Smartphones, tablets and other technology tools have tons of potential to help students learn–if they’re used properly. And when properly implemented, those tools can help students build the collaboration skills they need to reach success in school and the workforce.

Most 21st-century learning models include collaboration as a necessary educational outcome. Collaboration skills are part of the Partnership for 21st Century Education’s 4Cs, a framework developed with educator input and designed to outline skills and knowledge students need in today’s global and connected society.

And collaboration isn’t simply a necessary classroom skill. Teamwork and collaboration are important abilities employers say they want in their current and future employees.

(Next page: 7 engaging collaboration tools)