Team Communication Tools

Team 2449 is looking for just the right team communication/collaboration tool(s) or methodology. We would like to know what’s working for others out there.

Is anyone currently using PTC Windchill? Or have used it in the past?

Are you using any other “enterprise system” with multiple features?

Have you built your own?

Would love to hear what works with “young” teams as well as with teams who have a long corporate/team memory.


Just this past year, a few members and I created a Google calendar in which all event times, dates, and other information was posted. All they had to do was log into their Google account and they could view it from there. It works extremely well, as long as everyone looks at it. And you can also do like tests, like make a random event one day and see if people ask about it or not, just to make sure they are paying attention to everything.

The great thing with Google too is that you can post the calendar anywhere. So, for example, we have the calendar posted on our website using a simple embedded code.

Another great thing is that if you are collaborating on projects, Google docs is perfect.

For our team, Google provides the perfect communication. We decided to use Google this year because of communication problems last year. So far, it has been great, besides trying to get everyone to look at the calender:rolleyes: .

I hope this helps a little.

When we recoded our website this past summer, we made sure to make an easy way to communicate with team members. We can send mass emails as well as mass SMS messages to make sure everyone stays in touch. For events, we coded a PHP calendar with events. These serve our needs perfectly, as long as people use them.

Communication tools–most high school students already have a great tool that they already use daily, text messaging, Facebook, TWITTER, email as well as Windchill. I use all available tools. I tell the kids and the parents that I cannot and will not make 47 phone calls a night to get a message out. But I will post it on our FB, TWEET it, email it and text it to the one or two that I need to.

Windchill for document sharing and project management.

We have an internal, password protected, forum that is very similar to CD. We post calendars, polls, discussions, notices, files, etc.
The other nice thing is that you keep a permanent history of your team.

It still only works as well as the students that are using it. So we are constantly pushing our team to stay active. When they are active it is an awesome tool.

Check out

This website is designed for gradebooks and teachers, but has since moved over to more of a social networking website for educators. I use if for me team for its free text messaging features. I simply ask my students to sign-in once to set up the account and text message notifications and we’re good to go. It’s great to get quick messages out to the entire team while not having to collect everyone’s phone number (phone numbers are all kept private). One of my other mentors set me up on this last year and it has been awesome!

Feel free to use this screencast to help your students out in setting up their notifications.

We use the web off season but during build the best way to communicate is at dinner. All the families in rotation bring dinner or weekend lunch for the team. It runs from grill cheese to curry and any thing in between. You do have to supply food for known food allergies. With food showing up most of the team is together at the same time and it used as a team meeting. Also with food in them when they do go home they are not dragging as bad. No longer are students jealous of what others are eating or complaining on how long they are gone.

We use a google group to send out mass emails, a google calendar embedded in our website, and a phone/email directory for students. These work pretty well, but as other have said it depends on the other students using the system and checking their emails. We’re also considering signing up for google apps as a nonprofit to consolidate our email lists/contacts/calendar.

I really like the dinner idea though. How does this work? Our team usually works in 2 places miles apart, so we get quite a divide of groups (animation, chairman’s/flower’s, build). Do you have one consolidated dinner after everything is done for the evening?

right now we just mostly use email and a google calendar, with a little bit of Facebook, but I’m currently working on integrating a project management, gantt chart kind of thing into our website that leadership can put tasks into and such

We use PTC Windchill, and it is really great. It is mainly used by our CAD team which is great for keeping track of parts and assemblies. But you can also check in all kinds of document types to stay connected with the team, and also assign certain tasks for people via Windchill. It is an awesome program.

We have been using Google docs and Google calender.

Google docs with all types of files, and if Google has their own file type of that type of file, you can do real time collaboration with as many people as you want in a single document.

Google Calender is great for scheduling as you just share the calender with everyone in the team and you can add events and they will get immediate updates

Our team works in one place so that helps. The way it works is the team has paper plates and things so the family’s just bring food and drink. The drinks are mostly juice with milk some times. The leftovers are left in the old refrigerator for after school and late night snacks. Dinner includes salad or veggie trays and some type of dessert like cookies, brownies, or other things. I wish I could take credit for this but it has been going on for 15 years. I have an old gas grill that I am giving to the team next week as some people like to grill for the team. The last two years I have made grilled cheese for 40-50 people and the kids love the smell of food cooking. The team has a very diverse range of cultures and this helps to further our students understanding of others.

Another Google tool that is underutilized is Google Sites. You can sign up for a free site at It works kind of like a free website and kind of like a Wiki, but the editor is WYSIWYG. Here’s the one I set up for team 1795 communication.

Los Pollos Locos uses Google Groups almost exclusively. It’s a good way to keep an email list going.

When our team started, we used an email group. Not everyone had email, so it was a team requirement to get an email address and check it daily. After a few years, email and internet became more prevalent and the checking email daily was no longer an issue. Now, internet is more prevalent then ever, but students are using email less, making the check email daily requirement more important.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to have a technical discussion over twitter.

In September, we compile a list of everyone’s phone numbers and email addresses to give to everyone. We primarily use email to communicate, as well as phone sometimes. When something big is coming up, I will send out text messages to all the students to remind them of the event. We also have a calender that gets emailed to us for the fall season and we get the Build Season calender at our holiday party in December. We just recently created a facebook for the team, which we use as a reminder for meetings and fundraiser deadlines for both the FRC team as well as the two FLL teams we mentor.

So… its 10 in the morning and i have a gaol today.
Get an calendar on Our team’s website.
Anyone know a good website calendar?

My team uses and embedded google calendar. It is very easy to set up and embed.

As of a few weeks ago our team uses wiggio. So far we’ve found it very useful.

Thanks for the site! I am a teacher in Texas and TEA has made teachers having a Facebook account a dangerous thing with some of their recent rulings/opinions. This will give me something new to use to communicate with my kids who don’t check their email…