There is nothing worse than feeling isolated.

At times it happens on our school campuses. But online, it happens all the time. Some students are spending entire days without seeing a single peer.

How do you build community and foster collaboration between students online?

This is the question our group of innovators explored during our weekly call. Here’s what we came up with:

1. Create smaller student groups: Connect smaller student groups via Microsoft Teams or Zoom small meetings. Provide them with some activities or weekly check-ins. Watch your online community transform.

2. Hold ‘Watch Parties’ on watch2gether.comStruggling with viewership of your video lessons? Hold ‘watch parties.’ Love this example from innovator Matt Neylson. On this website, you can watch recorded content together. Even better, you can hold big online celebrations like assemblies!

3. Peer Support Mentors: Students might not feel comfortable in big groups, but with one other peer mentor, watch them come alive. Maria, a teacher in Qingdao has created a peer mentorship program where students mentor and teach other through video content. She said it has transformed her level of participation.

4. Use Collaborative ‘asychronous’ online tools: Padlet, Flipgrid, Teams, and Google Docs or all great collaborative tools to help students connect throughout the week.

5. Collaborative WhiteBoards: The Zoom whiteboard feature works wonders. But away from meetings, awwapp is a great whiteboard tool to continue connecting learners. Use it to brainstorm possible class names, ways to exhibit work, or even ideas to celebrate completing exams. Watch even your shyest students come to life!

(our brainstorm process via Zoom)

Have a favorite tool you use to increase collaboration online? I would love to feature it in a future email.

Thanks for all you do!