Meeting on the web for online meetings can be exhausting, repetitive, and boring. Much of the time we just duplicate what we would normally do in person, but a “talking-head”/one-way street is boring and doesn’t suit the medium very well. When people go online they don’t want to be passive, they want to engage and respond to what is happening. For this reason, when I facilitate online gatherings, I try to create a collaborative experience.
That’s why I love tools like Mentimeter (it’s like Kahoot! for adults). With the ability to create collaborative word clouds and much more, Mentimeter makes presentations much more of a social experience. Make sure to turn on the “Instant Comments” feature under settings for the extra social interaction this provides.
Other Tools for Collaborating Online:
Here are some more suggestions for ways you can make your meetings collaborative:
- Drawing tool: draw.chat – as it sounds, a neat drawing tool. Can be useful to use in combination with Liberating Structures “drawing together” exercise.
- Shared Google Docs – it can be really interesting to get a group of people collaborating inside one document at the same time. Sometimes I will prepare in advance a separate page for each meeting participant with some written prompts for them to work on. Later, you can have everyone go in and respond to the other participant’s answers. Getting them to use their own font colour makes it a bit easier to manage whose who. See this sample: estoncollege.ca/parables.
- Google Jam Board – https://jamboard.google.com – collaborative sticky notes tool. This works great for sorting ideas into categories.
- FlipGrid – https://info.flipgrid.com/ – this is a neat tool for responding in small video clips to a prompt or question. You can limit the videos to 30 seconds, or up to several minutes. Then, you can have your group members respond to each other’s videos. Works best for asynchronic meetings.
These are only a few tools that are useful for collaborating in online meetings. If you have an idea for something that isn’t listed here, but you wish you could do it, just try a search. I found Mentimeter by Googling “Collaborative word cloud tool”.