Modern education is just as much about promoting and encouraging teamwork among students as it is about teaching them things. In order to succeed in the workplace today, one has not just to know how to perform one’s duties, but also how to work with others effectively and efficiently. That is why anything that helps develop these skills is a godsend for any teacher. In this article, we will cover some of the best online tools that an educator can use to that end.
Padlet creates an online learning environment controlled by the teacher that can be effectively used to share content between its users and increase the level of students’ engagement. It has multiple interesting functions, such as an opportunity to run brainstorming sessions during which students can discuss a topic given to them by the teacher, share content they have found on the Internet and pictures off their devices and text. Individual profiles can be used as portfolios by students, holding their best and most exciting school projects.
actiTIME is a powerful time tracker that can significantly help students organize themselves when they work on collaborative projects. It doesn’t just track time spent on this or that task, but also allows its users to manage the project scope, assign tasks and get insights into the efficiency of their work.
Socrative is more than just a tool that promotes collaboration and teamwork – it is a full-fledged classroom management app that makes conducting classes a breeze. It pays particular attention to making all activities as fun and interactive as possible, concentrating on the gamification of education. A teacher can run quizzes based on the most interesting parts of the topic he just taught, organize chatrooms to promote discussions online, prepare competitive activities to encourage performance and much, much more.
Genius is a tool that allows its users to annotate texts – songs, articles, literature, web content, whatever is necessary. For example, the teacher can choose an article and give it to students so that they can annotate, analyze and discuss it among themselves before or after the class discussion dedicated to it. Using the tool makes it easy to focus on an excerpt that is of particular interest, paying special attention to the stylistic devices or other peculiarities of this passage. In other words, Genius is an excellent tool for collaborative textual analysis.
- PenPal Schools
Collaboration isn’t necessarily confined to a single class. Common projects shared by students from different schools and, preferably, different countries and cultures can potentially teach them much more than the work shared with the people they know and understand well. Another good thing about PenPal Schools is that it is project-based – you don’t have to invent your own projects and persuade others to take part in them, the service itself always has about 25 active projects teachers and students can choose from.
MightyMeeting is a presentation tool whose primary advantage is that it allows the viewers to collaborate with the presentation deliverer and other participants. Regarding teaching, it can be used as a visual aid in the course of a lesson, adding slides, drawings and suchlike to the teacher’s explanations while allowing students to participate: for example, by drawing together or answering polls. Alternatively, students can be allowed to make their own presentations.
These examples are just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to the software that promotes cooperation and collaboration among students. These tools already can enrich and improve one’s school or college experience, and there are many more to discover on one’s own.