Tag Archives: Tools

Tools for Online Group Work

Last week, we posted several helpful tips on working with groups online for projects, papers, or other classroom activities. As promised, this week I will be posting some excellent (and free!) web-based tools that can greatly help with organization and communication among members when it comes to working with groups in an online environment. Here are a few tools you can share with your students that will definitely provide them with the foundation for a great group project:


This is perhaps one of the best collaboration tool we have come across. It is highly functional, easy to use, and very convenient when members have Gmail accounts. Users are able to collaborate live on the same document with group members and utilize instant messaging chat features-it’s a great alternative if you are unable to meet in person, which is often the case with online classes!


This free online tool is really neat and easy to use. A user begins a new document and then invites the collaborators. They make their edits and it is tracked just like in Word and Google Docs so you can view who did what. Then you can track the revisions and everything as well!


This tool is great for group projects and serves as a central location for everyone to gather and store their documents, organize tasks, and more!


OneNote is  tool that is not normally free, but students can use the Web App version through SkyDrive (which is a little more limited, but still has many of the great features!) or they can connect to a campus computer using Citrix XenApp to access the full version. With OneNote, group members are able to create notebooks and share them with others-since it is web-based, they can access it from anywhere. All group members are then able to work on the document live!

Improving communication and access may be just what your students need for successful group projects so be sure to share our tips and tools with them!

Add some pizzazz to your lectures!

Ahh yes, February. The days are short, the weather is dreary, and the only thing that may be on the minds of your students is the fact that there is only one month until spring break. It’s that time of the semester where you may find yourself going above and beyond in an effort to stimulate your students.  We have put together a list of things you can do to add a little pizzazz to your lectures and keep your students motivated and focused!

  • If you are tired of using PowerPoint as your go-to presentation tool, check out Prezi. This free web-based tool will put a unique twist on your presentations and still allow you to add images, videos, and more!
  • To get students more involved in your lecture and keep them focused, try TurningPoint! Each student has their own clicker and can directly respond to questions and you will be provided with instant feedback!
  • Check out TED.com for speeches across the world on any subject you could imagine-a TED video could be a great addition to your lecture! If you like the idea of using educational videos to enhance your lectures, check out Snag Films, Academic Earth, or YouTube EDU for some more great videos.
  • If you like to walk around your classroom during lectures (or like to roam around making sure students aren’t spending the hour browsing Facebook) try out Engage. This tool is an extension of your computer and lets you navigate whatever is on the screen from anywhere in the classroom!