Collaboration Tool Review – Scribblar

Collaboration is a skill that has become very important to the workforce.  Finding digital ways to collaborate is equally important as businesses expand their horizons to different areas of the country and world.  In the classroom, using digital collaboration tools allows teachers to begin exposing students to the concept.  I do believe that it is important to establish these skills in the school so that students are ready for what they may experience in the work field upon graduation.  Therefore, as long as students receive the soft skills involved with digital collaboration, it may not matter what tool they use to do it.

Keeping this in mind, I decided to take a look at one such collaboration tool that might have some use in the classroom.  Scribblar is a virtual whiteboard that would allow teachers to create rooms where students could join and experience many things.  Scribblar allows for the upload of things like images, Power Points, PDFs, and Word documents.  This gives the teacher some flexibility when thinking about how they may use the site.  Concepts could be reviewed, which would allow some students another opportunity to experience the material.  It could be an extension activity for students who are ahead in material, or for a concept that could not be fully explored in the classroom.  It could be a method of blending, or flipping, a classroom.  It is rather easy to create a room, and then invite students to that room by email or sharing a link.  A quick search on YouTube revealed users who have a deep understanding of the program and are able to really capitalize on all of the available features.  This search may also prove beneficial for a quick rundown of the many icons this site implements.  As a user becomes more comfortable, they would not be a problem, however, it could be confusing to a beginner with the site.

However, the site is not free.  They do offer a 14 day trial, however, this would not allow me to really determine if it will work because I would not be able to get an entire class into the room (it limits it to three users in the trial).  The most expensive plan, which I would need, carries a cost of $69 per month.  This does include things like an API for integration, and does allow for unlimited users and rooms.  If a district, or even a building, were able to really use this, the cost may be worth the purchase.  One other note, I could not definitively determine whether the site was compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).  The site also did not show up on the Student Privacy Pledge website (while not definitive, it is a site that is beneficial to check out).

To summarize, the tool has great potential and would work for many teachers.  However, it may be cost prohibitive for districts and teachers.  If this is not a hurdle that a district is facing, and they are satisfied with the language in the privacy policy, then I would suggest it’s use in the classroom.

This review of this site was conducted using a rubric from Blue Valley Educational Technology Services.


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