Working together online and/or sharing files
Sharing files such as photos or other large documents via e-mail can be a hassle. For brainstorming and planning a project with your partners, setting up and adapting the work plan, sharing materials and results in the form of texts and photos etc. it is very convenient to use online services like the ones listed below.
You can use this tool for brainstorming processes and to visually present your concepts in the form of mind maps.
Cacoo is a user-friendly online drawing tool that allows you to create a variety of diagrams such as site maps, flowcharts and mind maps. You can use this tool for collaborating with your partners in real time.
An easy-to-use and simple web-based word processor specifically designed for students and teachers which allows its users to work together on one document in real time. No registration is necessary.
This service is similar to primarypad but works with “sticky notes” so users can share and quickly post pieces of information when working together. It is not necessary for the users to sign in.
With this tool you can easily take notes, capture ideas or decisions, e.g. during a meeting, and share them with your project group. Saved protocols can be edited, sent, copied and printed. The tool also works offline and no registration is needed.
Padlet is a tool for creating digital pinboards on which you and your team or group members can place and arrange texts, pictures, links, etc. In this way, you can present topics in a quick, clear and visually interesting way. You can see everyone’s activities on the wall instantly as no page reloads are necessary.
Typetalk can be used to share and discuss ideas with your group or team through instant messaging on the web or on your mobile.
AnswerGarden is a simple feedback tool. You can ask a question and get answers from others which are then represented as a word cloud. AnswerGarden can be used in the classroom as an educational tool or as a creative brainstorming tool, e.g. for working on a project. It is possible to embed it on your website, blog or social network page, e.g. as a poll or guestbook.
With Prezi you can create engaging presentations using various templates and effects and inserting texts, photos and videos. Working together on the same presentation and editing each others’ ideas instantly is possible as well. Therefore, Prezi is also a useful tool for brainstorming, sharing ideas and joint project planning.
Google Drive is a freeware web-based service which allows users to store all their files in one place, so they can access them from anywhere, share them with others and edit them. For all Google services, each user needs to have a Google user account.
Google Docs is an office suite offered by Google within its Google Drive service. Using Google Docs you can work together simultaneously on spreadsheets and documents. The files can be exported as e.g. word or excel files. We made good experiences with the spreadsheet function which enables you to work simultaneously on a spreadsheet that is compatible with Excel. In contrast to the simple text editors mentioned above, the options for editing are more sophisticated.
You can upload documents of different kinds to your dropbox (up to 3 GB), save them online and share them with your project partners. If you download dropbox, your files will be synchronised whenever one of the partners with whom you share the documents makes a change in the respective document. How can it help in your project: Instead of emailing one document back and forth all the time, you can upload it to dropbox and share this folder with your project partners. That way all project partners can access the same document all the time.
This website allows you to send several documents at the same time and also to share documents up to 300 MB. The documents are uploaded to the website and you can share the link for downloading the documents with whomever you want.
Sharing files without registration
If you are sharing more than just a few photos (you could do this e.g. on Dropbox or Facebook) and if the quality of the photos is very important to you, e.g. if photography plays an important role in your project, then using a specialised service for sharing photos online might be a good option for you. The mentioned options both require registration and allow you to upload and share vast amounts of pictures in a high quality. Please take care about copyright and personality right issues!
Sometimes agreeing on the preferred day and hour of a meeting per e-mail can be a lengthy process, with a lot of emails being exchanged before you finally agree on a date, especially if there are more than two parties involved. You can shorten this process by offering several options to your partners through doodle. You set the choice of possible meeting dates (and hours), send a link to your partners and they mark the times that would be suitable for them.