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3 Easy- to-Use Online Collaboration Tools Students Will Love Using

It’s no secret that today’s students love working together. As a teacher, you’re in the perfect position to choose top collaborative task managers to use in your classroom.

Collaboration with students, parents, colleagues, and administrators is a hallmark of the teacher of the future. So now is the time to engage pupils in collaborative tasks

Collaborative Task Managers for Every Classroom

We looked at 3 things while looking for these tools:

  • Email needed: Can the program be used as if they are logging into the classroom, without having to log in to their email? Is it effective? The less windows open on your students’ terminals the better.
  • Price: Free for all time? Free for a limited time? Free all the time for fewer features/projects?
  • Interface: Is it more visual? Is it text/list-centered for users more experienced with paper-based organizers?
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  1. Asana -  This powerhouse is worth the wait. It automatically opens up into a “My Tasks” pane where a user can get to work immediately on things that are important to the team. You can also explore the other icons in the left pane which are Search, Inbox, Dashboards, Projects, Favorites, Recents, and Tags. You will need to go through some of the tutorials to figure out how to use Asana. The developers decided to eliminate confusing emails altogether by making sure that everyone signs up and logs in. All communications are done within the app. This eliminates unnecessary threads in people’s emails which they might or might not read.

Think of Asana as your actual office, where you can communicate over the globe. With Asana, you’re right there with your team, even though they may be far away.

  • Email needed: Email is virtually eliminated here. Your team members have to be keyed into the system, making this a one-stop place for your tasks.
  • Price: Free to trial, with a premium membership starting at only $21/month for up to five members, and up to $750/month for 100 members.
  • Interface: Highly text-oriented, with a lot of information on the screen at once.

 

  1.  Trello  -  you can create as many boards as you want with lists and cards. The boards can then be discussed, collaborated upon, and manipulated to create a visual workflow. You can monitor the development of a project as people move cards to different lists like “To-do” or “Working on” or “Completed.”

One thing to remember about Trello is how you keep everyone notified about changes to documents. Trello does not automatically notify everyone. You have to specifically “mention” team members in a comment preceded by an @. This sends an email to them to check Trello. The nice thing about Trello is that it’s organic, and you don’t have to use it in exactly one way. Your imagination guides how you use it.

  • Email needed: Email is still used here. Initially you use it to invite new team members, and also to notify them of changes when you mention them in a comment. This simply allows people to still participate in Trello discussions without having to sign up.
  • Price: Free. There is a paid version which has more features.
  • Interface:  It’s mostly visual. You get to manipulate cards, lists, and boards like a real bulletin board.
    1. We appreciate Basecamp’s user friendly interface. Basecamp is a checkpoint for all your collaborators to see and participate in the progress of your projects. This is not like Trello’s bulletin board, which is very simple and visual.

Basecamp lists your projects on the main screen like a launcher. You go into a project and you can see the progress that has been made. You can then delegate tasks to your team members. You can save files and your team can comment on topics, add files and pictures of their own, and create documents.

Basecamp communicates all changes via the users’ emails. Again, this allows for collaboration with team members who are not as tech-savvy and only wish to reply through simple email without joining.

  1. Email needed: Collaborators are not required to sign up to Basecamp. They can merely respond to email and stay somewhat connected.
  2. Price: Free for teachers! You have to email the developers and request this, and assure them that you will only use Basecamp for education purposes.
  3. Interface: Visual, like a launcher for your different projects.