Online Study Tools: Group Studying
The internet is full of websites designed to meet your every need, from political gossip to cat memes. However, when it’s time to get down to business it can be difficult to find reliable tools to help you get the job done. This series presents a collection of websites that offer distinct, well-developed resources to increase your productivity.
Part III: Group Study Tools
Whether you’ve been assigned a group project or just prefer to study with others, group study requires a different set of tools. The following sites can help you coordinate schedules and projects, collaborate without in-person meetings and communicate what needs to be done.
Slack is a centralized, multipurpose platform for teams. It functions as a searchable forum that can be accessed in an internet browser or through mobile apps, so that you can work (and find your work) anywhere, anytime. Slack integrates dozens of web services like Google Docs, Dropbox, Twitter and IFTTT, so that team members can contribute what they’ve developed in the programs they use individually.
OpenStudy is a collection of over 1 million students throughout 160 countries collaborating in nearly 200 study groups to ask and answer homework questions. It’s also a great place to build companionship with those struggling or interested in similar subject areas. OpenStudy is free and allows you to sign in with Facebook.
Google Docs (together with Google Sheets and Google Slides) is a Microsoft Word (Excel and PowerPoint) like program that operates entirely within your browser. What makes Google Docs great for group work is that when you create a document and share its link, your group members can edit it in real time. Taking notes, developing study guides and building group presentations and papers are simply a matter of each person adding their content on their own time.
KanbanFlow is an advanced to-do list that can be used by an individual or a group. A KanbanFlow is a list that has multiple columns (often labeled “to do,” “in progress,” and “done”) with tasks on them that can be color-coded, assigned to individual users or broken down into subtasks. As users work on tasks, they can move them from one column to another, thus giving everyone in the group a complete picture of how projects are progressing.
Doodle is a scheduling tool that links to Google, Outlook or iCalendar to suggest ideal meeting times. The group leader can suggest several meeting times and group members can respond with whether the proposed time is ideal, works or doesn’t work for them.
If you need to talk face-to-face but just can’t get together, Google Hangouts offers free video, audio and text chat tools that allow you to communicate and share content in real time.