Common Sense


Best Student-Collaboration Tools

Adding a social element to an activity can truly boost its learning value. These tools mix productivity and creativity, getting students to share and collaborate on projects, give and take feedback, annotate, brainstorm, make media, or just hang out. With ways to share research materials, notes on their thinking, and private notes with their teacher, kids will have opportunities to use their voices in the learning process. And with some reflection, students can also use metacognition to examine their own process. No matter the use, there's tech here that'll show students how collaboration leads to better knowledge building as well as the development of social and emotional skills like teamwork. 


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Top Picks


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Drawp for School

Collaboration tool makes digital sharing easy

Bottom line: This handy tool encourages collaboration and creative expression, and it makes sharing assignments and giving feedback a snap for teachers.

Makers Empire

Stellar 3D design hub promotes innovation, collaboration, and creation

Bottom line: This is a great design and creation tool that teachers and students can use to be innovative and share ideas with a vibrant community of makers.

Common Sense Selection

Breakout EDU

Physical and digital puzzle games epitomize collaborative learning

Bottom line: Students will reap multiple benefits if teachers invest the time in preparing Breakout EDU games.

Minecraft: Education Edition

Stellar collaboration tools, controls make Minecraft classroom-ready

Bottom line: An excellent tool to engage students in learning, collaboration, and critical thinking is now more accessible than ever to teachers.


Multifaceted interactive whiteboard promotes collaboration

Bottom line: MURAL facilitates lesson presentation and group project collaboration from anywhere by making idea sharing a simple, visual process.


Minimalist mind mapping to organize ideas

Bottom line: Easy-to-use idea organizer can help with simple mind mapping.

School Friendzy

Differentiate and collaborate with math-focused organizational tool

Bottom line: An effective way to organize and differentiate assignments, particularly for math.


Live video communication has potential to open lots of doors

Bottom line: With a bit of work and a measure of patience, Skype can be an excellent classroom tool to expand students' horizons.

Actively Learn

Empowering reader invites students to read with purpose

Bottom line: Far beyond the average e-reader, this tool helps students connect with texts and each other while giving teachers useful insight into student thinking.

Google Drive

Nifty tool to create, collaborate, and sync files across devices

Bottom line: With its wide range of free productivity tools and slick file syncing, it's a level-setting tool.


Create and collaborate via interactive, multimedia bulletin boards

Bottom line: Flexible interface gives kids opportunities to share content and knowledge in ways most comfortable for them.

GooseChase EDU

Digital scavenger hunts provide dynamic, fresh learning experiences

Bottom line: Students and teachers will enjoy the powerful learning of a modern scavenger hunt.


Spiraling sandbox of adventure and creation gets kids to dig deep

Bottom line: An irresistible and seemingly limitless incubator for 21st-century skills that, with a little guidance, can chart new courses for learning.

PenPal Schools

Give students global perspective with pen pal projects in any subject

Bottom line: This is a thoughtful, ready-to-go platform that facilitates authentic and safe cross-cultural collaboration.


Collaborative writing game inspires purposeful storytelling

Bottom line: With some planning and customization, this unique card game can motivate thoughtful and sustained creative writing in your classroom.


Kids learn together in well-rounded, collaborative global classroom

Bottom line: A safe communication system and excellent learning materials help create a global youth community.


Motivate students and monitor behavior with clever gamified platform

Bottom line: When used thoughtfully, this classroom gamification can encourage positive behavior and develop essential collaboration skills.


Rich collaboration and close-reading tool invites deep, easy-to-assess discussions

Bottom line: Versatile, free discussion platform for teaching, peer review, assessment, and fostering active reading.

Common Sense Selection

Project Pals

Unique project-based learning tool focuses on collaboration

Bottom line: Once teachers get their bearings, they'll find this to be a uniquely useful workflow and project management tool that can guide students through collaborative work.

Collaborate in real time with media-rich, dynamic documents

Bottom line: Core collaboration gets cooler with add-ons, integrations, and slick design.


Social approach to problem-solving promotes deep math learning

Bottom line: An innovative, community-based platform that helps students plan, strategize, and collaborate.

Microsoft Teams

Collaborative LMS platform helps manage classes, groups, and projects

Bottom line: Educators will likely find that the wide variety of features Teams offers is worth the time it takes to learn how to use it.

Common Sense Selection


Comprehensive discussion platform develops critical-thinking skills

Bottom line: A great tool in any subject or topic for teachers looking to make discussion a central part of their classroom.

Google Hangouts

Communication, learning, and fun converge nicely in Google's slick platform

Bottom line: It runs like a dream, works on all devices, and can be used in so many ways to enhance interactive learning.


Asynchronous videos allow users to quickly share and comment on ideas

Bottom line: This is a simple platform with a useful premise, and with some further development, it has a promising future.


Feedback tool with great rubrics might work best for older students

Bottom line: With appropriate teacher support, this could be a powerful way to help teach your students about giving and receiving critical feedback.

YO Teach!

Backchannel tool offers interactive polls, drawing, messages, and more

Bottom line: Quick setup and multimodal features make this a great fit for a variety of carefully monitored classroom discussions.


Social bookmarking encourages discovery, collaboration, and sharing

Bottom line: With a Diigo educator account, teachers and students have a safe space to organize, customize, and share Web content while learning about a variety of subjects.


Intelligent collaborative whiteboard opens up new ways to create math

Bottom line: This flexible tool is great for student groups to upload, manipulate, and share math projects.


Ask questions, brainstorm ideas with responsive voting tool

Bottom line: Used creatively and wisely, Tricider can set the stage for some great classroom conversations.


Collaborative tool lets users annotate songs, literature, web content

Bottom line: Students can collaboratively engage in the process of annotation and analysis with various texts -- both within the forum and on the web.


Tell stories, organize or remix content via digital curation platform

Bottom line: This tool offers an intuitive and useful way to curate media and make sense of topics, but it lacks some features for feedback and content moderation.


Cool, customizable tool turns notebooks into workspaces

Bottom line: With some scaffolding, this could be a great way to capture, organize, and share info without juggling a class site, notebook, to-do list, and more.


Collect images in the field with simple, collaborative app

Bottom line: An easy way to crowdsource location-based data.


Advanced Q&A tool compels collaboration, higher-order thinking

Bottom line: Encourage collaborative, student-centered learning with this useful platform, but make sure it's the right fit for your students.

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