Online collaboration tools are becoming more popular in nearly all settings, including education. There are many benefits of online collaboration tools, which is why you should consider using them in your classroom.
- Increased Flexibility: Before the COVID pandemic, online learning technologies’ use was growing slowly. The entire industry was valued at under $19 billion in 2019 but is expected to reach $350 billion by 2025. And while the pandemic offered the perfect conditions to implement online collaboration tools, many educational institutions have recognized these tools’ benefits and opted to continue using them.
The bottom line is that the flexibility offered by online collaboration platforms works excellently for both students and instructors. Instructors can post the material they want to cover, and students can work on it at their own pace during whatever time they have available. By offering students this flexibility, they can achieve a better balance across their academic, professional, and personal lives.
- Collaborate Effectively: Everyone knows that team projects can be challenging. There always seems to be at least one person who doesn’t pull their weight, forcing others to pick up the slack. With online collaboration tools, multiple people can edit shared documents in real-time while all changes are tracked, including who makes the changes.
This process holds all team members accountable for their contributions, which ensures that instructors can factor in effort when grading assignments. In addition, it provides the perfect setting for effective collaboration in a way that instructors can monitor.
- Centrally Located Assignments: Most online collaboration software for education provide a centrally located place for all student classes and online material. This feature means that students don’t have to search for missing papers or make phone calls to determine what content they missed if they missed one day of class.
Instead, they can simply log on and check the class module for any information they missed. And anything that was covered previously will still be present. This feature ensures students have a central place to locate all course materials they may need to succeed in their classes.
- Increased Productivity: Many online platforms were developed to increase productivity in a professional setting. They contain features that allow team members to work together more efficiently. Online collaboration tools in education have these features, enabling students to work from one central point. Students can accomplish more work in less time by linking all the files they need with communication.
- Greater Range: Historically, students have been limited to schools that serve a geographical range. However, online collaboration tools often mean that students can work with almost any school, regardless of location (depending on the school’s policies).
This feature allows students to work directly with schools that can meet their unique needs, whether they are students on an accelerated or ‘gifted’ program or need an individualized education plan (IEP). This structure optimizes the process by allowing students to go to the best school for them rather than the one closest to them.
- Digital Environment: Nearly all students today are digital natives. They have grown up using digital tech and rely on it for many daily activities. As a result, students in these generations are comfortable using technology and, in many instances, prefer it.
Widespread implementation of online collaboration tools ensures that an educational facility can meet students’ current and future expectations. Any school unable to offer this in the future will likely be at a competitive disadvantage.
- Cost Savings: Online collaboration tools can bring significant cost savings for any educational facility. These savings may also be passed through to students, allowing greater education access with less financial burden.
The reality is that online collaboration tools cost less in many ways. For example, schools would require less physical space, reducing the cost of constructing, owning, and maintaining these facilities. Additionally, students wouldn’t need to be located on campus, which can save money on dorm fees.
- Better Learning Experiences: By integrating multiple types of learning, including online collaboration platforms, schools can offer tailored experiences that meet the needs of the students.
Individuals who want to go back to school to complete a degree or get an advanced degree can find this arrangement more feasible than attending in person daily. Ultimately, the student can still drive their experience but have more options available to ensure a better learning experience.
As reliance on digital technologies grows, it will likely continue to grow in education too. This list provides just a sample of the benefits of online collaboration tools in education.