Collaboration is an important skill our student’s must learn in order to be successful in today’s world. This post takes a look at 4 online tools that can be used to facilitate collaboration with your students, both within the walls of your own school as well as globally as you collaborate with other classrooms.
1. Google Docs – For those of you who haven’t yet discovered Google Docs, it is definitely a great tool for collaboration. Use it to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and drawings in real time. If your students have email accounts, they can create and share documents on their own. If not, the teacher can create the document initially and then share a link with them so they can collaborate. Google Docs is great for breaking down large projects into smaller pieces so students can divide and conquer to take notes, collect and analyze data, and create presentations.
2. Lucid Chart – There are numerous websites out there for collaborative brainstorming and mapping of ideas. Lucid Chart is a great example. You can choose from hundreds of pre-made templates or start from scratch. You can insert text, shapes, and images into your charts. One of the neat things about this site is that it allows you to choose from some preloaded images, use an embedded Google Images search, or upload images of your own into your charts. Lucid Chart offers free accounts for educators.
3. Twiddla – This website allows users to collaborate in real time on an online whiteboard. You can annotate over a blank canvas, or share and annotate over websites, images, and documents. Twiddla includes a chat and an integrated voice feature to take the collaboration a step further. Twiddla offers a free Pro version for educational use. Find info on their FAQ page under the “How much does it cost?” section.
4. Skype – Another one that many of you may already be familiar with, Skype has a special section just for education. Skype is a software application that allows you to make phone calls over the internet, and even integrates video. Not only can you utilize Skype to video chat with your grandbabies across the country, but you can also use it in the classroom to collaborate with students and teachers across the world in real-time. As of today’s post, there are over 21,000 educators using Skype in almost 1,500 projects on their education page.
These are just a few of the many collaboration tools available for free online to help your students develop essential 21st century skills. Check out the links below for even more amazing collaborative Web 2.0 tools!