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Communication and Collaboration

Last updated September 14, 2016

Celly is a service that allows individuals to message one another without needing to directly share their personal phone numbers.  Instructors can create groups based on their course rosters giving the students the option to opt-in to the service if they wish.  Instructors can create scheduled messages to go out automatically at certain date/times (e.g. reminders for important due dates, thought questions before class, important announcements).

Facebook ( add on) is a Facebook app/add on that provides a question and answer platform that you and your students can use.  Allows instructors to moderate questions and answers within their courses.  Instructor approved answers can be indicated by a star on the reply.  Along with text input, also allows for equations, doodles, and image uploads.

Google Groups

Google groups is a Google app available to us that allows for easy sharing of files, messages, and online discussions.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a video call application that is free up to  XX number of participants per hangout. Hangouts has screen sharing and recording capabilities.


Instagram is a image and video based social media network. Could be used as a tool in courses that are heavily visual to share concepts/examples. is a free web conferencing and screen sharing program.  Allows users to share one another's computer screen.


Linoit is a virtual bulletin board where users can post pictures and/or sticky note text.  Could be useful for brainstorming ideas, creating examples of items in different categories, or to organize a project and share resources.


Known first as a place to get ideas for crafts and recipes, pinterest can also be a useful social bookmarking site for any topic.  Instructors can share teaching and learning ideas with others, create boards for different course topics to share with students, or ask students to create boards as part of projects for class.


Padlet is another version of an online bulletin board with a slightly different flavor from Linoit. Padlets can be collaborative and used to brainstorm ideas, collect feedback, make lists, and a different form for discussion forums.


Piazza offers a stand-alone platform for students to ask and answer questions.  There are options for students to post questions anonymously and for instructors to indicate instructor approved answers.  Piazza has the potential to integrate with Moodle for a single sign-on experience.


Sort of a twitter for work. Sharing files and giving specific feedback on files is easy.  Integrates with many other common productivity and communication applications. Could be helpful for students working on group projects, or for faculty working together on projects. At its essence this is a tool to help streamline work communication and sharing.


A microblogging social networking tool.  Posts are limited to 140 characters and searchable using hash tags. Twitter can be used by instructor to send out messages to students.  Twitter can also work as an individualized news feed.  Users can create lists within their twitter account to organize the tweets they follow.


An alternative to traditional text discussion boards, Vialogues is a video based discussion forum.  Users upload a video and then viewers can comment.  Comments are time-stamped as to when on the video the comment is made.  As other viewers watch the comments posted previously are highlighted as the video plays and these comments can be replied to.  All comments are text based. 


Voice Thread

VoiceThread is another alternative to traditional text-based discussion.  VoiceThread is a media-based discussion platform where users can post images or video. From this media users can post comments or replies in text, audio, or video format.  Free license limits users to 5 VoiceThreads and there is no moderation or threaded commenting features available.  Pro-versions provide these options.


Zoom is another web conferencing tool with capabilities for virtual meetings, screen sharing, and session recording.  Free licenses support up to 40 min of recording with up to 50 participants.