Friday afternoon I saw this tweet: Twitter / tombarrett: “Three Interesting Ways to … from Tom Barrett and popped over to the google presentation on using your Pocket Video Camera in the Classroom. At that point there were three ways and a few folk in the chat. I got an invite from Tom and when I got home I added a slide, by that time there were four ideas so mine made five, I added another later in the evening. By this morning there are nineteen ideas in the slide deck and there have always been a few folk viewing the presentation when I’ve checked it. As I get ready to post this there are 21 ideas. There has also be a ton of tweets linking to the presentation.
Tom has a wonderful ability to get these things rolling through his extensive twitter network. The shared google presentation idea is a great idea, Tom has used it before: Thirty-Eight Interesting Ways (and tips) to use your Interactive Whiteboard and a couple on google earth, as has Doug Belshaw with Interesting Ways to use Netbooks in the Classroom.
What is about these efforts is the amount of collaboration that they attract, much more tha, for example my own efforts. I think part of the secret is probably the low bar to add to the resource. I guess it took me about 2 or 3 minutes to add the first of my slides and about 90 seconds for the second. This is a lot more reasonable than expecting folk to create a wiki page and fill it up. Google Slides are pretty straightforward, no need to read the docs, the technology is pretty transparent. The other part of the secret is, of course, Tom’s excellent use of twitter and the respect he has earned from educators around the world, I can’t wait for his next idea.