Lino.it is a free, web-based message board. The tool provides the ability to communicate and collaborate in real time, and is especially suitable for use within the monological and the polyphonic form of teaching.
Within the polyphonic form of teaching Lino.it can be used as a collaborative workspace for groups of students or for a whole class. It is possible to upload photos, to insert images directly from URLs, to insert videos from YouTube and other services and to insert documents and Post-It notes on the Board.
The boards can be shared with others, and you have the option of only allowing others to see a board. In this way, Lino.it can be used as a communication tool within the monologic form of teaching, , if the teacher creates a board with information which she shares with her students.
Lino.it is in many ways similar to Mural.ly. In Mural.ly however, you also have the opportunity to comment on the items on the boards, and to chat with other users who are online. On the other hand, you can create groups in Lino.it, and share boards with group members.
Lino.it is easy to use, and you can use the tool without having to create a user. If you want to share a message board, however, you are required to login, and you can create a profile using a Facebook, Twitter or Google account. It is also possible to set up an account with an email address. If you need help getting started, you can read this introduction to Lino.it.
Quip is a simple text editing service, which lets students cooperate on documents regardless of the devices they are using. Quip is primarily suited for use within the polyphonic form of teaching.
Within the polyphonic form of teaching Quip can be used as students' common writing tool. It is possible for several students to work simultaneously in a shared document, and it is possible to see who has written what. There is not as great opportunities to format text as in Google Docs, but you can create to-do lists and insert images and videos in the shared documents.
It is possible to chat in Quip, just as it is very easy to invite others to join in the work of a document or a folder with several documents. The documents and folders you have created are displayed in a very uncluttered visual layout.
Quip can be used with a computer, as it is possible to download it as app for iOS and Android. This provides excellent opportunities for all students to participate, regardless of the device they are using. It's free to use Quip, and you can either sign up with an email address linked to a Google Account, or you can create an account for Quip here.
Etherpad is a free writing tool, which allows you and your students to work simultaneously in a simple text document. EtherPad is reminiscent of Google Docs, but it requires no login, and is therefore easier to start using. On the other hand the editing options are not quite as good, and there is no access to eg spreadsheets, questionnaires and presentations. The tool is suitable primarily for use within the polyphonic form of teaching.
Within the polyphonic form of teaching EtherPad is a good tool for the students' project work, where students must collaborate in groups. By having students work in Etherpad, you can continuously follow the teaching process – it just requires that you know the URL of the pupils ' joint document. Students can also use Etherpad to write simultaneously on the same document, although they do not sit together, and they have the opportunity to chat with each other.
If the teacher creates a document and displays it on the projector, Etherpad can also be used as a shared whiteboard, where students can write simultaneously. Each student gets her own color as shown in the image above, and she can enter her name in the upper right corner, and get an overview of who wrote what.
Etherpad is an Open Source project, and you can download the software and install it on your own server. However, it is also possible to create documents on one of the many servers that are already running Etherpad. You can find a list here. Once you have selected a server, you can create a document, either by clicking ' New Pad ' or by entering an optional name on document.
Etherpad is free to use, and it works best in the Google Chrome browser.
Mural.ly is a free, visual collaboration- and communication tool. The tool allows for multiple simultaneous users to communicate and collaborate on an online visual board. The tool is primarily suited for use within the polyphonic form of teaching.
Within the polyphonic form of teaching Mural.ly can be used as a collaboration platform for groups of students or for an entire class. One of the major advantages of Mural.ly over other online collaboration platforms, is the great emphasis placed on the visual elements. It is possible to upload photos, to insert images directly from Google Image Search, to insert videos from YouTube and to insert various shapes, figures and Post-It notes on the board.
It is also possible to connect ones Google Drive to Mural.ly, after which one can insert documents on the board. It is then possible to edit documents directly within the tool. By using the ' spaces ' in Mural.ly, one can divide the board into smaller fields, to make it easier to grasp the common work.
