NOTE FOR EDITOR: Ubiquitous, Free, And Efficient Online Collaboration Tools For Teaching And Learning

S. Michelle WILCOX

This article provides an overview of free, online tools that make collaboration effective, efficient, and engaging. Each tool is available world-wide wherever there is access to the internet. These tools help create a more collaborative environment because they allow for voice, video, text, simultaneous editing, and immediate feedback. The tools presented are easy to use, user friendly, and have online support available if needed. Methods for using the tools are suggested, and examples of how they have been used by the authors are discussed. Professional presentations, instructional activities, meetings, and preparing manuscripts or other collaborative documents can all be developed in collaborative online meetings using Skype, Google tools including Talk, Chat, Calendar, Docs, and Notebooks, and Second Life. These may also be used to enhance education in distance learning or on campus classes. The features, functionality, and intuitive ease of use promote collaborative efforts, increasing the effective and efficient use of time while decreasing costs. Hyperlinks are provided for tools so users can determine technology specifications, download necessary files, learn more about their capabilities, and locate help or support information.

KEYWORDS: Collaboration; Online; Web 2.0; Active Learning; Skype; Second Life.