The mindtool I created was an online community of practice at www.ning.com. This Community of Practice was created in order for teachers to share ideas about current reading practices and seek out new strategies to try in the classroom.
This software functions as a mindtool because it provides teachers with a way to share ideas, discuss current practices and develop new instructional strategies after critique and reflection. The ning allows teachers to have electronic conversations using discussion boards and join groups around topics of interest. Teachers can also create new groups, add online content, and upload work samples, etc.
Due to the nature of this mindtool, I am using a rubric to assess the quality of the website content. I feel that this will authentically tell me if the mindtool is being used and how it is being used effectively.
I am very excited about where this mindtool can go. As I developed some of the content, I tried to use examples of different kinds of content that teachers could add. One person had a very good suggestion for adding grade level groups as more and more content is added. I think this would be great and then teachers can not only search for general reading tools, they can share ideas specific for their grade. I think another way to look at this would be to add additional groups for people that may want to work on inter-grade projects.
I enjoyed learning about other people's mindtools as well. I learned a lot about voicethread and plan on adding it to my content. I think I will first have my students do a sample, embed it on the ning and then let teachers see real student work. Wouldn't it be great if a student went back and said, "You have to get on the reading ning so that I can share my writing project with the class." In this fashion, the link to the ning would be needed in order for the teacher to discover voicethread and look at the student's work.
I have nothing but high expectations for this mindtool. I cannot wait to see where it takes us...