By Melissa Gatza, Instructional Development Services Lab Assistant
**** Edistorm has been updated and the name has been changed to Stormboard. For more information check out the website ***
Edistorm was inspired by Thomas Edison’s idea factories, which is a concept more commonly known today as brainstorming. Edistorm enables multiple people to collaborate online, allowing for large brainstorming sessions. These sessions can be conducted online in real time anywhere in the world by using a “sticky note interface”, that works for both workplace and classroom purposes.
Businesses can collaborate from halfway across the world, while students would be able to collaborate from their own homes- taking group projects to a new level. By simply placing a sticky note on the digital board, everyone who has been invited to the brainstorming session (known as a “storm”) has the ability to see and edit it. This editing feature allows discussions that could lead to better, richer ideas. Words aren’t the only things that can be placed on their sticky notes. Users have the ability to upload images and add a url to a YouTube or Vimeo video. Sticky Notes can be placed onto one of 20 different board template options that range from business friendly to classroom friendly.
Creating public storms and participating in any storm is completely FREE. But with different paid accounts you can create different private storms that only you and those you invite will have access to. Edistorm has two different pricing categories, one for normal users, and one for schools and educators. Normal pricing is $19/month for 2 active storms, $39/month for 5 active storms, and $99/month for 20 active storms. The Educational pricing gives you the option to utilize one active private storm for free if it is used for a classroom. For more storms, $49/year will give you 2 active private storms, and unlimited public storms for 2 classrooms. $99/year will provide 4 active private storms with unlimited public storms for 12 classrooms. While Schools and Districts can create customized plans by contacting Edistorm. These customized plans include custom branding, a custom web address, and school login integration.
Many of Edistorm’s features make it ideal for using it in the classroom. Students can work in groups on assignments such as papers and projects from home, while teachers can collaborate on topics such as cross-subject lesson planning. When all participants have been added to a storm, participants can add sticky notes to the board with their ideas. They can then have discussions and comment on the ideas posted and vote on their favorite ideas. These discussions and comments can also be created into an instant report for either Excel or PDF by the storm administrator.
For more information please visit http://www.edistorm.com/
TECH TIP – Organizing Notes and Voicing Your Opinions
By Carlo Daniels, Instructional Development Services Graduate Assistant
When brainstorming ideas in your “storm” you can enter ideas via the sticky notes on the left side of the screen as indicated in the picture below. Once you come up with a few ideas, a plethora of options exist to make organize your notes to your liking.
The following picture showcases an example of a storm full of ideas. As you may notice, you can also upload images to the sticky notes via this button icon and upload video as well using this icon , which are both located right above the sticky notes on the left side of the screen.
Sticky Notes containing your ideas can also be color-coded for categorical organization. You can do this by changing the color of your sticky notes before you enter a new idea on the left side of the screen or by clicking and dragging to highlight some of your already created ideas as indicated in the picture below. Highlighting notes also allows you the option of sorting what notes you want in columns.
Each sticky note also contains a vote count as indicated by the icon button and a comment section as indicated by the comment button. Each user that your storm is shared with also has up to ten votes that they can cast on an idea. Either click on the collection of green dots (votes) on the left side of the screen and drag them to the appropriate note to cast a vote (as shown below) or simply click on the icon button.
brainstorm, online, planning