Classroom collaboration helps students process and deepen their knowledge.
It also helps them develop skills that are important in the real-world like problem-solving, communication, teamwork, and leadership. As a teacher, you need to take the time to look through these apps, tools, and resources and decide which of them are best suited for your classroom.
Effectively Manage Your Classroom
As a teacher, one of the first things to concern you is effective classroom management. The Tech Edvocate says this isn't something you should “worry” about today. After all, there are a variety of helpful tools available here, including:
¾ Twiddla is a meeting platform where you can share graphics, photos, websites, and documents with your students. There are also brainstorming tools available.
TodaysMeet is an easy way to create a chatroom for your class. This allows your students to ask and answer questions, have discussions, and even give you feedback on your lessons via a polling feature.
Wikispaces Classroom is a safe, private network where you can host discussions, collaborate together to edit pages, and complete group projects. It includes pre-built templates that you can use for various projects or you can choose to have your students work from a blank slate.
Help Students Engage With Digital Media
In this day and age teachers must also help their students learn how to effectively engage with digital media. Fortunately, this isn't a lesson that's left completely in your hands. There are some great tech tools to help you here, including:
Padlet is a controlled learning environment that helps you enhance the writing process. You can start by creating special brainstorming sessions in which you and your students can share ideas and visual aids you've found online by including links to various multimedia resources. From there you can build a portfolio to showcase your best projects and receive feedback and assessment on the work. Padlet is like a virtual bulletin board. It's a great place to post open-ended questions because students can respond to them in writing or by using images, audio, or video. These responses appear on the “wall” in real-time and from there students can even comment on one another’s posts.
Google Apps for Education allows you to share and collaborate on documents through Google Documents. You'll even know who's typing or editing what in real-time thanks to the use of color-coded icons. You can also use Google Hangouts to facilitate small group discussions. Students can use these things regardless of what device they're using, which is great because it also offers them the opportunity to create presentations with Google Slides or build diagrams with Google Drawings.
Help Students Work Together in Groups Regardless of Their Location
Using a simple video conferencing tool like Uberconference is great but there are some really powerful collaboration tools meant for classroom use today. Global Digital Citizen says that some of the ones you should check out include:
Debate Graph lets students participate in group debates or build collaborative brainstorms through subject maps and spider graphs. These can be saved so they can be presented to the class or graded by you.
TitanPad is a simple and effective tool that lets students work on a document together in real-time. Each editor has their own color so you'll even know who's adding what. One of the great features here is the infinite undo button that allows you to easily correct any mistakes.
Wiggio is a very comprehensive online collaboration tool. Over 1.5 million teachers throughout the world have tested its effectiveness and found that it's a great way to create and manage an unlimited number of discussion forums, meetings, and other groups in one room. You can easily create to-do lists, assign tasks, and share documents. It also has email and both text and voice messaging capabilities.
TodaysMeet is a teacher's toolbox that makes it easier for you to manage your classroom, regardless of how many students you have. It has discussion forums and even lets you give online seminars and presentations. Movies, silent activities, and the ability to review your classmates' work is also possible thanks to this tool.
Socrative is an innovative educational platform that allows for effective classroom management. With it, you can easily virtualize student content in a fun and interactive way. This is a great way to increase your students' engagement through things like quizzes, discussions, online collaboration, and friendly competition. As a teacher, you'll receive reports about how well your students understand what's going on so you can improve their experience throughout the course.
TalkBoard is a great way to illustrate collaborative ideas quickly. All your students need is their iPad and they can visually express and build on ideas you present to them. Psychologists say that this app is great especially for language learners, autistic students, and visual learners.
Twiddla is actually one of the most popular online collaboration tools today. Many teachers refer to it as a “web-based meeting playground.” With it, your entire class can collaboratively perform internet research then share their findings with each other and you as well. This is a great way to help students learn how to write college papers since it involves a lot of writing assignments. However, there are some really great features including online meetings and discussions, voice chat, screen capture, and unlimited storage. Everyone in your class can easily share images, email, and documents but you, as the teacher, have total moderator control.
Scribblar is an online collaboration platform that provides many incentives for teamwork. It also includes great technology that engages students in working together creatively. Some of the great tools included within this platform are online chat, the ability to upload images and documents, activities for individual students, discussions, and the ability for teachers to create separate projects.
Using these collaboration tools will help you keep your students interest in the classroom. As a teacher, you must take the time to find which of these tools will work best for you. Only then can you benefit from them and reach more students too.