Digital Tools That Boost Student Collaboration and Creativity

Even if you haven’t watched the news recently (I don’t blame you), you know that Covid numbers are at an all time high around the country. More districts are transitioning to remote learning to ensure the safety of their students and teachers. I know this can be stressful, but you’ve been here before, you CAN do it! Plus, there are so many resources out there now to ensure that you are able to interact and collaborate with students every step of the way.

If you tuned into my last post, Free Ways to Build and Assess Vocabulary During Remote Learning, you know that I’ve teamed up with another literacy educator named Liz Janusz. The purpose of our collaborative blog series is to save you time searching for digital tools, so you can put more effort into building strong and engaging content for your students. Let’s be honest, for most of us “going remote” means starting from scratch… again.

We got such great feedback about the tools we featured last week that we decided to collaborate again and bring you free tools that boost student collaboration and creativity!

A little more about my new colleague: Liz Janusz lives in Chicago and currently supports teachers as an Instructional Coach and a former reading specialist. She has a huge passion for ensuring that ALL students should have access to a diverse selection of books. Liz is also the founder of Windy City Literacy, a blog focusing on providing practical ideas for teachers to easily bring back into their classrooms. You can follow Liz through her blog, and on Twitter at @mrs_janusz as she shares book reviews, and other tips and ideas, for all different ages of students. 

Tools to Promote Collaboration

Flipgrid is a website that allows teachers to create “grids” to facilitate video discussions. Each grid is like a message board where teachers can pose questions, called “topics,” and their students can post video responses that appear in a tiled grid display.

Padlet is an online virtual “bulletin” board, where students and teachers can collaborate, reflect, share links and pictures, in a secure location. Padlet allows users to create a hidden wall with a custom URL. Padlet creators can also moderate posts, remove posts, and manage their board 24/7.

Jamboard by Google is a giant white think-space or canvas that is dynamic and requires out-of-the-box thinking. It can be used in any subject for all students! A collaborative, digital whiteboard makes it easy to create without boundaries and share ideas in real time. Jamboard moves the whiteboard to the cloud and lives right in your Google Suite.

Tools to Boost Creativity

Seesaw is a platform for student engagement that inspires students of all ages to do their best, and saves teachers time! Students use creative tools to take pictures, draw, record videos and more to capture learning in a digital portfolio. Teachers find or create activities to share with students. Parents can also join their child’s portfolio and follow along throughout the school year.

Canva is an amazing design platform that offers thousands of free templates for slideshows, infographs, posters, newsletters, video presentations and so much more. You can bring in your own photos/designs along with using those offered. This is a great tool to spark creativity during student presentations, your classroom newsletter or even your remote learning slides!

Click on the image below to download a list of our favorite tools to save and share! (Note: We built this handout on Canva! 😉 )

We hope you have a chance to dive into these great digital tools for collaboration and creativity. Share ideas for implementation and comment below if you have additional sites to share!

Stay tuned for Digital Classroom Word Walls for Remote Learning!

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