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A Guide to Team Building in Distance Learning with ClassSpot

written by: Sylvia Cochran•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 5/11/2012

ClassSpot is a distance learning tool that online teaching professionals have come to rely on for team building purposes. Find out more about this software application that connects the distance learner with the peer group and the instructor.

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    Introducing ClassSpot Distance Learning Software

    ClassSpot is the brainchild of Tidebreak, a company devoted to the creation of team building software applications that are useful for online teaching, business team building, and any other setting that relies heavily on the formation of a team. The company refers to ClassSpot as part of the “Interaction Age” as opposed to merely the “Information Age.”

    ClassSpot is not a new concept in the use of online software applications for distance learning. Bright Hub’s own Elizabeth Porter wrote an article entitled “Help for Online Learners- Get Assistance Using Blackboard Academic Suite,” and commented on the availability of Blackboard for online teaching and learning success. ClassSpot takes online teaching interconnectivity one step further.

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    The Appeal of ClassSpot in Online Teaching

    A distance learner usually relies on a computer connection and a shared website for interacting with an instructor, and in rare cases with peers. Frequently this is done via a discussion board. ClassSpot seeks to change this setup, which thus far has made it hard – although not impossible – for online teaching professionals to launch a successful team building effort.

    The nuts and bolts that make ClassSpot work rely on the shared screen to which each member of the class can post. This necessitates little more than the keyboard and the computer mouse. At the same time the student has open additional applications that allow for private work and formulation of items to be shared with the team at the individual’s discretion. This vetting approach takes the potential for chaotic additions to the shared workspace out of the equation.

    An added benefit is the fact that ClassSpot allows not only for written text but also for drawings to be incorporated into the shared workspace. Adaptability such as this makes ClassSpot a premier tool for online teaching that involves complicated concepts or relies on diagrams and graphs for illustration. Since everyone contributes to the shared workspace, real learning takes place in a more hands-on fashion than was previously possible in distance learning.

    When an online teaching teamwork session ends, each distance learner can save a copy of the results of the session. Integrating this information into study notes and also into the classroom record – for the online teaching professional – makes this a most useful distance learning tool.

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    Technical Aspects of ClassSpot

    A distance learner is sure to appreciate the technical facts that allow ClassSpot to work with both Windows and Mac. On the Windows side, the distance learner needs 150 MB of free disk space and 512 MB of RAM with an operating system of Windows XP, 2003 or Vista. On the Mac side the student should have 20 MB of free disk space, 512 MB of RAM, and run version Macintosh OS X 10.3.9 or thereafter.

    The online teaching professional will run the host application. With Windows, s/he needs 200 MB of free disk space, 1 GB of RAM, and the operating systems of Windows XP, 2003 or Vista. If you are an online teaching specialist more familiar with MAC, you require 50 MB of free disk space, 1 GB of RAM memory, and run Macintosh OS X 10.4 or thereafter.

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    • ClassSpot:
    • Tidebreak: