Collaboration Platforms


Canvas LMS

Canvas offers a modern feature-set, an easy to navigate design, and flexible integrations with other learning technology such as Zoom, Piazza, and Gradescope.  

IS&T's Canvas Landing Page has a wealth of information regarding the platform, and Canvas maintains a broader knowledgebase of their product here.

MIT has created several training videos that may be worth watching if you are new to the platform, and those can be found here.

For more information on MIT’s implementation of Canvas, as well as a collection of resources for instructors, please click here.

If you are having trouble accessing Canvas, please check the Canvas Status Page and IS&T's 3Down Status Page to make sure the platform is not down.  If you are still experiencing issues, please contact the IS&T Service Desk 24x7 at 617-253-1101 or via


Cloud Storage

Cloud data storage options are ever evolving, and we'd like to highlight some of the valuable offerings that are currently available to the MIT Community, as well as some best practices when using these platforms. 

To find out what sort of data is suitable for cloud storage, and you can always find up to date and official guidance here.



OneDrive is integrated with Moira and your MIT Kerberos account for secure access and permissions management.  The default quota for all members of the MIT Community is a standard 5 Terabytes of space, nd IS&T does have the ability to offer and expand team sites to as much as 25 Terabytes at no cost.

The OneDrive desktop client has made great strides recently and also seamlessly integrates with your file system, using features like Files On Demand to save valuable space on your local hard drives.  You can download OneDrive's latest desktop client here.  One Drive also offers mobile clients, along with the entire Office 365 Mobile suite, and more information can be found here.

More information can be found at IS&T's OneDrive Landing Page



To register for Dropbox with your MIT account, please make sure you have valid certificates, and then click here.  For MIT affiliates, Dropbox access must be sponsored by MIT Staff or Faculty by sending the request along with their kerberos username to

For faculty, lecturers, and TAs the default quota has been raised to 10 Terabytes of space.  For all other community members, including students, the default quota has been raised to 500 Gigabytes in an effort to better facilitate remote learning and collaboration.  

The Dropbox desktop client comes highly recommended and seamlessly integrates with your file system using tools like Smart-Sync and Selective Sync to save valuable space on your local hard drives.  You can download Dropbox's latest desktop client here.  Dropbox also offers mobile client, with features like document scanning and stitching, and it is available in your mobile device's app store or here.

More information can be found at IS&T's Dropbox Landing Page.


Google Drive

STOA does not recommend the use of Google Drive at MIT, due to its lack of integration with other MIT services. However, it is availalable to the MIT Community as part of the G Suite for Education.  Access to G Suite must be requested, and you can do so here.

More information about G Suite for Education can be found here.

More information about Google Drive can be found here.



Digital Whiteboarding

Platforms like Zoom, Slack, and Teams all offer basic whiteboarding, but tend to be lacking when it comes to feature sets.  To improve the remote learning and collaboration experience, the Department of Architecture is exploring additional options.  The vendors of these platforms have made free educational accounts available to the Architecture community, and more info and applications for educational accounts can be accessed via the links below.  

You may be asked for proof of MIT Affiliation and Accreditation as part of the sign-up process for both Miro and Mural, and a picture of your MIT ID card will suffice for proof of affiliation, while the proof of Accreditation can be found here.


Information about Miro's Educational Account can be found here 

Click here to apply for a Miro education account.


Information about Mural's Educational Account can be found here 

Click here to apply for a Mural education account.

Explain Everything

Explain everything is an alternative to both platforms, and very recent offering from IS&T, that may fulfill some basic needs that Miro and Mural also offer. More information about the platform can be found at the IS&T Explain Everything Landing Page.



Slack is a communication and collaboration platform for teams, DLCs, and other organizations that allows for quick communication in both public and private channels, along with 1:1 and group private messaging.  The Department of Architecture has set up a Workspace on the MIT Enterprise Grid at

If you have not had the chance to join the workspace, please feel free to reach out to and we will ensure you have access.  We are also happy to assist with setting up channels for your classes, groups, and teams on the workspace, as well as going over some of the more helpful integrations you can use with popular services like Zoom, Dropbox, and OneDrive.

Downloading the Application

We do recommend the Slack Desktop app for the best experience, and that can be found here.  Slack also has fully featured mobile apps to keep in touch on the go, and those can be found in your mobile device's app store or here.

Using the Platform

The best way to get to know the platform is to use it and engage with your peers and colleagues.  Slack has a great article on how to make the remote work experience better over all by enhancing communication and collaboration with your friends, peers, and colleagues here.  

Software Integrations

Integration with other collaboration platforms is where Slack really shines.  These may not get you quite to the "single pane of glass" many of us are looking for in a world with so many different options, but they do make it much easier to use Slack as a way to keep your focus on collaborating and working in one place, as opposed to constantly switching from one platform to the next.  The links below will walk you through integrating with some of the more popular MIT platforms, as well as some other useful cloud services.



Outlook Calendar


Google Drive

Google Calendar




There are many more tools, integrations, bots, and automated workflows that can be added to your accounts, channels, and workspaces and even adding a couple can completely transform how you work and how you collaborate with others.  You can learn more about them here.


For more information, please visit the IS&T Slack Enterprise Grid Landing Page.





Zoom has rapidly become the primary method for meetings and remote instruction. Security is also a focus with any online platform, therefore STOA strongly encourages the use of Touchstone Authenticated meetings for remote learning, and more information can be found at the Secure Zoom Meetings link below.


General Zoom Security Best Practices

Securing Zoom Meetings


Zoom also has posted a blog with some new security and remote learning features that should be available to you in the app soon, and you can read about them here.

Downloading the Application

STOA recommends the Zoom desktop client for the best experience and connection, and the most up to date version for your OS can be found here.

Optimizing your Connection

Zoom has collected System and Bandwidth Requirements for optimal connection here.


To improve your Zoom experience, if your connection is consistently poor, we recommend the following:

  • Quit all applications other than Zoom
  • Reboot your machine, and potentially your home router and modem
  • Turn off HD functionality in Zoom
  • Disable Gallery View in Zoom
  • Pause Crashplan or other backup software
  • DIsconnect from your VPN service
  • Move closer to your wireless router
  • Connect to your home network with ethernet cable


More info can be found at IS&T's Zoom Landing Page.



Other Collaboration Platforms


Panopto is a secure cloud video platform that provides an enhanced experience with regards to the remote learning experience and an easy to use toolset for video editing, hosting, and sharing.  Panopto integrates seamlessly with both Zoom and Canvas, and works in concert with either or both platforms to create, edit, and deliver high quality video content with unlimited cloud storage.  Panopto will automatically integrate with your MIT Zoom account on first login.


Piazza is another collaboration tool with a Canvas integration that you may find valuable this semester.  It provides cloud-based Q&A, wiki, and forum-like experiences for instructors and students to post notes, polls, questions, and answers to common issues students may experience with coursework.