Communication and Collaboration

Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:
a. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
c. develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
d. contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.


John Sengia and Sandy Benedict

Room: Lab A

TOOLS: SKYPE, Google Docs

Session Objectives:

(1) introduce FREE tools for collaboration, 2) demonstrate basic steps for effective usage, and (3) explore resources for connection opportunities outside of your classroom (4) participate in a Skype class activity.

Intro Survey

Google Docs

Google Docs Example Activity ( public link brainstorm )

How can you use Collaborative tools in the classroom ?

Why use Google Apps ?


  • Students can share documents and presentations with each other ( or the teacher) .
  • More than 1 person can edit the document or presentation at the same time.
  • Students and teachers can provide comments for improvements during the writing process.
  • Revision history allows teacher to view who revised a document when.

Access to files

  • Files can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection.
  • Files can be edited with a PC or Mac.

Publishing Online

  • Google docs can be embedded on your web page.
  • When you edit the document or presentation, the updated version will automatically show on your webpage.

How can I use it ?

  • Promote group collaboration and creativity by having your students record their group projects together in a single doc.
  • Facilitate writing as a process by encouraging students to write in a document shared with you. You can check up on their work at any time, provide insight and help using the comments feature, and understand better each student's strengths.
  • Encourage collaborative presentation skills by asking your students to work together on a shared presentation, then present it to the class.
  • Collaborate on a document with fellow teachers to help you all track the status and success of students you share.
  • Maintain, update and share lesson plans over time in a single document.
  • Track and organize cumulative project data in a single spreadsheet, accessible to any collaborator at any time.

How do I get Started with Google Docs ?

  • Check with your district - do you have a district domain ? (Google Apps for Education) If so, get your account there.

  • Will your students need accounts? If so, what is your district's policy for students under 13 ? ( students don't need accounts for brainstorm activities like we did )

Help resources

Creating and Sharing a Document - screenshots for Spring Grove users, but process is the same for everyone

Inserting Comments

Google Docs Tips and Tricks for Teachers

Google Docs Help from Google


What is Skype?

  • FREE software application
  • Make voice calls anywhere
  • Computer to computer
  • Video conference
  • Group chats
  • Conference calls

What's Needed to Skype?

Skype Help and Resources

Video Conferencing

Video Conferencing vs. Skype

What's needed for Video Conferencing

  • Polycom VSX 7000A--hardware
  • Polycom PVX--software
    • Computer

    • Camera

    • Mic

    • Speakers

Video Conferences Sources

Finding Other Classrooms

Contact Information:

Sandra Benedict
Technology Staff Developer
West York Area School District

John Sengia
Technology Coach
Spring Grove School District
blog: Tech Tales from the Trenches