Collaboration Tools for Students with Mobile Devices

By Monica Burns 01.04.2015 blog

Students of all ages can benefit from working together with their peers. Collaboration — working in partners or in groups and resolving conflicts in order to create something or complete a task — is a skill that’s crucial to success in work and in life. In the Social Studies classroom students can use collaboration tools on mobile devices to interact with content and explore key concepts.

In a BYOD, one-to-one or few devices environment, students can use various apps and web platforms to collaborate on class projects and participate in discussions. Students log in to individual accounts. Then they can answer each others’ questions in discussion boards or work on projects simultaneously from different devices. Many of these tools are used in higher education settings and in businesses — a great example of transferrable skills connected to college and career readiness.


With an interface that looks similar to Facebook, Edmodo is a fantastic collaboration tool that can be easily accessed from a mobile device. Students can post comments on discussion threads, upload work to share or submit, and participate in breakout groups. In addition to having the ability to post on a class page, teachers can assign students to different groups. This gives students the chance to participate in targeted study sessions and hold discussions with just a handful of students in their class. Students can upload files, share links, or add comments that group members can see and respond to. Edmodo has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices and can also be opened on a web browser on a computer.

Google Drive

A wonderful collaboration tool, Google Docs lets users access documents they’ve created on a web browser or mobile app. Multiple users can open up and edit a single document simultaneously from their own devices. Students can also add comments for classmates to respond to. This is a great option for group research projects or times when students are peer editing in pairs. The Google Slides app, also accessible on mobile devices, allows users to create, access, and edit slide-based presentations. Students working on group projects can add their own slides and leave comments for the collaborators. There are dedicated apps for different Google Drive items and all can be accessed from a web browser.

Mobile devices including smartphones and tablets allow students to collaborate on school projects from anywhere, giving them plenty of opportunities to work together before, during, and after school hours. Try these tools with students during your next unit of study!

Monica Burns is an Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.


  1. Adrian A

    I think the google docs will not be in mobile becuase some people can fool around in their phones. Also if they use their phones they will be less concentrated than having your good docs or paper or computer in front of you.

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