eTwinning Ingenuity and Talent: Cacoo tool for integration online diagrams in your eTwinning projects
Claire Chevalier and Ángel Luis Gallego, eTwinning ambassadors in France and Spain and Latin teachers in the Lycée Benjamin Franklin de Auray (Francia) and in the IES Vegas Bajas de Montijo (Badajoz), show us how to use the Cacoo tool.
Our current eTwinning-Comenius project is called “The incredible life of Marcus Poncius Europaeus”. Its aim is to relate the life of this fictional character who travels all over our continent getting to know the problems that affect us.
To define what our character would be like, we decided to create the activity Creation of Character. One of the steps consisted in organizing the different episodes in his life and for this we used Cacoo.
Cacoo is a web 2.0 tool which serves for creating diagrams on line. It lets us create drafts of screens or web pages, flow charts, network diagrams, mental maps, UML diagrams, etc., in a collaborative way with other users. The fact that the students can work simultaneously gives us an idea of its value for eTwinning projects, especially in activities like “brain storming” and jointly creating diagrams.
Like any good web 2.0 tool worth its salt, Cacoo has also an application for mobile phones, that for the moment permits the visualization of the diagrams. It is a first step so that the students can work from tablets and smartphones.
Cacoo is a tool with an interface translated into Castilian. Its free version lets you create up to 25 diagrams. The first thing we will do is register.
Once we have registered, we access the main page of our desktop, where we find our diagrams. We can organize our projects in our own or shared folders, by clicking on the corresponding button. If we do not have a project, we click on “create a new diagram”.
The program will take us to the other screen in which you can select a template and work from that, or use other tools which appear in the floating windows on the right. Observe that on the upper part we find other very useful options like do and undo, copy, text, insert images, tables, etc. The green buttons let you export and share your work, edit the properties and save it.
An interesting option of the tool is the chat which is available in a window, with which the students who are working in a group can communicate with each other immediately.
To share the diagram all we have to do is click on the green button and add the email addresses of the students. This same button will later let us share it on the social networks.
For the activity “creation of the character”, we have created a diagram in which the students have to agree on the order of the episodes in the life of Marcus.
It is very easy to handle the board. You just have to drag the objects and place them where you consider they should go.
With Cacoo you can draw, include text and images downloaded from our computer. It also incorporates a large library of predesigned images, geometric figures, speech balloons, etc.
Once we have finished, we can export our work to PNG format by clicking on the green button or share it on the social networks or through a link, by clicking on the corresponding green button. The diagram accepts comments.
Cacoo is an excellent tool with multiple possibilities for collaborative projects. It lets us work in transnational teams on the topic we choose, from the creation of a conceptual map to presentations, including diagrams, statistical data, etc. The students can also carry out analyses of a diagram, of a sentence, do vocabulary practice, explain concepts …. one last field which is no less important is its use to create comic strips, advertisements, etc.
Image source: screenshots from the Cacoo programme in the development of the eTwinning project “The incredible life of Marcus Poncius Europaeus”.