Many web applications use the capacity of ICT to engage in real-time collaborative activities. We will explore a few applications in this category.

Google Docs will be used in a variety of ways throughout this course. Google docs is a suite of document preparation tools that is very similar to Microsoft Office. It offers the capacity to develop documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and drawings. Each of these tools can be used collaboratively such that many people can contribute to the composition of the document, they can track progress, see changes and comment on the process.

This Commoncraft video explains some of the advantages.



You already have access to Google docs as part of the collection of applications that are connected to the anonymous Gmail accounts that you have established. The link to this service ( and many other Google accounts features) is at the top of the page when you open gmail.

One of the ways that we will use Google docs is for the final paper for this course and I will introduce the procedure now so people can start preparing.
The final paper will be composed using a shared Google doc. Open a new Google doc and share it with me at ggatin@ggatin.com. You will then use Google docs to plan, outline, compose and finally submit your final paper. I will be able to follow your progress throughout the process.
I will only accept final papers developed and delivered in a Google doc that has been shared with me from the beginning.
More details of the content and format of the final paper will be published on a separate page.

Other online collaborative tools

We will look at a group of applications are variously described as graphic organizers, concept mapping or mind-mapping applications.
While there are common features, generally concept maps are heirarchical while mindmaps are organized around central concepts.

Many teachers will be familiar with the desktop application Inspiration which has been heavily marketed for use in K-12 classrooms.

CMapTools is an open source concept mapping project that can be used as a stand alone desktop application or with web accessible publication and sharing.
For a detailed analysis of the theory and practice associated with concept mapping


Novak J.D. and A.J. Cañas, The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct and Use Them, Technical Report IHMC CmapTools 2006-01 Rev 01-2008, Florida Institute for Human and machine Cognition, 2008. available at:http://cmap.ihmc.us/Publications/ResearchPapers/TheoryCmaps/TheoryUnderlyingConceptMaps.pdf.



A popular online mind mapping service is MindMeister . A mindmap has been established for ICT07755 and is available at http://www.mindmeister.com/maps/show/51466732You may be asked to register with MindMeister before you gain access to the maps. Register using your anonymous course identification and look carefully at the bottom of the registration for the Free Basic plan, (hint: it isn't one of the most prominently displayed buttons).

Once you register with Mindmeister you will be able to develop your own mind map (up to three for free) to use individually or with a group. It might prove useful to organize your paper for this class.

Hint for viewing: Click on any spot on the map and move the map to view the portions that are out of view. You can also click on the + and - signs to open and close nodes.