Online tools for collaboration

There are a number of useful tools that you can use to encourage collaboration online. The use of a few have been modeled as part of this module. Listed below are a few of the key ones that facilitators have said they find useful when working online.

Be aware that some of these tools have age restrictions in place so this needs to be considered when students are setting up their own accounts. If a teacher sets up an account that the students are using while supervised then this is not in breach of age guidelines.

Top ten collaborative tools

(as nominated by the ICT PD facilitation team)
  1. Skype
  2. Wikis - Wikispaces, PBWorks
  3. Voicethread
  4. Mindmaps - Mindmeister
  5. Polls - Poll Daddy
  6. Surveys - SurveyGizmo, Survey Monkey, Poll Daddy
  7. Whiteboards - Etherpad
  8. Google docs - you will need a Google account to use Google Docs.
  9. Online forms - Zoho Creator, Google Doc Forms (as above)
  10. WallWisher - put sticky notes on a 'wall' relating to a topic. Can be dragged around to rearrange.

Links to yet more online tools

Robin Good has been writing for a long time about the use of Web 2.0 tools and new technologies. He collaboratively built the mindmap below showing collaborative online tools with attendees at a workshop and continues to update it regularly. There are hyperlinks for each tool contained within the mindmap. The version below is a copy of the original - to continue to see the updates, visit the original map on Mindmeister

Click and drag the mindmap around in order to see all branches of the map.

Cool Tools for Schools - wiki by Lenva Shearing
Educational Software Online Tools- wiki by Suzie Vesper

Task: Exploring a tool and deciding how you could use it in an online collaborative space
  • Focus on one of the tools above and explore how it works.
  • Think of at least one concrete example of how you could use that tool in your work as a facilitator.
  • Add the name of the tool and your idea on it's use to this Etherpad - if someone has already written something for that tool, add your idea beneath theirs.
  • If you want to create something with your selected tool that can be embedded, feel free to add what you have created below on this wiki page.