Collaborating with Technology

How technology can be used in the writing process as a tool for collaboration  

Forbes Leadership released a study in 2013 detailing the top 10 skills employers seek from college graduates.

As teachers, how can we foster a classroom environment that encourages collaboration?

York County Students Grow and Connect Online

York County Schools, part of the League of Innovative Schools, lives up to its role by employing many types of devices to encourage collaboration among students. From corresponding with a classroom in Hawaii or communicating with students in other district schools, York students are making connections and growing important life skills.

Tools for Writing and Collaboration

Benefits of Collaborative Writing

1.  Instant feedback
2.  High interest and engagement
3.  Problem solving
4.  Need for team work

Possible Obstacles and the Solutions

1. Time commitment for implementation (training students, planning, providing feedback)

Taking the time upfront for adequate student training will ease the process and time commitment later.  Just like Daily 5 or Guided Math, students need to be trained.  Once that training occurs, the rewards will outweigh the time spent.

Writing is already part of our curriculum.  You are currently doing planning and providing feedback.  Do not look at these tools as something EXTRA.  They can be used to supplement or even replace some of the things you are already doing.

We are a team.  We should collaborate and share the work load.  I would create folders in Google Drive so that I can place resources in one place for teachers to find.  You can add your own resources as well.

2. Difficultly associated with setting up and accessing accounts login process, required passwords

Set up all accounts for the students ahead of time.  Try the login process as one of the students prior to starting to use them with the students.  Provide students with logins and passwords that are simple to remember and give them a printout to save.  You can do one sheet with all of the online resources you'd use in the school year.  Printing on a bright, heavy paper will help.

3.  Lack of access to devices

If you do not have 1:1 technology in your room, you can use the few computers you have as a "centers" approach.  Structure your block in a way that allows students to have the opportunity to use the writing tools once or twice a week.  You could also use the computer lab and/or laptop cart when you would like to work with the class all together.  

Resources for Implementation

Google Docs




Activity (from Session 2)

1.  Choose a partner or group of 3.  
2.  One partner:  Go to Google Drive.  Create a new Google Doc and title it Collaborative Project.  
3.  Share the document with your partner.  Partner open the document.  
4.  You will collaboratively write a piece of writing together.  

Task:  Together you will write a persuasive piece of writing.  You need to choose a topic related to education.  Then, use your shared document to write with one another.


Adams, S. (2013, October 11). The 10 Skills Employers Most Want In 20-Something Employees. Retrieved from

Collaboration - Pearson Research & Innovation Network. (n.d.). Retrieved July 23, 2015, from

Jackson, S. (2013, December 16). How Technology Can Encourage Student Collaboration. Retrieved from

Small Group Writing. (2012). Retrieved from

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