I have been doing a brainstorming activity for a while with groups, but yesterday, it was especially productive. I was doing a workshop on e-portfolios at a community college. We spent the morning exploring issues of e-portfolio development in a large group, lecture-style. After lunch, we moved to a computer lab, where I led them through several exercises to help them put together a plan for implementation. I did an almost identical set of exercises in my workshop in New Hampshire in August, but it took a lot longer because then we were using pen and paper.
On Friday, I had the participants organize in groups (sitting together around a person who had a Google account). Each team gave themselves a name. Then I had each team set up a GoogleDoc to store their brainstorming ideas, sharing these documents with me and the person in the organization who was responsible for the meeting, who needed a record of all of their work… I just needed to share their results on the projector so all could see. It is so much more efficient than paper and pencil or flipcharts and markers. I know this is not an original idea… it just worked so well for me, especially when they shortened my afternoon workshop by one hour (so that participants could avoid Friday afternoon traffic in Boston… I soon found out what they meant as I made my way toward the airport!)