September 23, 2011

PB works- online team collaboration tool

PB works is an online team collaboration, the productivity application that I use for my work recently. It is similar to Google Docs but more functional. Besides the typical programs like word processing, spreadsheets, project management, it also contains wiki and enable users share the information with people outside the team by URL link.
I think it is a useful Web 2.0 tool that can be used in academic enviornments. Actually, more than 300,000 educational workspaces has been established on PBworks. Teachers, parents and students can interact effectively by using it. In comparison with Google Doc, PBworks seems more professional in team work. The basic edition is for free.
The things we can do with PBworks:
  • Class Resources - Publish class notes, PowerPoint lectures, schedules and policies; show off examples of great student work.
  • Group Projects - Build collaborative pages, start discussions and encourage comments.
  • Parent Outreach - Keep parents involved. Post assignments, key dates and volunteer lists. All available at home, from work, or anywhere.
  • Student Portfolios - Give students their own page to post content, upload homework, and share their work.
  • Expand Horizons - Share and interact with other classrooms or groups, across town or around the world.


  1. I love the idea of student portfolios. How many kids want to save all of their assignments for later in their lives? Not many, I know I didn't need all that junk basically. Portfolios allow students to keep what they want, but also give us as educators the freedom to just log on and correct them. This would be a great tool for schools that don't use a Blackboard and it's free:) Parents will also be able to see how their child is doing, and can't say "Sally did a good job on this paper." The kids will be held more accountable.

  2. I agree with Cassie about portfolios. As an English ed major, I had to take The Teaching of Writing as part of my professional methods coursework. Our final assessment in that class wasn't a final paper, or a test, but a portfolio of our writing and reflections that we had been keeping throughout the semester. Online portfolios could serve this purpose too. Students could add things to them, edit, share, and keep a record of their progress in the class, and at the end of the course share the portfolio with the teacher and classmates to show how much they have learned and grown throughout the semester.

    I plan on using some form of a digital portfolio device in my future classes. I think students would be more accountable this way, because then they don't have to keep track of physical copies of work (sometimes middle schoolers and high schoolers struggle with organization). What do you think?

  3. I like the section that includes parents being able to keep up with the classroom. I think too often parents are left out of the picture when really they are a vital player in a teacher's educational team. Using this tool would be a great way to keep parents involved, updated, and it would definitely benefit student learning. Great resource, Tina! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Just like Alison and Cassie, I love the idea of student portfolios online. I have kept so many drawings, papers, and projects that I have done through out the years and I wish that I could've had the capability of doing it on the computer and storing it all in one place. Parents would love them too because they wouldn't have so much of their student's work all over the house. Portfolios are great for students in that they are able to see their growth much better than with any test. Also, it makes the grading life so much easier for teachers.