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Creating online collaboration between students

Posted: Wed 28. Apr 2021, 12:40
by HellyDouglas
During the last UK national lockdown, I was teaching 100% remotely. At first it felt like every student was an island, learning on their own. Then I decided to look into different ways to get them collaborating with each other.

Here's a few ideas:
    - Email groups: Small email groups are a nice low-tech option if your students have school email addresses. Make sure you add yourself to each group to monitor them. You could start with a new email each week to keep them current and avoid them getting too long to follow.
    - Digital whiteboard: Whiteboard.fi, Limnu, Explain Everything, Jamboard- there are hundreds of great digital whiteboard spaces you can use. Send your students a link and they can collaborate on projects. Even better, you can use your Wacom pen instead of typing everything.
    - Shared space: If you haven't got an online platform like Teams, set up a shared space like Dropbox and upload documents for the students to add their ideas.
    - Learning platform: I'm used to using Teams with my classes. I can easily set up shared pages for us all to write on and it works with my Wacom device. You can even track who says what.
    - Small group sessions: Video conferencing tools like Zoom are great for smaller sessions using breakout rooms. If there are only a few students in the room, they're more likely to contribute their ideas.

Now I'm back in the classroom, I can see that these collaborative tools will still be useful. Shared whiteboard spaces for tasks in lessons, email groups for home learning tasks, and a central platform like Teams for everyone to contribute.