Collaboration tools allow users to communicate or share assets virtually through a platform. This is used to accomplish a goal of some sort, such as completing a project or simply communication for recreational purposes. With the COVID-19 global pandemic, collaboration tools are more popular than ever.
During this global pandemic, we are often unable to collaborate in person as we normally would. Thankfully, there are many virtual collaboration tools at our disposal. Here is a quick look at our 5 favorite free collaboration tools that allow us to connect remotely during this pandemic.
First on our list is Zoom – a popular video based conferencing application/service. Zoom is commonly used worldwide for educational, business and leisure purposes. Zoom allows groups to virtually meet using chat, audio or video with the addition of screen sharing, all on multiple devices. No matter where you are or what device you are using, Zoom allows you to connect with others worldwide.
Jamboard is another popular collaboration tool that allows users to access a virtual whiteboard in real time. While Jamboard is also the name of a physical product, it is a Google app that allows participants to write/draw on a blank canvas as well. This is especially handy for educational purposes as it allows participants to write in the same space, making learning virtually even easier and more convenient.
- Google Docs
Google Docs is a word processing application that allows multiple users to collaborate on a single document in real-time. Not only does this reduce redundancy by ensuring no two members are writing the same content, it also saves as you type. This ensures no data is lost if the document is unexpectedly closed while working. Google Docs is a powerful learning tool and especially valuable for students collaborating on group projects.
- Google Meet
Similar to Zoom, Google Meet is a video conferencing app that allows users to connect through virtually any device. Like Zoom, Google Meet also allows users to share their screens and offers various controls for Google Meet hosts. Google Meet is often a good alternative to Zoom, offering a 60 minute limit on free meetings in comparison to Zoom’s 40 minutes.
Similar to Google Meet and Zoom, Discord is another communication tool allowing users to communicate virtually. Discord allows users to share their screens, chat via video and audio and share documents. Discord differs from Zoom and Google Meet in that it is intended for communities, allowing users to join multiple servers with individual channels relating to user created topics under each. Discord can be a good place to discuss and learn from various communities on subjects of interest.