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Common Sense

TOP PICKS | 35 TOOLS

Best Student-Collaboration Tools

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. 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 Unlimited

Blank canvas will help kids express themselves creatively

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.

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.

MURAL

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.

NowComment

Rich collaboration and discussion site engages students and teachers

Bottom line: It's a versatile discussion platform for teaching, peer reviewing, and fostering active reading, and offers much more than traditional word processors.

VoiceThread

Easily collaborate and create with voice, video, or image

Bottom line: A powerful tool for kids to create, collaborate, and share all kinds of multimedia.

Popplet

A compact, simple organizational tool for minimalist presentation

Bottom line: Great web-based presentation tool for beginners.

Skype

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.

Explain Everything Whiteboard

Powerhouse tool for creating stellar multimedia presentations

Bottom line: Teachers and students can make dynamic presentations that involve different types of media in this innovative, fun app.

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.

Minecraft

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: A thoughtful, ready-to-go platform that facilitates authentic, cross-cultural collaboration.

Spiral

Provide instant feedback with collaborative, multimedia assessment tool

Bottom line: Engaging, easy-to-use tool that supports both formative and summative assessment while allowing for student collaboration.

StoriumEdu

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.

ePals

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.

Actively Learn

Empowering reader keeps kids actively, independently engaged

Bottom line: Far beyond the average e-reader, this tool helps students connect and stay engaged while teachers easily measure progress.

Classcraft

Track behavior and motivate students with clever, cooperative game

Bottom line: Classcraft is a fantastic game for encouraging positive behavior while students build knowledge and develop communication and collaboration skills.

CueThink

Social approach to problem-solving promotes deep math learning

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

Common Sense Selection

Parlay

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.

Storillo

Cooperative tool provides accountability to group writing projects

Bottom line: Storillo is engaging and provides useful structure for students, but teachers may prefer something more broadly applicable like Google Docs.

Google Drive

Nifty tool for collaboratively editing and syncing files across devices

Bottom line: Google Drive is a smart choice for budget-conscious schools, with its free productivity tools and file syncing.

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.

Microsoft Teams

Collaborative platform helps manage multiple groups and projects

Bottom line: It offers a ton of options for integrating learning; the lack of some typical LMS features may make it a better fit for small groups or nontraditional group configurations.

Padlet

Create and collaborate via interactive multimedia bulletin boards

Bottom line: The versatility of Padlet presents kids with opportunities to share content and knowledge in ways most comfortable for them.

Peergrade

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.

Diigo

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.

Scratchwork

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.

Story Wars

Read, write, and vote on engaging collaborative storytelling site

Bottom line: A cool, competitive approach to online storytelling with a lot of learning potential -- just be aware of the iffy content and licensing risks.

Tricider

Ask questions, brainstorm ideas with responsive voting tool

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

Genius

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.

Wakelet

Tell stories, organize or remix content via digital curation platform

Bottom line: Offers an intuitive way to curate media and make sense of topics by drawing from different sources, but teachers will want to carefully monitor classroom use.

Siftr

Collect images in the field with simple, collaborative app

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

Piazza

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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