What the Tech?

Options for collaboration in the classroom

We all know that collaboration in the classroom is key, between students and teachers, students and students, and students and experts. Technology now allows collaboration to be global if we choose. This "What the Tech?" topic will be in two parts. Part two will come in a few weeks. Today we will focus on some possible options when beginning to use digital tools for collaborative activities and how we can keep students accountable for their collaboration.

Using Google Docs for Collaboration

Using Google Classroom for Collaboration

Google Classroom is perfect for collaboration among peers and teachers. Create new classes according to groups such as book clubs or presentations. These classes act almost like mini-blogs where students can post questions or discussion topics and the other students in the group can respond to continue the conversation. They can create presentations using Google Slides right inside of the Google Classroom. As the teacher, you can enter these groups at any time to participate, monitor, or guide students as they work.

How can I keep kids accountable?

Having students in Google Classroom or checking into their shared documents is one way to keep track of collaboration. You can also be an active member of their discussions to help keep them on track. When grading, add a collaboration element to your rubrics.

What other tools can my students use to collaborate?

Google Hangouts: If you have a class of students that can use Hangouts responsibly, have them grab the extension from the Chrome Web Store. They can invite you into the conversation so you can check in often. Knowing that collaboration is part of their grade will also help keep the conversations meaningful.



Realtime Board: This is one example of an on-line whiteboard where students can create post-its and graphic organizers to share and collaborate on. Easy to use and they can sign in with their Google accounts.


And more?


  • Padlet
  • Wallwisher
  • Thinglink


There are so many options. Let me know what ideas you have and we can find the option that will work best for your class. :)

Coming soon: Collaboration Part Two... Going Global