Online Collaboration Resources
Online collaboration resources can provide users with the ability to work together synchronously (at the same time, in different locations) or asynchronously (at different times, in different locations). You can use these resources to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations (Google Drive and OneDrive); schedule your collaboration time (Doodle); and enhance your collaboration productivity (Lino, Padlet, Trello). You and your students will love these free online resources, as they support collaboration with others.
Before you or your students begin to collaborate online, you will find it helpful to review the following two articles. These identify skills required to promote and support successful collaboration.
Part One: Five Elements that Promote Learner Collaboration and Group Work in Online Courses
Part Two: Five Essential Skills Instructors Need to Facilitate Online Group Work & Collaboration
Cloud Drive-In Double Feature
Google Drive and OneDrive
Collaborating with colleagues can be difficult in our connected world, especially for anyone trying to work on a collective resource. Google Drive and OneDrive (Microsoft) are two free online resources that provide cloud services and enable educators and their students to work together online either synchronously or asynchronously.
These cloud services allow you to:
- Freely store (upload or create) and access your documents online
- Share documents with others
- Collaborate - invite colleagues to collaborate on a shared document
- Simultaneously access and work with others on a document (in real time)
- Select the way you share your documents (view/edit/make it public)
- Create folders and then organize your files into different folders
- Obtain secure storage (if your home computer crashes the files are still there online)
- Access and work with the files from many different devices (mobile, tablet, computer)
- Receive protection of your files through their backup server
Scheduling Time for Collaboration
Doodle is a tool to support collaboration. Do you ever have difficulty scheduling a meeting with others? Finding the best day and time? Or figuring out the best time to meet together for parent conferences? To hold an event? This is a great tool to find out when the majority of meeting participants are available to meet, either online or in person. Another tool that is similar but contains additional features is Meeting Wizard.
On the right is a screenshot of responses to a question about how often a group wanted to meet. The totals of how many responded affirmatively is shown at the bottom of each column. It's that easy!
Collaboration Resources to Enhance Productivity
Check out additional resources for Collaboration
After completing this Thing, the educator will:
- Know resources which promote collaboration online
- Understand how online collaboration resources can expand your audience or learning partners
- Make connections with technology standards and best practice
- Transfer the learning to professional practice to create, open, and share documents and organize meetings or projects
21 Things Assignment:
The goal is to improve or enhance a lesson or learning activity by aligning it with a technology standard and locating a variety of supporting online resources. You will use collaboration tools with colleagues to get their help.
1. Create a document in Google Drive or OneDrive and describe a lesson/activity (1-2 paragraphs which includes the grade level and learning objectives) you want to enhance with technology. Copy and paste an ISTE- Student technology standard you want to address.
2. Using Google Docs or Microsoft 365, share your document with 2-3 colleagues and ask for their input and suggestions. Remember to provide editing rights to the document, and send an email invitation to them.
3. Use one of the collaboration resources found in the chart (Lino, Trello, or Padlet) to create a sharing board to share additional items or information related to the lesson/activity. Put several links or resources in it and invite your colleagues to contribute to the board. Remember to put a link in your shared document to this bulletin board sharing site.
4. After you have received input from the others (2-3 others), write a short reflection on whether the end result increased your productivity and was a successful use of collaboration resources. Share how you can use one or more of these resources in a cooperative learning lesson in your classroom, to augment or modify your instruction (include some examples). Please post this reflection and a link to your shared document and bulletin board space in your Digital Portfolio.
5. Take the very short survey giving feedback on this Thing.
Addressing the ISTE Standards•T:
- Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity a,b,c,d;
- Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments a,b,c;
- Model Digital Age Work and Learning a,b,c
- Cooperative Learning;
- Non-Linguistic Representations;
- Summarizing & Notetaking;
- Assigning Homework & Practice