I learned about Scriblink from the Webware blog today.  It’s a free “online whiteboard” where up to five people can simultaneously work on and save a project.

A free online application like this, along with others I have on my Examples of Student Work page under Student Collaborative Stories, is ideal for a special project I’ll be doing this year. 

Let me first give a little background.

Our high school is divided into seven separate Small Learning Communities (SLC) of about 300 students each.  These 300 students will have the same twenty or so teachers during their high school career, and be with those 300 students during the same period of time.  Each SLC has a particular focus.  I teach in the one titled “Information Technology.”

All students (who are not in ESL classes) in our SLC need to take one computer applications class each year.  Our tech teacher has graciously agreed to let me give weekly (or more often) assignments for my non-ESL ninth grade English students to do in his class while other students are doing his assigned work. 

I plan on having my students do a ton of Web 2.0 – related projects in his class.  They’ve already started their online journals. 

Online whiteboards like Scriblink are ideal for small group assignments where students can communicate without disrupting what the computer applications teacher is doing with his other students.  In addition, my students will function as “coaches” for students from other classes where teachers have decided they’d like to follow our lead (and they are very excited about being “teachers”). Another English teacher has already decided she’d like to have her students do the same assignments my students will be doing in the computer applications classes.

I’ll keep readers posted about how this all works.