Flowgram is a new web-based tool for giving online tours of sets of webpages or photos. I have hasd a quick play (click the widget to see my creation) and it looks like it could be a very useful tool in the classroom.

Once you have signed up and been accepted for the beta flowgram program you can create your own pretty easily. I just watched one of the flowgrams about flogram and tested it without really reading the manual. It is pretty simple to use although I could not get the create tool to load in Safari.

You add pages to a flowgram by adding a url or uploading a photo. Or you could import a flickr set or RSS feed to create a set of pages. Once you have collected your set of pages you can add audio recorded via your browser (flash based) notes and highlight text. I managed to do all without too much bother although it took me a while to get the highlight work. If you scroll a page during recording and then highlight something it will scroll to show the highlight in sync with the audio when playing back. I found that quite tricky to do and if you watch my flowgram above you will notice a few pauses while I scroll and highlight.

The most amazing thing about flowgram is that the pages viewed in flowgram are live the links etc work for the audience. I am not sure how flowgram deals with changes in the webpage perhaps they store local copies.

I think it might be a bit difficult for primary children to use for creating a tour of websites but they could certainly make a slideshow of photos or pictures without too much trouble. For teachers it could be used to give children instructions on using online tools (or for a set of screenshots) or for blogging sites to other teachers for professional development.

Flowgram could be used as an alternate presentation tool, and feels a little like voicethread, although users cannot audio comment. You can make your flowgrams private but I can’t see a way to turn off comments which would sometimes be handy for school use. another one t otest on the nexwork next term.