Basecamp (Twitter @) is an online project management tool that launched in 2004. The app helps collaborative groups and individuals organize their process, communicate, and keep projects on schedule. This brief video gives you a quick introduction to the app, which runs on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
As explained in the video, the app has six components for teams to use:
- Campfire: open chat for quick messages
- Message Board: for more in-depth discussions across multiple topics
- To-Dos: make a task list and divide up the work
- Schedule: set your milestones and deadlines, and add meetings and automatic reminders (one of my favorite features)
- Automatic Check-ins: automatic emails from Basecamp to keep you on track
- Docs & Files: upload anything you need to use for the project
Basecamp was designed for businesses with paid plans, but the company offers the service free for teams that just have one project going at a time. The trick is you have to delete a project when you are finished before you can start another one, but it does allow the account owner to invite unlimited users and is free forever. In 2014 the company announced that they will make their paid service free for teachers. This means that teachers can use Basecamp in the classroom to manage project-based learning and teach students how to organize themselves. The teacher accounts provide space for up to 100 projects. It’s also available for students (think college group projects).
How Teachers Can Use Basecamp
So how can teachers use this project management app? Here are a few ideas that I have thought of and gathered from others (Hicks, 2014; Rysavy, 2015):
- Teacher team planning,
- Student collaborative group projects – create project groups and assign students to groups,
- Student service projects,
- Work with teacher assistants,
- Work with parent volunteers,
- Organize school clubs, teams, and performing groups,
- Committee and PLN work, and
- Manage teacher administrative tasks.
I am sure that teachers can think of many more ways to use the app to get organized. There are some rules about the teacher accounts, which are explained in detail on the Basecamp for Teachers page and their discounts page. Mainly you can only use the teacher accounts for your teaching job, not personal or outside work. During my research for this post, I reached out to the company to ask a few questions. Their support team stated that they require teachers to verify their employment in a school by providing the name of the school, classes taught, school email address, and agree to only use the account for teaching.
What are some ways that you might use Basecamp in your classroom?
Hicks, C. (2014, March 1). How I use Basecamp in my classroom. Retrieved from http://calebhicks.com/2014/basecamp-free-teachers/
Rysavy, Mo. (2015, June 2). 5 ways educators can use Basecamp for teaching. Retrieved from http://monicarysavy.com/2015/06/02/basecamp-for-educators/[Disclosure: All blog posts are written by Andrea. Blog posts are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the respective companies of any service, hardware, or software mentioned. This blog earns a small commission through display ads.]