These 10 Collaboration Tools for Education are Boosting Student Engagement and Bringing Interactive Fun to the Classroom.

In many discussions about educational technology, the conversation usually revolves around teachers and their ability to interact with the latest technology. This tendency makes sense, especially since teachers are responsible for guiding and shaping the classroom learning experience. However, as important as it is for educators to be familiar with EdTech offerings, it may be even more important to ensure students are given access to digital collaboration tools that encourage them to become active participants in their education.

To say that today’s average student is familiar with technology would be an understatement. Whether they’re playing educational video games at home, conducting group study sessions on FaceTime, or sharing report research via Google Drive, the majority of school-age children view technology as the norm, not the exception. In many cases, the youngest people in the classroom are often the most technologically savvy.

While opinions vary widely when it comes to the advantages and disadvantages for children growing up in such a technology-reliant society, it’s safe to say that teachers who want to connect with their students will need to find ways to incorporate the latest technology into their lesson. If you’re a teacher wondering which online tools will help you create a collaborative classroom environment that engages your students’ minds and imaginations, we have a few suggestions to get you started.

10 of the Best Online Tools for Student Collaboration

Edmodo

With an intuitive, user-friendly interface designed by teachers for teachers, Edmodo operates as a communication portal for students, teachers, and parents. No more questions about assignments, quizzes, and grades. Edmodo creates a space where everyone can communicate confidently without the pressure of a group setting or the inconvenience of scheduling face-to-face conversations.

Classcraft

Rather than fighting the overwhelming popularity of video games, this app’s designers decided to use it to increase student participation in K-12 classrooms. Loosely based on popular role-playing games like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy, Classcraft “reframes student progress” by allowing students to create a personal avatar. Then, throughout the course of everyday class activities, students earn character upgrades through positive behaviors, regular attendance, academic achievement, and more.

Yammer

Despite its potential pitfalls, social media is still a powerful tool for collaboration. But in a school setting, the open source platform of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be distracting for students. With its familiar, interactive design, Yammer allows customized groups to share ideas, information, and feedback, making it an ideal communication tool for teachers, students, and parents.

PenPal Schools

For teachers looking to expand their students’ worldview and understanding, PenPal Schools might be the ticket. The global PenPal community, which consists of more than 15,000 educators in 150 countries, is ideal for project-based learning in a variety of subjects. With a focus on security and safety, program access is open only to verified teachers and students, and teachers maintain the ability to monitor all messages.

Popplet

Part mind mapping tool, part PowerPoint, Popplet gives students a clear, concise way to compile multiple ideas on a single topic and share them with each other. From brainstorming for a writing project to visualizing relationships between newly discovered images and information, this cooperative application lets users record their thoughts from a tablet or computer and display them for the rest of the class to see.

CueThink

With the tagline “Make Math Social,” this engaging app uses classroom interaction to enhance problem-solving skills. When presented with math problems, students use CueThink to select a strategy and display their work. The app also gives classmates the ability to share positive critique and feedback. As students learn to solve problems, they also gain the ability to communicate their thought process to others.

Minecraft Education Edition

Minecraft is arguably one of the most popular video games in the world, and this academic version allows teachers to incorporate lessons into the open-world gaming environment. Minecraft Education Edition engages children in group exercises that, according to the game’s developers, “promote creativity, collaboration, and problem solving in an immersive environment where the only limit is your imagination.”

Economics-games.com

When it comes to exciting subject matter, most teachers will tell you that economics rarely tops the list. However, with web-based games that let students simulate real-world scenarios, Economics-Games.com weaves in a little friendly competition to make the subject come alive. Since there are no apps or software to download, students and teachers can access the games wherever there’s an internet connection.

GooseChase EDU

This exciting educational tool puts the “active” in “interactive.” While GooseChase features an extensive game library that teachers can use to teach everything from physical education to basic grammar, the app also features scavenger hunt-style lessons that can also add an extra element of fun to field trips. As a bonus, GooseChase developers also incorporated staff training and professional development exercises.

Makers Empire

By focusing on 3D design, Makers Empire gives students the opportunity to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills in an online collaborative environment. The designers of Makers Empire began with a desire to encourage STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) learning at the early stages of education. The popularity of this online tool suggests they accomplished their goal.

With so many online collaboration tools for students, it is helpful for classrooms to have interactive displays that can accommodate a wide array of apps and programs. Thanks to their software agnostic design, Clear Touch Interactive® panels do just that. Each panel features a crystal-clear, ultra HD picture, bundled software package, and intuitive multi-touch technology that encourage students to get actively involved with their education. To see a Clear Touch™ panels and software in action, schedule a Live Online Demo today.

April 4, 2019

Clear Touch Team

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