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BasecampTaking up on Kim Flintoff’s lead with his previous post on Wikibooks this post details another Web 2.0 collaborative writing ICT called Basecamp that has a range of possible uses in schools. Basecamp is a web based collaboration and project management tool. Last year at Paraburdoo Primary School we used this password protected online space during our action research into the Boys in Education Lighthouse Project . It proved to be a simple and effective way to document milestones, plan, and for collaborative text development via the built-in Writeboard. It fitted well with the Action Research goals. eg. “Action research establishes self-critical communities of people participating and collaborating in all phases of the research process.” Also “allows us to build records of our improvements”.

The path the research eventually took meant that teachers ending up developing individual research projects on diverse topics. However, in the initial planning phase Basecamp was valuable in developing our clear shared vision to “develop, monitor and reflect upon effective strategies for the improvement of boys writing”. There is no reason why this web app couldn’t be used in a collaborative writing learning environment also.

I have since used Basecamp in two other ongoing projects and it has help bind these projects especially across huge geographical distances. While trying not to make thisBackpack sound like a sales pitch for 37 Signals products I admit I’m quite fond of their simplicity and gentle learning curve. I also use their Backpack product for all of my to-do lists, and load them as my browser homepage for access at home and at school. Backpack makes it easy to flesh out your ideas and helps in getting things done.

Are there any other schools using similar collaborative project management tools?

Paul

Disclosure: the links to BasecampHQ in this post take you to an affiliate page with Basecamp. If you happen to sign-up to a paid account via this link, the voluntary Green Map Perth project I work on will receive a discount on an upgrade to our very own Basecamp account.