How is it possible to have all the students brainstorm at the same time and at the same place?
The answer: with Tricider.
Tricider is a free website. This website allows people to write down questions and share them with people around them. Then they can answer the questions, comments, give some pros and cons and vote for their favorite propositions depending on what is the question (tutorial). To be able to use this website you do not need to have an account. You just have to invent your question and share it with people. The question can be shared through Facebook, Twitter or by sending the link by email. A positive point of this website is that you can add your email address and every time someone answers or comments the question you will receive a notification.
According to Nik, you can use this website to do many things with your students. For instance, you can use it to publish a list of topics and have your students vote for their favorite one. Also, you can create controversial statements and ask the students to vote for the ones they agree and disagree with and they have to write pros and cons beside their choices. Another way could be that you divide the class in two, one half will have to find pros and the other half will have to find cons. At the end, you can determine which half of class has found the most convincing arguments. Another way to use the website is to create true/false statements to check if the students understood the text they read. I think these are interesting ways of using the website. For example, the second suggestion allows the students to practice their writing in a fun way because they are engaged in a debate. Their goal is to win the debate so they will not think about the writing part as a burden.
As shown by Melanie Kroening (Instructional Designer, Ecampus), one way you can use Tricider is to create an icebreaker activity with your students. Also, you can use it to brainstorm solutions and find the pros and cons of each, to brainstorm and collect ideas from the whole class or smaller teams and to brainstorm to find good ideas and vote for your favorite one to have the best idea rises to the top. Personally, I also think that the students can use it to brainstorm inside their teams. For instance, if they have to do a research, they can brainstorm on the topic they will choose or what they want to look at for the research. I did not think of using it as an icebreaker before I read the article of Ms. Kroening and I think it is a good idea because it will allow students to learn more about their peers on the first day of class. Also, the icebreaker activity could be used when teachers begin a new subject. The purpose could be to see what the students already know about that new subject.
Rhonndda also suggested another way of using Tricider, but not for the students. It could be used between teachers to make decisions without having another meeting. I think it is a good idea because teachers have a lot of work to do and sometimes it is hard to find time where everyone is available. It could also be used by teachers of the same subject to share what they do with their classes, to suggest ideas to the other teachers and also to help their colleagues find solutions when they face problems.
It is now your turn to try Tricider and see how it is a marvellous website.