We live in a digital age where students work daily between smartphones, iPads, and MacBooks. Now we can communicate with anyone, anywhere, anytime with the click of a button. Many universities are finding creative ways to incorporate blended learning into their curricula through collaborative tools. Depending on how they are integrated into the teaching toolkits, the tools used for collaboration in conjunction with the learning units can help deepen student learning experiences.
Most popular collaboration tools
Designed by Mike Hourahine, former chief technology officer at THINK Global School, Edio is a learning platform created specifically for project-based learning. This tool helps educators plan, execute, evaluate, and report on projects that they facilitate for students. This platform aims to digitally manage work to minimize the clutter teachers face while executing multiple projects at the same time.
Do you remember the old days when a librarian was carrying books to your class for an upcoming report? Diigo is a digital version of that librarian and the entire Internet is your cart. However, items in this cart can be retained as long as you like without fear of overdue book charges. Diigo is a great social bookmarking tool that helps students or classes capture relevant research articles on a given topic. By offering mobile versions via Android and iOS and downloadable plugins for Firefox and Chrome, Diigo can be accessed anywhere, anytime, perfect for classroom lessons and lessons that extend to the field.
FlipGrid is a video tool that is intended to encourage discussion and engagement. These short video records allow students to share ideas and opinions in a fun and practical way, as video presentations are often more engaging to students than a written response. FlipGrid provides another approach to long-distance collaboration: time limits are an additional challenge for students who sometimes struggle with brevity. It is important to note that the free version offers limited features, while the paid version features offer full student collaboration and video conferencing.
Instead of just showing a YouTube video, you can make notes on them to maximize efficiency and learning. Students can point out biases, criticize video style, and ask probing questions and clarifications, just to name a few uses. Also, if any teacher reads them, it is an excellent revision tool when analyzing practice exercises, previous exploration and film breakdowns.
Padlet enables creative collaboration using a variety of different mixed media sources. In real time or in different time zones, students can contribute videos, images, comments on a virtual corkboard. Each student can comment or respond to another student’s work or add a new chapter on the topic being presented. By learning from each other, they in turn gain a deeper understanding of the wide range of statistical applications.
According to the developer, Playposit is an online learning environment for creating and sharing interactive video lessons. Teachers start with any online video (screencasts, Khan Academy, TED, etc.) and transform what is traditionally passive content into an active experience for students, with activities integrated over time.
This is a toolbox for teachers that takes classroom management to another level. With TodaysMeet, this task is made much easier due to a wide variety of available functions. They include: Discussion forums, student empowerment by allowing them to have some teaching responsibilities, and the ability to include an unlimited number of students in the class.
It is an innovative platform for teachers and students that is essentially an application for effective classroom management. The developers of this great app have put a special emphasis on having fun and interactive activities, which are perfect for increasing student participation. The Socrative features allow questionnaires with the most interesting topics of the lesson and reports to improve the understanding of the class by individual students, among others.
One of the most popular online collaboration tools for teachers is this “web-based meeting yard”. It allows the class to collaboratively conduct Internet research and share their findings with each other and with the teacher. This is a great tool for writing college documents because it involves many writing tasks. The tool enables online meetings, image, email and document sharing, and voice chat.
This is a topic library where teachers can find, create, share, and download query-based discussions on any educational topic. As a result, the teacher receives a unique URL that can be sent to students to start the lesson. Teachers are free to: select hundreds of prewritten lessons and create their own lessons.
This is another popular tool that received a lot of great reviews from teachers (you can read them on the website). It is an online collaboration platform that is perfect for students because it offers many incentives for teamwork as well as great technology for engaging in creative work. It also allows you to add more classes to a discussion, and you can save the chat transcript. The main features of Scribblar are online chat and upload of images and documents.
Group Me is an excellent way to approach communication for group projects. This tool is both a website and an application that optimizes group communication. The software lends itself to creating large groups. Since the photos are visible next to each message, it is easy to distinguish between users. Group members also have the option to “like” messages, making voting easier. One of the most attractive aspects of this application is the way it protects privacy. You can add members by name and also email, eliminating the need for students to share their phone number with others in their class just to complete a group project.
Google Drive and Google Docs
Google Drive is an amazing way to share files between students. Eliminates the need for students to save drafts on their computers over and over again as group members update their collaborations. Google Drive allows students to access a variety of tools, from spreadsheets to slide shows and a word processor. By sharing a Google document, students can see who is working on which element of the project, helping groups stay organized. Updates happen automatically. When a person edits a document, the whole group receives those edits instantly. Both Google Drive and Google Docs are free if you have a Gmail address. Students can chat via Google Docs or simply share and write in a document together. Plus, with monitoring software like LearnSafe installed on the devices, students are assured of a secure online and offline digital learning environment at all times.
Slack is a collaboration application used in universities, schools, companies and various organizations. By building a Slack team, students and teachers can easily share ideas, images, links, articles, and more, all on dedicated instant messaging channels. Slack is an excellent tool for students to coordinate their work on large projects. Users can also come up with endless ideas and even ask for help with jobs. Slack is one of those collaborative technology tools that keeps everyone connected and learning.
While today’s curricula are unique in their approach to blended and field learning, any institution can tailor these tools to their personal teaching methods. Portable, easy to use and effective, these tools can and will help anyone, anywhere, as they make content more fun for students. Absences are everyday at any university, but these tools can ease the burden on both teacher and student by keeping them informed and committed to the day’s class plan. Teachers can also use these tools to ensure students collaborate productively from home.
With the application of any new technology in the classroom, it is important to remember that web tools are not a substitute for pedagogy. When added to the strategy, they should be treated as learning supplements, not a magic wand for better teaching. These collaborative tools can also help in the work of tutor – student. However, you may need additional help to be able to categorize all the information received and thus develop your Degree Work. At Online-Tesis.com, we can advise you at any stage of its development. We are here to fulfill your dream.
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