MAIN WIKI PAGE
Wiki created by: Kierstin Veldkamp, Will Worley, Kristine Carlson, and Ashley Steuer - Purdue University
With help from: Gabriel Heigesson, Lina Kardell, Janne Lauritz, Nils Lerner, Frida Lindblom, and Jesper Lindstrom - UM Unversity, Sweden
Table of Contents
I. Background Information
Named the “Best Email Innovation of 2009” by About.com’s annual Reader’s Choice Awards (6 ), Shareflow is a mostly free, sharing application that was launched by Zenbe, a New York City based company that started up in the summer of 2008. Zenbe and Shareflow were created by entrepreneurs Alan Chung and Peter Stern. Alan and Peter created Zenbe (and later Shareflow) to offer solutions to email overload (7 ). Shareflow is an application offered by Zenbe to help eliminate inbox stuffing and create an organized, more effective way of communicating between groups of people without requiring them to change their email address. Shareflow provides 1 GB free space per user and will never share any of a users’ information with other applications or companies (6 ).
I.1 Purpose of Shareflow
This YouTube video is from the Shareflow site which provides you with a brief tour and overview of how Shareflow works and what it can do.
Shareflow is more of a formal community than Facebook where you can work with email; enabling teams and businesses to collaborate on important topics in a shared space. It is a place where colleagues can share information, documents, maps, videos, etc (1 ). A "flow" lets you post ideas, comments, email and files and anyone in your flow can add comments, email, files or anything else they want to share. The creator of the flow can also invite people to view and participate in your flow and you may also create events that your colleagues can add to their calendars. (1 )
Shareflow is an SaaS, or ‘Software as a Service’. This means that Shareflow is accessed via the Internet and run through a ‘remote server’ that is controlled by the site administrators. (2 ) The entry level of Shareflow is free to use and comes with 1 GB of storage. (1 ) People invited to view and/or participate in the flow do not need to create a Zenbe account, however they must create a profile under the flow creator's domain to view the flow. (1 )
II. How Does Shareflow Work?
You can sign up for Shareflow at [http://www.Zenbe.com|http://www.Zenbe.com]. There you will be able to create an account where you can create a flow and invite others to join.
Here are the steps to creating an account:
- Create a zenbe-mail
- Insert your name
- Provide your email (this is also where your flow updates will be sent)
- Create and confirm password
- Press “create my account”
To log in after creating an account, go to http://biz.zenbe.com/shareflow/login and enter your domain name, email, and password then click log in.
Shareflow allows the following:
* control of who is invited to the flow
* ability to invite new people to the flow at anytime
* sharing of files of any size
* viewing of a document with a built-in document viewer
* listening to audio files and viewing videos directly within Shareflow
* searching of flows
* real-time or non real-time notification (3 )
Shareflow works similar to a Facebook message in that everyone is notified of updates to the flow, one person invites others to join, and anyone can update it at anytime. It is different from a Facebook message because the creator can always invite new people at anytime; anyone can upload any type of document, file, video, or audio clip into the flow, which can all be viewed directly in the flow; and anyone, including the original post-er, can comment on other people's posts, ideas, and documents. Plus Shareflow is completely private; only the persons invited into the flow can access it and receive updates about activity.
When you have been invited to join a flow, you will receive an email like the one above. Or if you invite people to join the flow you created the persons you invite will be sent an email like the one above. By clicking "view now" you will be taken directly to the Shareflow site and the flow you are participating in. From there you will be prompted to create a profile which you will use to be able to participate in the flow. Your profile includes your name, email, password and an optional picture. You must create a new profile for each domain to which you are invited.
After creating a profile, you are ready to start participating in the flow. You can add emails, files, events and such things from the tool bar under the comment box. The comment box at the top of the page is for adding initial information to the flow. You can comment on other people's posts from the comment box directly under their post. If you post something you wish to delete you can do this by clicking the the downward arrow at the top right side of your post and then choosing delete post from the menu. If you have been invited by the same person to participate in another flow, the other flow will be listed on the left side of the screen.
II.1 Similar Web 2.0 Applications
This graph demonstrates the increase in social media including sites like ShareFlow.
