Beyond Google Document - Collaboration Tools 4 Students

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Harnessing Web Tools to Create Collaboration for Students
Discover how students are harnessing Web 2.0 tools to create collaborative projects. Explore sites which support student sharing of ideas, media and text. Leave with ideas on how teachers can create lessons which use appli­cations beyond Google Docs or WikiSpaces for student collaboration. Sample lessons and best practices will be demonstrated.

What is collaboration?

  • Active participation between two or more people to achieve a common goal
  • A process where two or more people or organizations work together towards a common goal by sharing knowledge, learning, and building consensus.
  • Cooperative and Collaborative Learning - general integration ideas and benefits

ISTE NETS for Students 2007

2. Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
  • interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  • develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
  • contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

Select the Right Tool

  • Does the tool need to support synchronous use for "real time" collaboration or asynchronous use for collaboration at different times?
  • Some tools can only support a maximun number of synronous users, e.g. Google Docs can support 10 people editing a document at the same time.
  • Does the students' collaboration work need to be documented? Is collaboration the tool or the learning?
  • Does the teacher need to be a member to see the student work?
  • Does the tool need to be able to provide a history such as a wiki or Google Docs provides?
  • Do students need to have an email address to create an account and use the site?
  • Consider bandwidth and access issues. Is the site blocked by the district filter? Do most of your students have high speed Internet access from home?
  • Computers may require plug-in updates (Java, Flash) to use a website. Check before using.
  • Utilize the power of embedding and RSS

Getting Started