent, not teacher). So, just don't forget about that crucial step before implementing in a K-12 environment.

When I do stuff for just me I admit that I often click the check box agreeing to terms I have not read. When it comes to students however, that stuff is really important.

Lauren Rosen

Liz Kolb, Ph.D. said...

Good Point! Most sites are at least 13+...so especially for elementary teachers they need to be aware. One solution for me has been to have parents create the accounts for their children, that way they are part of the process.

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