II.2 Unique Shareflow Features
One thing that is special about Shareflow, is that you can create “Flows” in which you determine the content and specify who can see and participate in it. This makes it possible to have personal conversations on a flow in a private setting. You can create as many flows as you want. They may vary depending on the subject or participants. In your flow you can upload files of any size or format by directly dragging files from your own desktop into your flow. Shareflow allows for things like youtube videos or Google maps to be shown right in the application with just the post of a link, so there is no need to click a link and be taken off site.(6) With the free basic sign up package of Shareflow you receive 1GB of free storage. If more storage is needed, premium, paid for plans are available (6). If you allows multiple groups of people to work on a project together without being at the same place.
The history of your Flow will always be saved. Whenever you log in your will be greeted by a digest or all your flows recent activity. There is also a search bar where you can search for specific information inside all of the flows. Unlike Facebook, Shareflow's flows, like facebook's threads, are private and the postings are only available to the people you are working with or your team. It is not publically posted in such a way like via news feed. The information only appears in that one flow and you are emailed about updates to it that other team members have made.(6)
Shareflow is accessible on any device that has web browsing (5). This makes it very convenient for a busy person because they can have access to the information posted in the flows at anytime, anywhere. From email updates of flows, you can respond through posting comments on the post. Just respond to the update email you received with your input and it will appear on the flow in a comment. Once your email post has been received, you will receive another email alerting you of your update so you can make sure that the comment was posted.
III. Real World Application
III.1 Educational Lesson Plans
(1) Descriptive Words - By Kierstin Veldkamp
Overview: Students will write short sentences that describe a picture through the use of Shareflow.
Objective:After students have written five sentences, they will have learned how to describe familiar objects with 100% accuracy. Also, students will be able to adequately use Shareflow.
(2) Indiana Timeline - By Will Worley
Overview: Students will use textbooks and a computer to research events in Indiana to current day and compile it in Shareflow.
Objective: After breaking into groups, 3 days of class-time of research, and creating a timeline for their region, students will be able to give an informative 4 minute presentation about their region with 100% accuracy.
(3) What Makes It a Bug? (STEM) - By Will Worley
Overview: Students will watch a video and review with the teacher information regarding insect classification then use Shareflow to classify bugs.
Objective: After watching a video and reviewing insect classification, students will be able to distinguish the difference between insects and other animals with 100% accuracy. Students will also be able to learn through other student's observations.
(4) Developmental Psychology - By Will Worley
Overview: Students, in groups, will research a phase of development, compile information on Shareflow, and create a presentation to give to the class.
Objective: After researching and their assigned stage of development, Students will be able to deliver a ten minute presentation with 100% accuracy. Students will also be able to communicate in a more clear and concise manner.
(5) Ecosystems Science (STEM) - By Ashley Steuer
Overview: Students will learn how to research and share information, using Shareflow, with each person in their group about ecosystems.
Objective: After completing this assignment, students will know how to correctly share information about ecosystems with each person using Shareflow.
(6) Current Events Sharing - By Kristine Carlson
Overview - Students will be sharing current event articles for about 10 to 15 minutes weekly using Shareflow and discussing current global events.
Objective: Given that the students are trained on how to use Shareflow, the student will post 1 to 2 articles weekly, every week until the end of semester.
(7) Poultry Industry- By Andrew Helming
Overview - Groups of students will work together to reasearch and create a presentation of the different aspects of the poultry industry.
Objective: For students to be more aware of how the poultry industry works and how it affects our economy.
(8) Communicating Through Baseball- By Tyler Olinske
Overview: By using Shareflow, students will be collaborate on the topic of baseball by producing original comments and directing replies towards other students.
Objective: Students will be able to communicate clearly and concisely while developing collaboration skills that stimulate learning and produce a strong learning experience.
(9) Interacting about Football- By Evan Kosmoski
Overview: Using Shareflow, students can interact with the subject of football. The students can talk about games,even fantasy football, and to debate about football news through Shareflow.
Objective: The students will have an increased knowledge of the Shareflow application, and how to use Shareflow for debates and discussions.
