In the Web 2.0 world, collaboration is key! Our creative works are being shared with friends and colleague from around the world, whether through email, through social networking sites or through blogs. But sometimes, sharing can be difficult. Maybe I want to share a video or a large PDF with a few colleagues. Or maybe I want to share an audio file with my students. While I have many sharing options at my disposal, most come with a fair amount of risk. An email system could block my file completely. Social networks and blogs restrict certain file types and have file size limitations. Depending on how I want to share my files, I run the risk that my friends, colleagues and students may never receive the material at all.
Luckily, more tools are appearing online that can help make sharing files easier. Minigroup is one of these tools. Minigroup lets you create private web-based group pages for sharing anything you want. With Minigroup, you can post messages; upload or embed photos, video and music; or share any kind of file. You can also schedule events for the group to attend. Minigroup is a little like GooglePlus, but with a lot more security, privacy and customization. Like GooglePlus, Minigroup allows users to create multiple sharing groups and share different materials with each of the groups. A big difference, however, is that Minigroup allows users to have different profiles with different sharing groups. For instance, I can be called “Dr. Dreon” within my student group and be called “Ollie” within my friends and family group. This is a really nice feature for those of us trying to manage different profiles with different usernames across a host of sites. Minigroup is a one stop sharing location!
Built upon a social networking interface, Minigroup offers a free, easy to use option for students to share with one another. For those of us concerned about privacy, the media and materials shared within Minigroup are hidden from search engines and strangers. Unlike Facebook, there are no publicly visible groups to join. The only way to be in a group is to create one yourself or accept an invitation to join someone else’s group. Although it’s still in Beta, Minigroup would be a great solution for any educator who wants her students to share their digital creations with the rest of the class.