This article summarizes different collaborative teaching and learning sites and techniques that can be used by educators. Sites such as Twiddla, Google Drive, Bubbl.us, Edmodo, Yammer, Skype, Vyew, Wikispaces, Facebook, Cacoo, Twitter, Wiggio, etc. All of these sites can be utilized by teachers and students in the classroom. As these sites may be available to all students, use should be required according to the age and grade of the students. Once you find what works for you, “a rich set of free tools can provide an endless array of collaborative, interactive class work for years to come” (Walsh, 2014). These sites allow learning to become interactive and end the one size fits all direct instruction.
Once implemented student engagement will take on a whole new approach to teaching for teachers. In this technologically savvy generation of students. this is needed to engage and keep students’ attention in the classroom. These students are so stimulated by technology outside of school, anything less makes them bored. The sites mentioned above include capabilities of online white boards, cloud storage, creating bubble maps, discussions and collaboration online, private social media sites, video sites that allows you to face to face interact with people at remote locations, and sites for discussions for certain members. This makes pretty much any resource for communication at your fingertips.
One tool that I use often in my classroom includes Remind. I love that I can use it to communicate with my students and their parents at any time without revealing my phone number. I can post messages for each class that I want subscribers to see. They can reach me after hours if they or their child has a question about school work. It pops up like a notification on my phone when I get a message, so I see it immediately. The only challenge for implementation is that some parents don’t like to download the app because it takes up so much space on their phones. I also don’t like that I cannot enroll them. They have to sign up on their own, which they are sometimes reluctant to do.
Walsh, K. (2014). 20 Fun Free Tools for Interactive Classroom Collaboration. EmergingEdTech. Retrieved from http://www.emergingedtech.com/2014/05/20-excellent-free-tools-for-interactive-collaboration-experiences-in-the-classroom/