Teachers. Technology. Together.
I’m using Mentormob (www.mentormob.com) to create an online professional development workshop for teachers. The workshop has three purposes: 1) it’s a grad assignment, 2) I plan to post this e-course online here and share with teachers; and 3) to share the incredible options that Firefox Add-ons give you for classroom integration. I might say there are 4 reasons because I’m also learning more about Mentormob.
To get an idea of what Mentormob does, watch the video.
It was easy to set up today and I didn’t have any trouble establishing my Playlist which is what Mentormob calls their virtual learning centers that users can establish. I had previously used MentorMob to create a visual playlist of my favorite five resouces in the core content areas but this is different because I will be using Mentormob as the learning environment that the learners will use to complete their training.
What many users of Mentormob may not know at first glance of their website is that they offer more than just a curation type of playlist where you add links and others use the links to view websites. Mentormob has a service called MentorMob Pro that allows you to invite users to a playlist, manage those users, and view related analytics. I’ll be incorporating the MentorMob Pro features into this workshop that I’m preparing and reporting on the experience here.
As for today, I started by simply creating my Playlist. I began by setting up my introduction “step.” The “steps” look like tiles in the Mentormob playlist. I was thrilled to see that I could add a create an outline of my workshop first before creating my steps. Initially this didn’t work for me but I contacted MentorMob and it is not working effortlessly. It makes creating your Playlist easy. I simply used my outline for the workshop and designated my steps. Once added, the steps can be manipulated by a drag-and-drop process which is very easy and very helpful. You can also edit your outline after creating it.
I then began my workshop by uploading a PowerPoint to Step 1. However, I encountered a problem. Mentormob provides a great interface for the learner who is taking the course. They click on the step and the content opens in the window keeping students safe and secure in their learning experience. This is especially important for K-12 students. I couldn’t wait to preview the step (another great feature) and I was very disappointed that it didn’t come up. Instead, I received a message that I would have to use it as an external download. The learners would still get the PowerPoint, of course, but I really, really want them to be able to stay within the Mentormob learning environment window.
To try to address this, I uploaded my PowerPoint to SlideShare and then added the link to the uploaded Slideshare presentation in Step 1. This absolutely worked. However, I really would like the PowerPoint to work instead. If I know the Mentormob folks, they will address this immediately and I don’t expect it will be very long before it is working seamlessly. As a note, Mentormob also didn’t want to display within the learning environment if I was in Internet Explorer. Since I’m predominantly a Firefox user, that was fine but it didn’t work in Firefox either.
However, overall, the first step in my MentorMob workshop was, for the most part, a breeze and I’m very excited about what lies ahead. I really think Mentormob is on to something here. I’ve given them a small wishlist and I’ll share that here. I’ve added one more item to my wishlist:
Most of all, MentorMob, keep up the incredibly good work. I hope you’ll post your comments below to share with readers! This, along with the collaborative abilities that I’ll talk about later, is an amazing educational tool!
[box] UPDATED: I’ve learned that MentorMob works best in certain browsers, specifically Google Chrome! If you use this browser, there’s no problem uploading the PowerPoint presentation directly to the Step. Also, MentorMob has developed a Google Chrome bookmarklet to make adding steps very easy! However, “Preview” of the step did not work for me providing me a blank page.[/box]