Sunday, March 3, 2013

Grovo: Technology that Enables

Had a really hard time coming up with a title for this post.  I'm not actually trying to promote Grovo so much as explore the different ways that tool like Grovo might really push our practices around student centered learning.  And, I do think Grovo is pretty sweet.

I actually landed on Grovo in a typical Sunday AM web fashion, I was hoping to learn about something else, in this case Trello, which @jschackow first surfaced for me and which I HIGHLY recommend to all PBL teachers as a very cool project management tool.  Hoping to blog on that one shortly.  Wanted a few example videos to think about how to organize this very flexible management tool, and I ran across a sample from Grovo.  After watching the sample, I decided to check out what this Grovo thing was.  Wow.

So Grovo's  mission is to "To be your trusted source of high quality online training and real-time video updates to the websites, mobile apps and online tools you use most."

When you sign-up for their free account, you have the option of opting in to a number of commonly used programs that you use frequently (GoogleDrive, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Evernote, etc).  What Grovo offers are short training videos for all of these tools.  Obviously, there are tons of possibilities for a tool like this on the work we all do - here are a few:

1. Get Current: Many of the teachers I work with really want to be up-to-date on tools and techniques to implement technology in support of deeper learning and PBL with their students.  Often, however, it is hard to know where to start.  Grovo not only has videos, but the have little "courses" you can do to walk you through some initial tools to get started.

2. Stay Current: Another super compelling idea with Grovo is that they create quick videos whenever products you follow have an update.  You can get notifications when these new videos are up.  This helps make sure you are always taking advantage of the best features (working smarter) and also let's you not worry about being up-to-date. They'll take care of that for you.

3.  Track and promote your progress:  When you finish a course, you get a certificate and have the option of promoting it on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or website like this:

In addition to being a possible source of motivation and self-promotion, playing around with certifications like this might be a nice little gate-way experience into the world of badging and alternative certification.

4. Develop students' technical skills:  An obvious extension of this would be to turn students on to this tool and have them pursue their own learning at their own pace.  This is a great model of REAL facilitation - not having to be THE expert on everything, but rather the one who is best able to lead the learning of others.  We want our students using real-world tools in real-world ways, tools like Grovo help them do this.

5. Develop students' learning skills:  Maybe the most exciting piece to this is that Grovo could give you and your students a low-stakes place to experiment with alternative ways of learning, tracking progress, and gaining recognition for learning.  More and more learning is happening via virtual channels, why not have students explore this in a low-stakes setting?  In addition to the specific skills they can gain and use in your class, encourage them to consider how tools like this can help them build their resume, enhance their portfolio, or even think about how they can begin to build a stronger online reputation?

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