It is possible to collaborate in real time. Collaboration is supported, among others, by the ability to add comments to the various elements placed on the board, and by the opportunity to chat with other users of the board. It is possible to mention other users in the comments and chat, after which they will receive a notification.
Mural.ly is easy to use, and you can create a profile using a Facebook, Twitter or Google account. It is also possible to set up an account with an email address. If you need help getting started, you can watch an introductory video on the front of Mural.ly.
Storybird is a free web-based tool, which allows you to let the students write stories based on pictures. The tool allows students to work alone on writing texts, and to work together on a common history. It is suitable primarily for use within the dialogical and the polyphonic form of teaching.
In the dialogical form of teaching Storybird can be used as a tool for students' creative work. The teacher can create and organize students in classes in the system, and can then ask them to solve a common task, which is based on a picture. It is possible to upload a photo from your own computer, as a basis for this sort of writing task. You can also let the students create their own stories in Storybird. For such more free writing tasks, the many pictures in Storybirds database can serve to inspire the students. The student chooses a picture in the Storybird collection, as the starting point for the story, and then builds a story around a series of images, which relate to the first selected image.
It is possible for students to write part of a story in Storybird, and share it with someone else, who can then continue writing on the story. This feature is well suited for use within the polyphonic form of teaching. Students may for example be organized in pairs, and alternately write two different stories. This gives both the opportunity to inspire each other in the writing process, and it becomes possible for the students to edit, what the other has written.
To use Storybird one must have an account. Such can be created here. In order to be able to create classes and make common tasks for students, one must create a Teacher/Class Account. The teacher can very easily create students as users, so they can begin to write stories immediately. It is free to use Storybird, if you don't create more than 3 classes and 75 students.
If you need help getting started using Storybird, it can be found here.
Hangouts is a free, web-based collaboration- and communication tool, developed by Google. Hangouts allows for many simultaneous users to communicate and collaborate in a virtual space, and the tool is integrated with several of Google's other services, including YouTube and Google Drive. The tool is particularly suitable for use in the monological and the polyphonic form of teaching.
In the monologic form of teaching, Google Hangouts can be used to instruct students in the use of specific digital tools. When the teacher shares her screen with a group of students, she can go through through specific functions in a program, which students should learn how to use. She can also review a text with students, who will have the opportunity to ask questions continuously, either in chat or using the built-in videochat. A Hangout can, by activating the ' Hangouts on Air ' in the creation of Hangout'et, be recorded and posted on YouTube. In this way it will be possible for students, who could not participate in the teacher's lecture, to view it at a different time.
Within the polyphonic form of teaching Google Hangouts can be used as a collaboration room for groups of students or an entire class. It is possible to watch a video on YouTube together while doing a common analysis of it in the chat, and it is possible to collaborate in Google Docs, while communicating through video chat.
In Google Hangouts it is also possible to add a number of additional plugins that could further support collaboration. For example, there is a plugin for Google Art Project. By adding this plugin, one can let students search a large collection of artworks from many different museums around the world, and let students collaborate on analyzing selected artworks within Google Hangouts.
Google Hangouts is easy to use, and it only requires, that you have a Google account. If you don't already have an account, it can be created for free here.
Google Docs is a free collaborative writing tool, which gives you and your students an opportunity to work simultaneously in text documents, worksheets, presentations, drawings etc.. The tool is suitable primarily for the polyphonic form of teaching, but it is also possible to use it in a dialogical form of teaching.
In the polyphonic form of teaching the tool is obvious to use. in connection with project work, where students must collaborate in groups, and where you as a teacher want to participate in the process. Google Docs allows the teacher and students to collaborate on the process of writing even if they do not sit in the same room.
In the dialogical form of teaching Google Docs can be used for individual or joint process-writing, where students, individually or jointly write a draft text, and the teacher then gives comments directly in the document, after which students work on the same document to incorporate those of your comments, that they consider relevant. Google Docs enables teacher and students to view the document's history, so that one can see what changes have been made from time to time.
If you need help getting started with Google Docs in education and to exploit the tool's features, the guiden her laese KAN: Getting started with Google Docs in Education.