Today’s tech snack can be found at the following url: https://airtable.com/
What is it? Airtable is a web-based tool that is part spreadsheet, part database. With airtable, you can add files, notes , links all in one place. There is even a chat feature. This is the ultimate collaboration/organization tool. It will work on any Internet enabled device, though for tablets/smartphones you should download the app for the best functionality. There is an app available for airtable for most tablet/smartphone platform that exists ( Google play, Apple app store, Windows store and Mac Os). Airtable will also work on any internet browser without the app, but the app assures that airtable will fit and be viewed correctly on your device.
To begin using airtable, you must first create a free account. Once you create an account, you will immediately be taken through a how to guide-the contents of which can be found at the following url: https://guide.airtable.com/ .
With airtable, you can incorporate many different online services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote. Collaborators can view real time changes, link data, and engage in chat discussions. You can create tables using templates or make them from scratch. Like most web 2.0 tools, there is a free and paid component with this tool. Free accounts offer unlimited databases with storage up to 1200 records each and a 2GB attachment limit.
Airtable uses a click and drag interface, and is easy to use, though it does require a small learning curve. It is a bit complex for lower elementary school students ( K-2) and I wouldn’t recommend its use for that age group. This tool could be used with upper elementary school students (3-5) with guidance and planning. This tool is best suited for students in grades 6th-12th as well as adult users.
When you create a base(that’s what they call the tables), you can share it with others. You have complete control over how the content is shared and with whom you are sharing it with. You can share bases via an email link that requires a login or you can share bases as a direct link(that doesn’t require a login). You can decide if people who access the link can edit and add content or if you want them simply to be able to view the content.
their part to the base so that everyone can see the content, and provide feedback.This assures that everyone has the same information and that the final project is something that the whole group has agreed to.
Bases in airtable can also be used to streamline the brainstorming process. Initially students would post their ideas and information to back them up. As students begin to flesh out the ideas that they are interested in, they could break up into small groups might form to work on individual projects. They would still be able to contribute ideas to other projects. The teacher can act as a facilitator by offering suggestions. The base could also be used to record and organize data, and plan papers/presentations.