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.

Collaboration Skills

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  drivein

       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:

  1. Freely store (upload or create) and access your documents online
  2. Share documents with others
  3. Collaborate - invite colleagues to collaborate on a shared document
  4. Simultaneously access and work with others on a document (in real time)
  5. Select the way you share your documents (view/edit/make it public)
  6. Create folders and then organize your files into different folders
  7. Obtain secure storage (if your home computer crashes the files are still there online)
  8. Access and work with the files from many different devices (mobile, tablet, computer)
  9. 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. 

doodle (1)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

Resource Name

 Age Level





Lino is an online sticky note service that is used to post memos, to-do lists, ideas, and photos anywhere on an online web canvas. It allows you to collaborate with others. Click on Give It A Shot to try this free online tool. You can also see a lino on How To Lino. Lino is available as an app for multiple platforms.




Padlet is a virtual wall that lets you post ideas and topics like a bulletin board. You can then share the images, videos, documents, and text to and from multiple devices. These can easily be shared on social network sites, by email, or embedded on a webpage or blog. Others can subscribe to your Padlet page. (April 2018- Padlet is no longer free)




Trello is a community board you set up where you can put notes, questions, and to-do lists for others to read and to respond. It is available as a web application, an iPad and iPhone app, and an Android app. Many of the features are outlined on this tutorial Trello board.



Check out additional resources for Collaboration

Learning Objectives

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 For Educators

2b. Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.

2c. Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, 
evaluation, curation and adoption of 
new digital resources and tools for learning.

3a. Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.

3b. Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency.

3c. Mentor students in safe, legal and ethical practices with digital tools and the protection of intellectual rights and property.

3d. Model and promote management of personal data and digital identity and protect student data privacy.

4b. Collaborate and co-learn with students to discover and use new digital resources anddiagnose and troubleshoot technology issues.

4c. Use collaborative tools to expand students' authentic, real-world learning experiences by engaging virtually with experts, teams and students, locally and globally.

4d. Demonstrate cultural competency when communicating with students, parents and colleagues and interact with them as co-collaborators in student learning.

6a. Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.


1. Cooperative Learning
2. Non-Linguistic Representations;
3. Summarizing & Notetaking;
4. Assigning Homework & Practice

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