scapple for group/classroom brainstorms

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Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:05 pm
Platform: Mac

Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:40 pm Post

hi all,

I had a though that I figured I'd share about a way to use Scapple in a classroom. If people have ideas about how to do similar stuff, or how to do this more efficiently, I'd love to hear them. I've done something similar occasionally with powerpoint but that has some snags.

I work as an academic, currently not teaching but will be again in the not too distant future. I was using Scapple this morning to map out some what I already know and what I need to do next for a project. It struck me that the process I used for that is really similar to an exercise I do in the classroom a lot using the whiteboard. I will often walk a class through a collective reasoning process beginning with a brainstorm where they call out all the things they know, whatever they are, from the course so far. (I'm often teaching 1st year college students, who have trouble telling relevant from irrelevant detail and who have trouble telling supporting claims from larger argument claims.) I write that detail down on part of the white board in no order. After they've said most of what they can remember, then I ask questions to get them to identify more abstract or more fundamental points, and to start putting the information in a more logical order, using another part of the whiteboard, and to identify what are still some open questions. This is also basically what I just did this morning in planning my research project. That made me think, I could try using Scapple in the classroom for this by projecting Scapple on the screen.

One very simple use would be to simply substitute Scapple for the whiteboard and do my recording of the initial idea dump there, then do the re-ordering there as well.

Another use might be to use the course website and require my students to each identify one or two key points from the course materials before class. (This would help with getting every student to contribute something, as in the group idea dump there are some students who say a lot less.) I could have each student upload an individual file with their key point(s), then copy and paste them all into one file, or find a way to merge the files. Then import to scapple. I think I'd probably ask the students to precede each point with a double asterisk and tell scapula to make the the mark of a new note. Then we could start class with that list of points on scapple project, have group discussion to add to it, then set about re-ordering the list. At the end I could sent them all a copy of the file/screen shot/whatever so they'd have the notes.

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Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:54 am
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Location: Virginia, USA

Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:15 am Post

Why stop there? Why not record the session (screen perhaps with you picture-in-picture delivering voice-over) drawing the mindmap and giving the lecture? Then, you can post it to YouTube (ala Coursera or Udacity)