Prezi - Presentation software is now collaborative (multiple users can access the same file) - great for group work.
 
 
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If you assign group projects that utilize Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel - consider the option of "collaborative software."  With collaborative software, all group members can access and edit their project at any time from any computer with an Internet connection.  

Collaborative Software through Gaggle

Students currently have access to Zoho software through their Gaggle accounts.  There is no set-up required and students can be given instructions on how to open a collaborative project in about 10 minutes of class time (see right).  I did this in two classes last week and students launched into using the software as it is quite straightforward and easy to use.  

Also, Gaggle provides great video tutorials and has an informative help section.  See the following:
Whole-Class Instructions

To create and share a collaborative project file:    
  1. All students login to Gaggle
  2. Groups select ONE student to do the following:
  • Applications > Digital Locker > New File > Presentation (or Text Document or Spreadsheet
  • Type in the name of the project > New > Close
  • Not Shared > in the To field,  begin typing the last name of a group member and click on their name when it appears to add it > keep adding group members in this way and click Invite and Send after you have added them all
To edit the file - all group members do the following:
  • Applications Digital Locker  > double click on the file you wish to open > Edit > Multi User Mode
 
 
I was recently asked if technology could help with collaborative research - a tool that would help to collect and store data and responses from all students in a class.  Why yes there is!  A great tool for this purpose is Google Forms (part of the Google Docs apps).  Once a form is created, it is posted online for students to enter information.  After students submit the form, all responses go into one spreadsheet.  This allows you to collect and aggregate data from a class or even multiple classes.   Use it to collect and store lab data, opposing and supporting viewpoints for a debate or evidence for a report.  Once data is collected, it can be posted and distributed for viewing, charting or graphing.  

To Make a Form:
 
 
Crocodoc is a real-time collaborative comment and markup tool. With Crocodoc, students can upload any PDF, Word document, PowerPoint presentation, image, or web page and draw and comment on it using tools for highlighting, sticky notes, strikethrough and text. Multiple students can work on the same file and see each other’s comments pop up in real time, so it is great for group activities including peer review or image/photo analysis. Crocodoc is free, straightforward and no sign up is required.