Last month I posted The Best Online Tools For Real-Time Collaboration. I was exploring those tools more for my own professional development and professional relationships since, because of time zone issues with our International Sister Classes Project, it seemed unlikely any real-time collaborative work was going to work with my students.
At some point, however, I can see how our classes might consider doing joint projects not in real time (I believe that type of relationship is also called asynchronous. However, if I can’t spell it or pronounce it without a dictionary I’m not going to use it!).
I using the word “Best” hesitantly. I suspect there are quite a few other online tools out there, and I haven’t experimented extensively with any of them. If you have some suggestions, I’d be happy to hear it and put out a revised version in the near future. That’s one reason I’m not going to be listing sites in any kind of ranked order.
In order to make it on this list, the web application had to meet a number of criteria. They had to…
1. …be free.
2. …be accessible to English Language Learners.
3. …have specific collaboration tools. Most Web 2.0 tools, of course, have collaboration potential if you just email your password to somebody else. In order to make this list, however, the online application had to have a specific “value-added” and simple process to invite and work with others to develop shared projects.
4. … not require any downloads.
A number of sites on the “real time collaboration” list are also useful for working together not in real time. Rather than share them again here, I’m going to suggest you just explore that list on your own.
While you’re at it you might want to review all of my other “The Best…” lists.
Here is my very tentative and unfinished list of The Best Online Tools For Collaboration — NOT in Real Time:
Mixbook allows you create a slideshow with collaborators. It seems fairly similar to Fliptrack — without the music — but I might be missing some differences.
Zee Maps is another simple tool for collaborative map creation.
There are a number of online word processors that invite easy collaboration, and not the least of these is Google Docs. You can find others by looking at the list of sites I’ve made for real-time collaboration.
Pantrom seems like a very easy new tool for creating simple collaborative webpages. You can create up to ten for free.
You Know lets you upload texts and create private or public discussion groups about them – for free.
Please share reactions and other suggestions!