Great-Learning.jpgCollaboration can take place in many forms but all require students interacting with each other within the content and product of the lesson. The collaborative process is therefore supported by the App, not determined by the App.
Community tools create a secure network space for student teacher collaboration. They can be a short term tool for a particular project but are more suited to being a space that is the focal point of class interaction over a prolonged period. Students should be equal in terms of uploading material, initiating posts and collaborating online so they may connect, collaborate and learn from each other as well as their teachers.

There are many options for sharing files to allow students to collaborate as a group including several real time options and several useful websites that function well on the iPad.
Building Connections
Edmodo - Free ( M-C )
Best for : building a common learning space
Age range : 10 yrs and up
Features : With a large global user base, Edmodo is already a very popular choice being quite Facebook like in appearance. Teachers are able to create a space which students access by invitation once they sign up as a student. This creates a secure private area for a class to engage in learning activities. Any member of the group can upload files to the common Library and post messages. It is also possible to join other open learning communities. If you are used to the desktop version then you will notice that the App is missing a few features (see what's missing) but still a very useful product. Website . . . . Getting started - YouTube
Showbie - Free ( M-C )
Best for : building a common learning space
Age range : 8 yrs and up
Features : There are both free and pay for Pro versions ($10 per month) and a cost effective School license. The free version is for up to 35 users so is enough for a class. The Pro version is mostly more of everything with some extra features (see details). Showbie also lacks a discussion/message section which can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on how you want to use it. The simplicity of Showbie's logical interface will appeal to many users. It is also very easy to create class groups and manage files within that group. The teacher creates the group and students join with a class code to create a secure collaborative learning space. Assignment folders can be archived to remove from view but you need to access Showbie on a desktop to delete folders and files. View YouTube videos on getting started: for Teachers . . . . for Students . . . . using Showbie with other Apps
File Sharing
Airdrop - Built in function ( M )
Best for : sharing multiple files
Age range : 10 yrs and up
Features : Once set up. Airdrop allows for fast individual or broadcast sharing of single or multiple files to connected users. Airdrop requires iOS7, an iPad 4 or newer and currently only shares between iOS devices, ie not able to share with OSX devices. Read the Apple Support file on how to set up Airdrop.
Dropbox - Free ( M )
Best for : cloud based storage for sharing files
Age range : 10 yrs and up
Features : Simple method to share files between multiple devices over multiple formats. Save any file type into your Dropbox folder and it is then accessible from any device you have connected to that Dropbox account. Can be used for individuals or as a collaborative class site for sharing files. A free account comes with 2Gb of storage space. YouTube review - old but still relevant
Flick - Free ( M )
Best for : sharing files
Age range : 8 yrs and up
Features : No complex or fiddly connections to be made, Flick automatically connects to other iPads or computers, on the same wifi network, that have the Flick App running. Download the computer App from the developer's website. Documents, images and videos are shared through the App with Flick where they then appear on the Flick desktop. From here merely flicking them to the device listed on your screen causes an instant transfer for images and small files, even large files transfer quite quickly. In App purchases are available for addd functionality. YouTube demonstration
Google Drive - Free ( M )
Best for : cloud storage for documents
Age range : 10 yrs upwards
Features : Using your Google account, Google Drive comes with 5Gb of free storage for Google documents, photos, videos and other files. Files are stored in the cloud and can be accessed through teh web app or a web browser. Can be used for individuals or as a collaborative class site for sharing files. Read the Google Support file on setting up your Drive.
YouTube - Free ( M )
Best for : video streaming
Age range : 10 yrs upwards
Features : Clearly created to support the very social use of YouTube, the App is clumbsy to navigate but more importantly we are using YouTube as a depository for our videos because of its excellent streaming ability. Uploading videos from an iPad to a YouTube Channel is very easy. Importantly for school security the videos we upload can be tagged as Unlisted so they can only be accessed via a link such as a QR code. Read these instructions on setting up a YouTube Channel and how to upload to it
Socrativ - Free ( M )
Best for : student response system
Age range : 8 yrs upwards
Features : Socrativ collates responses from students similar to various "clicker" systems that works across computers and mobile devices. It has both a Student and a Teacher App, both of which are free. As that implies, the teacher uses one version of the App (which requires setting up a free account) to pose questions or create quizzes which the students respond to using their version of the App. Questions can be preset or created on the fly with a collated record of final results emailed to the teacher. Watch the Socrativ video introduction on YouTube.
Survey Monkey - Free ( M )
Best for : student response system
Age range : 8 yrs upwards
Features : Survey Monkey is arguably the easiest to use and has the most features of the various survey tools. If you are familiar with the web version then there will be a zero learning curve to use the App. The free version allows 10 questions per survey with 100 responses which is good enough for the average classroom. The App has the full range of question types but you have very little control over the layout. If you do wish to tweak your survey the same login works for the App and the website so you can go online and have the full control of the web based version. Watch an introduction to the Survey Monkey App on YouTube or for more information refer to the Survey Monkey YouTube video channel.
Minecraft - Pocket Edition - $8.99 ( C )
Best for : learning through gaming
Age range : 8 - 14 yrs
Features : The very popular computer game is also available as an iPad App with a multiplayer mode is possible over a local wi-fi network. Minecraft is about adventuring and building with friends in a virtual world. Gamification at this level is probably a long way from mainstream classroom use but for those who are pioneering this field Minecraft's co-operative nature is a perfect example of building collaboration through gaming. If you want to explore this further the Minecraft in Education Wiki is a good place to start.
A brainstorming or feedback tool that does a simple thing very well. Once the "garden" is created users go to the web address and leave words on the wall. Words grow in size if entered multiple times.
Used to be called Wallwisher. A collaborative space where invited users can add and organise thoughts and ideas on virtual sticky notes. Add links, text, images, documents and videos to the wall.
Allows multiple used to simultaneously work on a single document in real time with all users instantly able to view changes being made by others. Not yet perfect on the iPad but working well enough to be functional.
A real time back channel tool to collate comments, ask questions and get general feedback in a created "room" which can remain active from between 2 hours and one year. Comments are listed in most recent order.
Wikis are a highly collaborative educational tool, Wikispaces has always been very supportive of the educational sector and is well used in schools and has a a fully functioning WYSIWYG editor.
App Categories
I - very directed or purely for information
I-M - mostly instructive but allows for some response to user input
M - fairly even mix of instruction and creativity, produces a predetermined outcome
M-C - mostly creative but within a framework, allows for varied output
C - very open ended allowing full user control of the content created, usually starts with a black page

Prices are in $AUS and were correct at time of publication but are subject to change.