In his hugely popular book, Pure Genius – Building a Culture of Innovation, author and educator Don Wettrick discusses the keys to bringing innovation and collaboration into the classroom. An important part of this process, the education technology revolution has been fantastic in helping teachers get closer to students and communicate with them, 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…
This app is a really neat way to encourage collaboration in a fun and productive way. Whiteboard is the number one collaborative drawing app for smartphones and tablets and has over 8 million downloads to date.
As well as being a great canvas for digital creations, the huge benefit comes from how simple it is to work on sketches together. Wirelessly connect two iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad devices over a local Wi-Fi network and your students will be collaborating in no time.
2. 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.
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!
“Talkboard may be the latest indispensable tool for illustrating collaborative ideas on the fly.” — Forbes
It might be a pretty big claim, but as an App Store Best of 2013 for smart productivity, Talkboard is an excellent free way to get your students collaborating on the iPad. With Talkboard you can visually express ideas and invite friends and colleagues from across the room or around the world. Created by Citrix, one of the world’s leading software and communication companies, this tool is perfect for both fun and serious collaboration.
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!