You've probably heard all of the latest buzz about social-networking by now. Whether it be Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or the variety of other sites, social-networking has exploded in popularity over the past five or six years. But how can we could take this new phenomenon and tie it with education? In a classic "why didn't I think of that?" fashion, the folks from dweeber.com have amazed us with their new site. With Dweeber, any computer connected to the internet can become a beacon for collaborative study groups.
Dweeber allows students to participate in designated study sessions set up by teachers. In these virtual classrooms, students have access to chat dialogs, fully interactive whiteboards, points-based ratings systems and other collaboration tools. The best part about Dweeber? It's absolutely free! Teachers simply create an account, invite their students as friends, and form the study groups. The groups can be any size, but only eight students can interact with the whiteboard at a time.
Other features of this site include a feature to save and share important websites, important message notifications, and a very intriguing "SMART profile" feature. SMART (Successes, Mind Patterns, Attractions and Interests, Resources, and Thinking Talents) is a way for students to better understand their own personal study habits. Students are asked to do an interactive survey asking what kind of learner they are, what activities they enjoy, and what special talents they possess. Afterwards, students can compare their profiles with those of their classmates.
Another neat feature is the point system. If a student helps another student with a question, they get points. Adding friends, sharing websites, voting and completing the SMART profile also awards points. So far, these points don't hold a value outside of the website, but Dweeber states that in the future, the points can be used to get discounts on sponsored products. Meanwhile, though, this point system can help provide a level of competitiveness that gives students the justification to learn and help others learn.
Dweeber may be just what is lacking in after-school learning. Its fun, interactive atmosphere and easy-to-use functions make collaborative learning an awesome experience.