Tuesday, January 17, 2012

RabbleBrowser - An App Review - #EdChat

Float Mobile Learning sent me a copy of RabbleBrowser to see all of the cool things it can do and I can say that I'm very impressed with what it does.

Here is what Float Mobile says about their app on iTunes,

Using RabbleBrowser, one person can lead or facilitate a shared browsing experience with an unlimited number of locally connected peers. As the leader browses the web, the others in the session with them will see the path they are taking. Integrated group chat, private chat and bookmark sharing keeps the collaboration levels high. Using the easy integrated social tools, anyone in the session can share URLs to the web via email, Twitter and Facebook. We’re confident that this will become a very useful technology in any class, team leader or mobile learning presenter’s toolkit. The initial release is feature rich, but we have a lot planned for this app in the future.

Key features include:
•Shared browsing between a leader and a virtually unlimited number of connected clients via WiFi on a common network or via Bluetooth.
•Integrated multiuser chat and private chat
•Saving and editing of bookmarks
•Social sharing tools via Facebook and Twitter
•Easily send URLs from Rabble Browser via Mail
•Printing of web content via AirPrint

As a teacher that is working on creating a more collaborative environment, this seems to be the perfect app to do just that. With my class set of iPads right now, I either need to put a link on the board, email everyone in advance or place something in Dropbox. With RabbleBrowser, I can connect all of my students to the school wifi and lead them through the content in a very simple fashion. There have been times when kids just cannot get the web address correct and the class needs to wait while they catch up. RabbleBrowser will help eliminate those little stoppages so more time can be spent on the task at hand.

I also love the fact that students can bookmark and share them easily through email, Twitter (If it were not blocked) and Facebook (Again, if it were not blocked).

The multiuser chat feature is nice for creating a strong backchannel in the classroom while groups work and present.

Here are some shots of what RabbleBrowser looks like on the iPad,

As a teacher, I love the possibilities that RabbleBrowser brings to the table. It will be very nice to know that my students are following along and leaving comments on the right side to enhance the discussion we are having in class.

Since my students use blogs to post their work, this would be a great way to look at the work a student has done and discuss it as a class. News articles or other web based reading could be easily shared and discussed in class with room for a backchannel to take place.

I always come back to the sharing features which has me excited. Too often, kids find cool things and they do not have the thought to share them. RabbleBrowser allows for quick and easy sharing from the app. Facebook and Twitter might be blocked, but email still works great. Once the blocks have been lifted in my school, I could see our class tweeting links to the community about the things we are reading and discussing.

Using the Apple TV will also all all of the students to see what is going on as well, so that will be a nice bonus.

RabbleBrowser costs $1.99 and I think it is worth every cent. A class set of iPads could be covered for about $60.00. This will be the best $60.00 you could spend on an app that will have your students collaborating using their iPads. I recommend RabbleBrowser to all schools that are using iPads in the classroom.

- @TheNerdyTeacher

Note: I was given a copy of RabbleBrowser for the purpose of this review.

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