(9) Glaciers (STEM) - By Kierstin Veldkamp
Overview: Students will complete a group in class assignment over glaciers through the use of Shareflow
Objective: After completeing the in class assignment, the students will have learned about glaciers and be able to research different kinds of information that effectively adds to the questions posed by the professor
Glaciers - STEM (PDF)
Glaciers - STEM (DOC)
(10) Math - By Ashley Steuer
Overview: Students will share information about math applications that they find online through Shareflow.
Objective: After completing this assignment, students will have gained knowledge about real world math applications and be able to share and post information via Shareflow.
(11) Art History - By Kristine Carlson
Overview: Students will be using Shareflow to discuss and analyze famous works of art and influential artists.
Objective: Given that a student is trained on Shareflow, the student will be able to correcly identify a topic of discussion and hold a conversation on that topic with 100% accuracy.
Art History (PDF)
Art History (DOC)
III.2 Business Application
The purpose of Shareflow is that you can keep it pretty small and at the same time use it in a bigger sense. Small businesses may create Flows where only employees may comment, upload pictures and write pretty much anything they want. They can create a flow in purpose of having formal discussions, decide events as well as a flow, only used in purpose of having any kind of discussion for fun. Instead of putting up different kinds of schedules that will inform employees of the daily agenda or perhaps the schedule for the next month they can upload these schedules on their Flow. The manager can easily inform employees of changes, regular information and in case of emergencies it will show on business Flow. Larger businesses may use Shareflow in the same way. In case they don't want a huge amount of participants in one Flow they may divide different work units and create Flows for each unit.
Shareflow creates "flows" to manage a team or project. It allows for posting and sharing of documents, emails, comments, videos etc in one place. Everything is contained on one flow for specific topic, project, or team of people. A business would use it to connect with multiple people at the same time and have all of a project's info in one place. It would be used in most cases in place of regular email because it would allow for everyone to contact everyone else in the group with new ideas and info rather than one person emailing one other person about one topic. (6) Shareflow has been incorporated into everyday office use making internal office communication easier and better organized. (6)
Shareflow now has an I Phone app.http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/zenbe-shareflow/id377973788?mt=8
Other Zenbe applications include:
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IV. Demonstration of Educational Value
Shareflow provides plenty of unique opportunities for use in an educational setting. It is probably best suited for communication; allowing teachers to host a conversation, or ‘flow’ for the purpose of staying in contact with students, especially on college campuses. Conversely, students could contact a professor this way also by logging into the professor’s ‘Domain’ and posting a comment. Student-teacher communication would not have to be the only use though, students could interact with each other to provide answers to questions or maybe to offer peer review of an answer itself.
In addition to simple communication. Shareflow could also be used as a type of online ‘bulletin board’: a place for instructors to post exercises, homework and school projects. These projects can be uploaded to a flow by the teacher, able to be downloaded by each student reading the ‘flow’. Students could then upload their finished works back onto the flow for the teacher to access. This could either be done by students uploading them to the domain run by the teacher which is accessed by all the students, or they could create their own domain, invite the teacher and post it there, where no other students could access, thus providing a level of privacy. Grades could also be distributed in this manner: to a student’s personal domain.
By using an online application like Shareflow, teachers can become more flexible. They are no longer limited to what goes on inside a classroom; students can be taught and communicated with externally. Shareflow can make teaching, grading and contacting students easier while teaching students responsibility as far as taking the initiative to check flows, download assignments, and upload assignments.
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V. How Shareflow Can Be Used Internationally
Because of the initial setup of Shareflow, making international contacts can be hard; but once a contact is achieved, both parties can invite others to the "flow" and communicate easily. Shareflow also provides a great outlet to experience other cultures because of the ease of sharing pictures or maps through posts. This would make international learning easier by providing fast first hand cultural experiences between users. As for the business aspect of the application, communication between international offices or partners can now be achieved in a faster and more organized way (6). Business partners or internationally located firms can now share maps, charts, data, plans, and pictures in seconds rather than hours. This also eliminates unnecessary email overload while keeping certain office conversations quite and in the privacy of only certain contacts (6).
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