5 Great Sites for Student Collaboration

Laura is a writer and recent Cambridge graduate with particular experience in the area of education technology. She has worked with a variety of different education companies and is active in the 'edtech' community on Twitter, so she prides herself on always being in touch with the latest developments and exciting new tools in e-learning.

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

Student Collaboartion - Debate GraphThis 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.


2. Show Document 

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

Student Collaboartion - Primary WallPrimary 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!


4. Sync.in

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.


Student Collaboartion - WordPress5. WordPress

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!


Image 1 courtesy of Flickr, RichardStep.com. Image 2 courtesy of Flickr, misocrazy. Image 3 courtesy of Flickr, Fernando Amaro Caamaato

  • Heidi H

    Google Docs (now Drive)!!!

    • FractusLearning

      Yeah… I don’t think we could live without Google Docs/Drive. Great mention!

      • Samantha Chea

        I think fact monster is an ok website for homework for grades k-3

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  • Sean R.

    Edmodo is an awesome tool for collaboration :-)

    • FractusLearning

      Nice one Sean. There are some very impressive examples of Edmodo being used to great effect out there.

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  • http://twitter.com/maggiev Maggie Verster

    One that is fast becoming my favourite is Crocodoc which allows for annotation as well and I like that you can embed the document. Http.//personal.crocodoc.com

    • FractusLearning

      Thanks for the hot tip Maggie. Haven’t used Crocodoc, but it looks like something that would come in useful in many ways. I look forward to digging a bit deeper!

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  • http://twitter.com/jshandscfcc Jonathan Shands

    Very interested in Show Documents. Currently, I am using Google Plus Hangout for tutoring and office visits.

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  • yuval moed

    H, my name is Yuval and I am one of the cofounders of ShowDocument. VeriShow is an upgrade of ShowDocument. For a great user experience you should try that platform too.

  • Docs9 Administrator

    Docs9 is a much better alternative, and best of all it’s the easiest, simplest to use in my experience so far. It offers a much better, lightweight alternative to Office 365.


    I could have a live presentation ready to share in a matter of seconds. The coolest part was everything from Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel to OpenOffice Writer, Impress, Calc even Google Docs is handled in the exact same way. Because this works purely in a browser, most of my participants enjoyed watching my presentation on their iPhones, Androids, even iPads. Few yet were impressed they could use their old browsers, and for first time had nothing to setup or configure at all!

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  • Jojo

    Interesting..fylcloud.com is also an impressive tool. Businesses like CPA’s and Law are using it and I think College students are also using it for their projects.

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  • Mike

    Hey Laura,

    Quite insightful write up. I would like to add one more tool here, that is easy to use, simple and fully featured. Proofhub is that tool, and you may have a look here: http://www.proofhub.com/?ref=arz

  • Michelle Merkel

    I feel for my group assignment 2 I would ask if my members would like to chose between either the Debate Graph or WebPress. I enjoyed Debate Graph as you can see you ideas unfold. WebPress looks great also but I think one could get easily off track with all the different tools available.