Classroom Salon

Classroom Salon is one of a kind learning tool. Designed around the concept of a salon, it elegantly combines the groups, documents, videos and users into a vibrant learning community. Salon is the most complete deep discussion developed. Salon is built on the principles of social cognitive theory that we learn best by observing what others do and not do. It is the only tool that taps into the collective intelligence of a group like no other. Salon provides number of management tools to instructors such as activity graphs, assignment controls etc. Salon is also the best tool for implementing flipped classrooms

Salon Facts

Salon use cases   How Salon is used by other teachers
How to Get Started   Requesting Access and Gettting Started
  Instructor Registration code request one by sending email to:
Quickstart   Quickstart guide
FAQ's   Frequently asked questions
Compare   Compare Salon to other platforms

Salon Use Cases

Encourage Social Reading:
Perhaps the simplest use of Salon. Post documents, assign reading, control when students see others annotations. Measure student participation. Lead class discussions based on "hotspots". Listen to how several teachers discuss the use of classroom salon.

Flipped Classrooms:
One of the best tools to implement a flipped classroom. Post youtube or vimeo videos. Embed your own comments and questions (optional). Track where students are commenting and prepare your presentations based on analytics. Listen to Aaron Sams, the founder of
Flipped Learning Network talk about Flipped Classrooms at TRETC.

Writing Classrooms:
Students can post writings to salon and teachers or other students can provide location based comments to improve writings. Listen to Prof. David Kaufer discuss Classroom Salon.

Reading Classrooms:
Listen how Prof. Miles McCrimmon used Salon for his reading classes.


It is easy to get started with Salon. Few quick steps.
  • Request Access - See Step 1 below
  • Create a salon - Create your own private or public salon Read More..
  • Invite Students - If you have an instructor account, you can create student accounts or ask for a student code so students can create their own account. Then share salon URL with students, so they can join your salon. Click Here to View the Video
  • Upload Documents/videos - Decide how you want your students to annotate and watch videos and comments Add documents or videos to Salon.
  • Provide instructions to students - You need to provide clear instructions to students about how they should use salon annotation features to provide their contributions and how they can look at others. You also can embed questions so they have a guide to answer your questions or ask them to read and markup things they find interesting or confusing.
  • Analyze User and Document Analytics - You can easily find all your course analytics. Who participates what they read etc. read more

  • Student Instructions

    Joining your class salon is a 2-step process
    STEP 1 - Create a classroom salon account using the code: popcity:
    Click Here to create an account.
    STEP 2 - Join the salon
    i. use the salon URL sent by your instructor OR
    ii. search for the salon using this link. Use the name or partial name to find the salon

    Validating instructor accounts

    STEP 1 - Create an Account:
    Classroom Salon is free to non-profit education community. If you are NOT a teacher or student please DO NOT USE the following information. Please send email to: classroom-salon AT with your request and we will create a special account for you. It is a violation of our user policy to illegally create accounts.

    ----- If you are an instructor create a teacher account using the registration code: cmu
    Send email to classroom-salon AT to validate your account and identify your school affiliation.
    ---- Students can use the code popcity to create their own account and you can share salon URL so they can join your salon.

    Instructor accounts receive access to student analytics and can also create salon accounts and enroll students into their salons. Instructors will also receive the latest updates to Salon.
    If you already have a salon account, Send email to : to change your account to instructor(optional).
    Watch the short video on how to create an account
    Click Here to View the Video

    STEP 2 - Create or Join a Salon:
    If you are an instructor/salon moderator, you may want to create a new salon. Otherwise, your instructor/salon moderator may have shared a salon link with you. Simply click on the link and join. If the salon is private, you will have to wait for the approval. If the salon is public you will be immediately enrolled into Salon. Watch the short video. Click Here to View the Video

    STEP 3 - Invite Students - The best way for your students to join salon is, ask them to create their salon account with registration code: popcity
    Then share the salon link with them so they can join your salon. Click Here to View the Video

    STEP 4 - Add Documents or videos to Salon - Salon is all about conversation around documents and videos. Add documents or Add Videos to Salon.

    STEP 5 - Participating in a Salon:
    Salon is about community participation through annotations. You participate in Salons through documents or videos that are posted to your salon. You highlight documents, comment on specific sections, respond to other comments, join a discussion etc. You comment on videos as you watch them. Video comments are tied to exact location of the video so each comment can be interpreted easily. You can also respond to global questions and "like" someone's answer to a question. No matter how big or how small your contribution is, it is *important* for each person to participate and create knowledge. Then we all will benefit from the collective intelligence of our salon and its users. Watch the short video. Click Here to View the Video

    STEP 6 - Viewing Comments:
    Salon is about transparency. If we all do our part (say 10 minutes of commenting) then collectively we have accomplished a lot. Viewing document hotspots (where most people pay attention) and reading comments from specific users is a novel aspect in salon. We learn a lot by observing what others do and do not do. You can also filter comments by user or tags to isolate specific comments(for example tag that says "I dont understand this part"). Salon view mode allows filtering and viewing document and user analytics like no other. This is the promise of Salon view mode. Watch the short video. Click Here to View the Video

    STEP 7 - Using the Dashboard:
    Salon dashboard is unique. It is one place you can see a summary of all annotations, most active users in salon, the timeline of comments and views, who got the most helpful votes etc. Dashboard allows you to find others you may find knowledgable. "following" the people you respect intellectually can help you grow. Watch the short video. Click Here to View the Video

    STEP 8 - Using Discussion Navigator:
    Salon sends a 2-hour digest to when comments are made by salon users. With the digest you can access discussion navigator(DN). Discussion navigator is carefully designed to support "deep" discussions in the context of the document.

