What is Mural.ly? This tool was recently introduced to me by a colleague and is best thought of as a mashup of real-time collaboration found in GoogleDocs, the pinning power of Pinterest with Prezi’s ease-of-use.  After an initial tour of sample murals, I realised it would fit naturally into a formative assessment task I was planning as part of an interdisciplinary unit with MYP Year 5 Design and Careers.

As part of the investigative stage of our data visualisation project,  students were encouraged to add a source of infographic inspiration to a mural I had prepared as well as comment on contributions from their peers.  A great feature that minimised barriers to entry was easy authentication with GoogleID which meant that the class inherited usernames that we were already familiar with.  Prior to letting students use the mural I had scaffolded logical zones for their inspiration sources (including a simple step-by-step instruction), related resources and sage advice.

I strongly recommend scaffolds in collaborative spaces as this can help students focus on the task quickly after a natural period of socialisation and establish essential agreements for preservation of individuals contributions.

We spent less than 10 minutes exploring basic functionalities such as navigation, added content and commenting.   I was surprised how well the platform coped with 21 simultaneous connections, thou I would not advise many more.

If you are little tired of collaboration with GoogleDocs and looking to switch things up, give Mural.ly a try.

Highly Recommended

Image courtesy of Flickr user jenlen