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Instructional Technology Resources

Technology Resources: Collaborate

Brainstorming | Blogs Collaborative Comments | Microblogs | Social NetworksWikis


    One of the most fun and easy brainstorming tools for teachers and students! This program allows the student to create a word web with just a few clicks of the mouse. You can add text, move bubbles, change the colors, and so much more.
  • Coggle
    "Coggle is an online tool for creating and sharing mindmaps and flow charts. It works online in your browser: there's nothing to download or install."
  • FreeMind
    This program designed to make the process as intuitive as possible via 'child' and 'sibling' links that hopefully build your map into something meaningful. A little more complicated to use for younger students. Might be recommended for students in Middle School.
  • Mindmeister
    Such a simple and fun mindmapping tool! Create great graphics which organize themselves. You can add fun images, text, and symbols with simple clicks. This is a great program to use with elementary students, or just to get your personal thoughts and ideas in order. Sign up and get started for free!

  • Popplet
    "Popplet lets creative professionals and their teams think visually to generate new ideas and create new concepts. You can collate images, video, photos and text onto a popplet board, share comments and invite feedback, build new links between ideas, and move information and notes around until you see things from a fresh perspective."

"A blog is a type of Web page that allows readers to add comments (also called Weblogs).  One of the defining characteristics of a blog is that it is syndicated, meaning that users can subscribe to it using a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed so that they are alerted each time the blog is updated" (Manning, 2011).

  • Blogger
    This Google product is a free online journaling tool that requires minimal set-up time.

  • Edublogs
    Edublogs "lets you easily create & manage student & teacher blogs, quickly customize designs and include videos, photos & podcasts"

  • Glogster
    Glogster, a graphic blog, allows you to make online posters that contain video and pictures. 

  • Tween Tribune
    "Each day Tween Tribune posts the most compelling, relevant and interesting news for kids aged 8-18.  Stories are selected by teens and tweens working closely with professional journalists.  Teens and tweens can comment upon these stories."  

  • WordPress
    This site offers a selection of free and customizable designs for your blog, 3 gigabytes of file storage, and the blog can be public or private

Collaborative commenting

  • Voice Thread
    With VoiceThread, group conversations are collected and shared in one place from anywhere in the world. All with no software to install.  A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too.


A microblog is an abbreviated blog (Cliff Notes version). "They require you to convey your brief message in fewer characters (typically limited to 100-140 characters).  Like other social networking tools, you establish a network of followers and follow others so that your posts are distributed through your network and beyond.  Unlike blogs, almost all services allow readers to subscribe to messages received and sent as Short message Service (SMS) text message using cell phones.  Some microblogging tools allow users to tag/label posts so that they can later be searchable/retrievable."
  • Edmodo
    "Edmodo provides teachers and students a secure place to connect and collaborate, share content and educational applications, and access homework, grades, class discussions and notifications."

  • Twitter
    This tool allows people to keep in touch with latest trends in areas of interest.  The user can type brief (140 character max) descriptions of what is going on in his/her world.  
Social Networks
  • Facebook
    Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.

  • Italki
    italki brings you everything you need to become fluent in another language. Get speaking practice, find an online language teacher, get help on writing, ask questions, and make friends around the world. Signing up takes less than two minutes.

  • Ning Mini for Educators
    Ning is the world’s largest platform for creating social websites. Top organizers, marketers, influencers, and activists use Ning to create an online destination that weaves social conversations in content and inspire action. Ning makes it easy for brands of all shapes and sizes to build custom and powerful social websites.
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, find fun lesson plan ideas, and organize their classrooms!
  • Yammer
    This is not a free site to create, but is free when joining your company. Yammer brings the power of social networking to the enterprise in a private and secure environment. Yammer is as easy to use as great consumer software like Facebook and Twitter, but is designed for company collaboration, file sharing, knowledge exchange and team efficiency. 
  • PBWorks
    "PBworks hosts over 300,000 educational workspaces...encourage student-centered learning.  Even young students can build web pages, embed images & video, and post documents."

  • Wetpaint
    "Wetpaint sites are 'click and type' websites that are easy to start and even easier to expand because you can invite anyone you want to add text, photos, links, and other content to your Wetpaint site."
Quotations from: Manning, Susan.  (2011). The technology toolbelt for teaching. San Franciso, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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