December 16, 2009

I Gloo, Do You?

When I fist heard of Gloo, I thought to myself: oh no, not another social network. However, as I watched the video explaining what it was all about, I saw it's unique potential. Unlike social networking sites, it's not simply your personal space where you can update your status or inform people what you are doing, Gloo is a collaborative workspace where you and your friends can interact in real-time. It's kind of like an online desk that allows you and people who have access to that space to meet and discuss ideas. The closest thing I can compare it to would be a conference chat, but more fun since you can draw, embed videos and photos, and create lists and posties to remind you of what is going on.

I tried it out for a few days and I enjoyed leaving little messages in my friends spaces and doodling on their sites as well...but I accidentally removed a picture that was in someone else's space!!! Sorry hehehehe! I have also been able to keep myself abreast with plans about parties and events that I will be attending.

My cousin and I even tried it out for our pastry business. We used the Gloo board as a venue for coordinating our plans and things to do for the business, Baby Cakes. We posted our goals for the year and two stickies where we can leave reminders for each other.

As a teacher, I see this as a tool that I can use to make discussions take on a new perspective. I can forsee myself using it as a group message board in my classes in the future. Too bad classes are done for the term because I tried it out and this is what I came up with! This is something I will definitely try out in January when classes start up again. Perhaps I can even add other posties for questions and games that I can engage my students in.

Teacher Ria's Gloo Space!
 I can just imagine the potential of this space for collaboration! For example, this would be a good option for brainstorming because everyone can put in ideas at the same time then we can identify threads right away. Also, as the teacher, I can monitor who is participating and who is not. I think this would be a good way for me to see also who in the group ends up being a freeloader by observing what is going on in these spaces. Interesting!

In trying it out in the beginning, I had some problems with the slow loading of widgets and erasing of doodles I made on my workspace. At first I thought it had something to do with my provider, because I assumed since Gloo is powered by Globe it would be better if I subscribed to Globe Broadband however after updating my browser, it worked just fine. An added bonus, however, for Globe subscribers is that you can even send an SMS or MMS to your Gloo spaces. I have yet to try that though. Right now I am still exploring the space but if you're curious about it, you can inquire about Gloo and read their FAQ page.

A limitation of my Gloo space right now, however, is that I only have a few friends to Gloo with. So...I you? Gloo with me :-)

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