When using digital collaborative techniques in the classroom, it is best if every student has individual access to the technology, which can become costly if the school is supplying the technology. It can be challenging to keep all of the technology working consistently, it can also be challenging to keep students on the assigned task when they are working with technology.
I agree in a sense that having technology in a class can become costly and may require much maintenance, and I also agree that students will undoubtedly abuse their technological freedoms. However, I fee; that technology can be a great resource to students. It makes them do the research, helps them look up and earn things for themselves getting them more involved then just listening to a lecture. Like much in life problems will arise but also good can come out of technologies being used in school as well.
Digital collaboration takes many forms: research, preparing, presenting. For the first timers, start small and have one aspect used, and then build from there. Also, have a Plan B if a site is blocked or email is required for sign in and the student does not have access.
Have the students "invite" you in as a collaborator so you can monitor their progress.
Here are some bookmarks. Do a search for "collaboration" and also "presentation". There is more out there than Google Docs.
I agree with you. We often think that each student must have a technology device to be effective, when in reality collaboration works best when you put a device in small groups and allow students to problem solve and teach other while completing a collaborative assignment.