The education technology revolution has been fantastic in helping teachers get closer to students and communicate with them better, but another commonly overlooked benefit has been its ability to get students collaborating successfully and productively with one another. Check out these great tools for electronic student collaboration…
1. Debate Graph
This fantastic tool enables students to participate in exciting, illuminating collaborative debate or group brainstorming. Students can work together to build graphs and visual representations of complex topics and arguments, creating subject-maps and spider graphs to clearly show different contributors’ ideas and input. The graphs can then be saved for future reference or to be marked by a teacher or presented to other groups of students later on.
This great online collaborative tool enables students to have instant, shared web-meetings where documents can be shared and pored over together no matter where participants are, as long as they each have a computer and a web connection. The programme offers a host of useful tools to make collaboration easier, quicker and more effective, including brainstorming with interactive whiteboards and image and video sharing.
3. Primary Wall
Primary Wall is a web-based sticky note tool designed for schools that allows teachers and students to work together in real-time, adding sticky notes to a group ‘wall’ like a pinboard. Simple, fast and user-friendly, the site also hosts other great collaborative tools for students working together to create projects, with group writing and drawing tools also available. Great for creating class brainstorms or inviting students to create a collaborative mood-board with lots of different ideas or quotes. Resulting masterpieces can be saved and referred back to later!
A fantastic, simple real-time document conferencing tool, Sync.in allows students to collaborate on the same piece of work at the same time without becoming confused about whose contributions are whose. The tool allows multiple users to edit the same document simultaneously, but marks each contributor’s edit in a different colour and instantly reflects any changes on every contributor’s computer screen, so the document updates for each user in real time. Brilliant for brainstorming, project planning or sharing group revision notes and text guides.
WordPress is a popular, easy-to-use tool for creating a class blog, a great way for students to collaborate together on an online project. Use the platform to encourage students to band together and take it in turns to create blog posts, whether they are individual articles on a particular theme, new installments in a story where each contributor adds a new chapter, or even different points of view in an academic argument!
What are your favourite sites for helping student collaboration online? Let us know in the comments box below!