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I, and every other teacher, has begun to prepare for various alternatives of what the fall might look like (see THE BEST POSTS PREDICTING WHAT SCHOOLS WILL LOOK LIKE IN THE FALL).

I think I’m well on my way towards getting a handle on a lot of teaching tools and strategies I can use if we are on an all remote teaching or hybrid system (see THE BEST ONLINE TOOLS FOR REMOTE TEACHING – SHARE YOUR OWN and THE BEST IDEAS FOR ONLINE ACTIVITIES TO USE WHEN TEACHING ELLS REMOTELY – SHARE MORE!).

However, now I have to focus on figuring out the best online tools I can have students use collaboratively.  In a physical classroom during normal times, I’m constantly having students collaborate – think/pair/share, creating posters, videos, skits, etc.   Even if and when we’re in physical classrooms during this coming year, students will have to be collaborating online because of social distancing requirements.

Here’s what I have so far, and I’m hoping readers will contribute more!

Note: It’s best if students can collaborate in real-time on projects.  As far as I can tell, the only tools on this list that let you do that are Google Slides, Docs, Jamboards and Drawings, and Book Creator App.  The others allow collaboration, but not simultaneously (Actually, Padlet can also be used that way – you can see an example my ELL students did here).


Obviously, Google Slides is number one.  But students can grow tired of just making slideshow all the time. In the best of all worlds, students would be able to use Google tools to create just about everything. I know that’s possible, but I also know that it’s more complicated to make some of these other things with Google tools than with the non-Google tools I have listed. Let me know if you think I’m wrong – I would love that to be the case!

Canva has lots of collaborative options – for timelines, infographics, brochures, storyboards, comic strips and more. All you have to do is click “share” and then “edit.”  Check out Canva for Education (you can also make timelines).

Google Drawings also lets you collaborate on comics.

Students can collaborate on videos with WeVideo and Kapwing.

Make collaborative timelines with TimeToastSutori or LucidChart (here’s info on LucidChart’s collaboration features). However, now that I’ve discovered students can make timelines with Canva, it seems to make sense to just stick with it – the fewer different tools, the less confusing for everybody!

Powtoon lets you collaborate on animations.

Several people recommended Kami.

Adobe Spark lets you collaborate on projects.

Pretty big news from Canva – it appears that real-time collaboration is possible on all or most of their tools:

Students, tick. Creative minds, tick. Positive energy, tick. If you haven’t already set up your first assignment for your class, there’s no better time to get started. Now you can easily publish and pass on assignments to your students with our new Publish Assignment option. Plus, with real-time collaboration now available on all our templates, your students will be able to team up and collaborate on the assigned task within moments. They’ll also be able to:

Easily turn in assignments on any device

Collaborate, edit and view changes in real-time

Share ideas and feedback with live comments

Work remotely together, anywhere, any time

So whether it’s a presentation, a science report, a math worksheet, or one of our group activity templates, staying on the same page has never been more effortless.

How to Collaboratively Create Presentations With Canva is from Richard Byrne.

Please let me know what I’m missing! For example, what are collaborative tools for creating animations, posters, and more?