    STEP 9 - Activity Graphs:
    Use Salon page to see all activities in your class. Export activity reports and filter activities by users and documents to see more finer analytics. You can grade participation now. There is no need to wonder if the students did the work or not. It is all there and will inform you about how students think like no other.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Question Answer
    What kind of files can be uploaded? All text/word files can be uploaded. You can also embed images into files. Files can be edited and duplicated. Any Youtube or Vimeo video can be uploaded
    Can videos be uploaded? can be uploaded? Any Youtube or Vimeo video can be embedded
    Can pdf files be uploaded? They need to be converted to text or word. However, we recommend FLIP our latest platform for supporting secure pdf annotations
    Can Salon run on an ipad? Salon video annotation tool works well in ipad. The salon mobile works on ipads. Salon mobile provide access to comments, provide ways to reply and "like" helpful comments. Salon currently runs on any device that supports adobe flash(like android tablets). For ipads you can install a flash plugin for ipad to run salon software on ipads. By installing a flash enabled program you will allow ALL websites with flash to be dispayed on ipads. So we highly recommend you do that. You can find a help video here click to view(please learn about this app before you install). We hope to release a html5 version of classroom salon by end of January 2013.
    Can Salon run on a Smart Phone? Yes, the salon mobile is designed for mobile phones. Simply put a shortcut to mobile site on your mobile browser desktop. Salon mobile provide access to comments, provide ways to reply and "like" helpful comments
    Can Student Participation be graded? Yes, the salon analytics page is designed to allow you to export excel data from Salon and import to the tool to analyze. In few seconds you can generate a grade file that can provide all quantitative and qualitative data to assess your students
    Can Salons and files be recycled? Yes, you can make new copies of files or move files (with annotations) from one salon to another. You can also recyle salons by renaming them and moving users and documents around.
    What are the instructor benefits of using Salon? There are many. As you can get students to actively participate with course content, you will get to know where students are paying attention or having trouble. You can use that data to tailor your class. You can also get participation data so students know that you are tracking their participation. Unlike course management systems Salon gives you access to all their work quickly and precisely.
    What are the student benefits of using Salon? You can make salon activities transparent (by enabling view mode). Students get to see what other students are doing and will have the opportunity to learn from others (social learning). Students can also easily collaborate with other students or ask questions in the "context" so benefits of using salon are immediate. Using "my notebook" students also can organize all their work, filter and export to study for exams.
    Can Salon be used with my existing course management system? Absolutely. All salon activities can be shared (similar to google docs) via a URL. From each document or video you can get the share link for participation, view or discussion navigator
    Salon document/video can be used in 4 modes. What are they? Each document/video uploaded to salon can work in Participate, View, Discussion Navigator, and Dashboard modes
    Each mode provides some unique access rights to manage your class easily. You can set access rights and share links to these modes using document manager
  • PARTICIPATE MODE: When this mode is enabled students work on their own, annotating document, responding to questions and choosing breadcrumbs (places in the document) to support their answers.
  • VIEW MODE: When this mode is enabled, students are able to see others comments and responses, reply to specific comments and vote on "helpful" comments. They can also filter users and save the status of a working group.
  • DISCUSSION NAVIGATOR: This is the newest addition to Salon. When users are actively engaged, it sends a digest to salon every 2-hours. It is easy to find document "hotspots" and reply to comments. Discussion navigator is the only interface designed to support "deep" discussions.
  • DASHBOARD MODE: A summary of all user and annotation activities, one can find the hotspots of the documents and see charts for userparticipation and tag distributions.

  • Salon vs other platforms

    There are many platforms that are effectively used by educators. Course management systems, google docs, and voice thread are some examples. Classroom Salon has some things common with these platforms and some things that are very different. The main strength of salon is its "context-centric" annotation system and its ability to generate analytics from "hot spots". Salon can generate user and document hotspots (semantic and spatial) like no other platform. Salon uses user and document hotspots to streamline communication and deepen the understanding of content. With its discussion navigator, salon allows a discussion to continue in the "context" for many levels to bring semantics to the document. Salon video annotation tool allow users to focus on exactly the locations that other users find interesting. In other words a 1-hour video can be successfully compressed to 15-min highlight video. Salon also allows exporting all annotation data so educators can do more analysis.

    Platform Comparison
    Google Docs Both salon and google docs can create,share,organize,annotate documents. However, salon is NOT a collaborative editing platform. All editing must be done by document owner and share with salon members for annotations. Use google docs to create the document. Use Salon to get a group of people to annotate,share and discuss their thoughts in the "context" of the document. Salon also allows video annotation
    voice thread This is an appropriate platform for simple commenting around a short document, video or image. Salon differs from voice thread, as it provides more "deeper" focus and concentration on documents and videos. Salon's discussion navigator and video annotation tool are unparallel to any other annotation tool.
    Course Management Systems Salon is NOT a course management system. But salon can be used as one. if you have a course management system we recommend making salon activities and sharing the links with students through course management system.