9 fantastic tools to grow classroom collaboration

By | 2017-08-17T19:50:58+00:00 June 27th, 2017|For teachers|0 Comments

One of the most relevant issues that educators are now tackling is collaboration in an ever-connected world. Even when information is abundant – collaboration is not. Collaboration is mixture of problem solving, empathy and collective determination – amongst a whole host of other variables. When we humans collaborate – amazing things happen.

Think about it: It’s only been over the last few decades that humans have built and provided one another access to abundant information. In doing so, we’ve constructed affinities to collectively and collaboratively introduce new ideas and create solutions to the problems previous generations could not imagine solving.

In only a matter of years since the invention of the internet, humans can now talk with others around the world face to face, exist with one another simultaneously in virtual worlds, and utilize peer to peer systems to enable a free flowing of information. All of this has been done through the power of collaboration.

“ABSTRACT ART” was shared by TeacherAlice in the Philippines. It was uploaded to the ART + MUSIC gallery on Creatubbles. The gallery features projects that were done in collaboration with the senior students’ music teacher, involving a song they were learning.
Teachers can find more inspiring collaborative ideas by exploring Creatubbles.

It begs the question: how should educators tackle collaboration in the classroom? When we live in a day and age where information is abundant – the main driver in classrooms should not be to simply acquire information but instead to use that information and turn it into knowledge – often through collaborative efforts.

So, what are ways that we can allow students to collaborate? Let’s take a look at two ends of the spectrum: hyper-global and hyper-local collaboration.

Global collaboration

With privacy and safety on the minds of educators out there, one go-to option for educators is Creatubbles. Creatubbles makes it possible for students to share their creative output in a hyper-diverse global collaborative community – all while anonymizing and protecting individual user identities.

On top of that, Creatubbles has layers of safety to ensure crude comments, profanities, and inappropriate uploads get filtered out before they ever reach the eyes of users – making it a vibrant, safe-for-all-ages, community of creators in over 50 countries around the globe.

“MINECRAFT” was a collaborative effort by two creators in Costa Rica, under the name OSCAR_18, at 11 and 13 years old. Take a look at the Minecraft gallery on Creatubbles to see more fantastic Minecraft builds shared by creators all over the globe.

What exactly are these students uploading to Creatubbles? Anything from handcrafted arts to Minecraft screenshots, Scratch games, weekly creative challenges and even student-created music. Students can browse, bubble (Like), comment and view the creative output of others around the globe to collaborate and get inspired.

All in all, global collaboration comes down to allowing students to connect to and share their ideas with the world. Not only does this help students broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning, it provides a terrific avenue to learn more about digital citizenship in this globally connected world.

Local Collaboration

When it comes to fostering collaboration in the classroom there are always the tried and true pedagogical approaches an educator must take to encourage a positive classroom environment. From depth of knowledge questions, to think alouds, to exemplar ideas, collaboration in the classroom not only helps individuals to connect – it provides avenues for improved empathy, connectedness and understanding.

Yet, when it comes to classroom tools there is no shortage in highly recommended apps. Here are some of our favorites:

Platforms for Collaboration

Creatubbles – Creatubbles™ is the safe global community for creators of all ages. It’s the perfect space for children, families and teachers to save, share, discover and interact with multimedia creativity portfolios.

Minecraft – This sandbox environment allows students to connect in virtual worlds of limitless possibilities. Want to use it across curriculum? Try using the Creatubbles Mod!

“screenshot” was made by creator minevention03 in Italy, at 7 years old.
Teachers can use the Creatubbles Mod to insert students’ original creations into their Minecraft builds, or share their builds directly onto their Creatubbles page. Find out more about the mod: https://ctbl.es/minecraft

Scratch – Create stories, games, and animations. Share with others around the world. Take a look at our Scratch Weekly Challenge.

Classroom Tools for Collaboration

Emaze – Polished, sleek presentations give kids great opportunities to collaborate and present, (but watch out for privacy and safety concerns).

G Suite for Education – Free for schools with 24/7 support, G Suite for Education allows students to create, share and edit files in real time from any computer, tablet or phone.

Mural – Kids can save text, video and images to a virtual mural – allowing them to share and connect their ideas.

Popplet – Popplet helps students think and learn visually. Students can capture facts, thoughts, and images and learn to create relationships between them.

ShowMe – ShowMe allows you to record voice-over whiteboard tutorials and share them classmates or other classrooms online.

Stormboard – Brainstorm, plan projects, organize, debate and vote on your best ideas with anyone on any desktop with a web browser or any mobile device. Collaborate with people in the same room or around the world in 100% real time.

In an ever-connected world where information seems overwhelmingly abundant, be reassured that there are tools to help you foster collaboration in your classroom. Nonetheless, even we here at Creatubbles know that the most important catalyst for collaboration in the classroom is always the teacher. Apps, websites and platforms are very important tools and elements that can help shape and improve pedagogy. Nonetheless, the top influencer and biggest difference maker are those all-important educators.

Do you have a favorite tool or platform to foster collaboration in your classroom? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Share it in the comments below and we just may add it to this list!

Creatubbles™ is the safe global community for creators of all ages. Save, share, discover and interact with multimedia creativity portfolios

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Creatubbles ™ è la comunità sicura e globale per i creatori di tutte le età. E' lo spazio ideale, adatto a bambini, famiglie e insegnanti, per salvare, condividere, scoprire e interagire con portfolio creativi e multimediali.

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Jason is an Apple Distinguished Educator (class of 2015), author, blogger and educational consultant at Creatubbles.