Posts Tagged collaboration

Gaming with Extreme Collaboration

When first introduced to Extreme Collaboration (XC), I was immediately hooked.  XC is currently in its beta format; however, it appears fully functional and ready for classroom use.  Immediately, I created cheat sheets and tutorial videos (click here) on how to use this simple and powerful tool.  XC is an Add-On for SMART Notebook that allows all students to immediately participate in the current activity.  Students are able to use a web enabled device to actively participate in the lesson.  They can use a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or desktop computing device to send text directly into a SMART Board lesson.

After learning and using XC, the next idea was to see how XC could be used beyond simply sending a text answer into SMART Notebook.  Since XC is generally used in collaboration with students and almost all students like games, is there a way to make XC into a game?  The answer is “Yes!”  Many different ideas came to mind.  A simple “fastest fingers” contest to see who could answer and text the answer in the quickest was the first idea.  Fastest fingers would leave each student competing against the others.

Other ideas include teaming students together.  Using teams would eliminate the one-to-one device requirement.  Utilizing XC’s List by category and Stack by category, answers from each team would appear under their respective team name.  Students could compete in teams to see who can answer the question(s) the fastest.  The teams could have a list of questions to answer and see which team can answer all questions the fastest.  A variation of this would be to see which team can name all elements of the learned topic the fastest.

Add a line across the Notebook page, make it a finish line.  Have the students answering questions until a team reaches the line.  The team that reaches the line first, wins the competition (provide all the answers are correct).  If students pulling answers from the other teams is a concern, turn off the projector.  Another option would be to use the SMART Notebook screen shade.  Turn on the screen shade; adjust it to a desired height to make it the finish line.  As soon as the students have answered enough questions, they will start appearing below the screen shade.

Here are a few ideas for core content areas:


  1. Nouns vs. verbs in a paragraph:  which team can name 10 first
  2. Characters in a story:  who can name the most or name all of them the fastest

Math –

  1. Solve  a problem:  who can do it the fastest
  2. Quick math:  who can solve a group of the problems the fastest

Social Studies –

  1. WII Powers:  who can name the most Allied or Axis powers the fastest/first
  2. Presidents:  name as many presidents as possible in XX seconds
  3. States/Capitals:  name as many as possible in XX seconds

Science –

  1. Chemical equation:  who can solve in the fastest
  2. Physics:  solve the problem the fastest or series of problems
  3. Different Types of Fungus:  name as many types of fungus as possible in XX seconds

The possibilities are virtually endless.  Looking for design templates, click here to download a template from the SMART Exchange.

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Why I love Edmodo…and you will too!

This summer I had the opportunity to attend the Google Geo Teacher’s Institute at the Googleplex (Google’s headquarters) in Mountain View California.  It was an amazing experience!  While I was there, a fellow teacher invited me to visit the headquarters of  At the time I had never heard of edmodo, but it was only a short walk, and I’m always up for an adventure!

About 10 minutes after Crystal Hutter, the COO of began demonstrating what edmodo could do, I started to get really excited.

You mean edmodo allows teachers to create a secure social network for their students?  And it’s SIMPLE??  OMG!  I think I’m in love!!

Have something to share? Publish your ideas, files, and homework from the “Post bubble.”


Top 10 reasons why I love and you will too!

1.      Free. Visit and create a FREE teacher account.

2.      Secure. Students are only able to post and read comments from other students that the teacher has placed in their group.  Teachers can read, edit, and delete any post.

3.      Comfortable. Edmodo looks like facebook, so it’s a familiar platform for most students and many teachers.  Users who are new to social networking will quickly become familiar with edmodo’s simple interface.

4.      Collaborative. Within edmodo you easily put your class into small groups, and you can create a limitless number of groups (think: literature circles and collaborative projects across the curriculum!)

5.      Flexible. Four different types of posts allow students and teachers to post simple messages, assignments, polls, and alerts.

6.      Notifications. Users can adjust their settings so that they receive email or even text messages when a fellow group member posts.

7.      Storage (Library). This is huge so be sure you’re sitting down:  Edmodo users have limitless online storage…for free.  Users can upload files and links directly into their own library or share their files and links by attaching them to a message.  (Super simple!!) Every file or link shared with a group automatically goes into the user’s library.

8.      Embedding. Anything with embed code can be posted and viewed within edmodo.  Think:,,,, and

9.      Community.  Ever wondered what teachers across the hall, across the state, or across the globe are doing in their classrooms?  Join one of edmodo’s content area focused communities and find out!

10.  Simple. Edmodo’s simple and intuitive interface allows even the least tech-savvy among us to:

  • Facilitate online discussion
  • Post and accept assignments online
  • Set project due dates (which then automatically post on a student’s calendar!)
  • Share links and files
  • View, grade, and give constructive feedback on assignments


The icing on the cake!

As if the ten reasons above are not enough…there’s an app for that!  Edmodo’s mobile app can be downloaded from iTunes or accessed at so your students can connect to the classroom from their phone, ipod or other mobile device.

Ready to get started?

Visit to create an account and get started building a secure social network for the students in your class.  Feeling a bit unsure? Click here to access our handy “Getting started with edmodo” cheatsheet. Already rolling?  Be sure to post in the comments section below to let us know why YOU love edmodo too!

For another perspective on the power of Edmodo in your classroom, check out the video below.
Teacher Marcia Simmons, on Edmodo

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