Course:ETEC522/Collaboration technologies

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This wiki page is a part of an activity for ETEC522. In additon to participating in our discussion forums, we would like you to collaborate with us in creating a repository of collaboration technologies relevent to education, whether for K-12, higher education, or corporate training. Add one or more technologies that you are familiar with, plus a brief review of each one, under the heading "Directory and review of collaboration technologies".


What are Collaborative Technologies?

Collaboration technologies can be defined as any technology that is designed to allow a group of people to complete a common task or achieve a common goal. Collaborative software is the basis for computer supported cooperative work (CWSW).

From UC Berkley ICT:

Information technology can both facilitate and augment the reach and power of collaboration by providing "collaborative tools." In the context of this strategy document: Collaborative tools are computing systems that include, as one of their major design goals, features designed to facilitate work that involves more than one person.

What is CSCW?

According to Wilson (1991):

CSCW is understood to be a generic term which combines the understanding of the way people work in groups with the enabling technologies of computer networking and associated hardware, software, services, and techniques. This embraces a variety of other terms which have since appeared including ‘Groupware’ and ‘Workgroup Computing’.

Groupware is described by Robert Johansen in his book of the same name as: “... a generic term for specialized computer aids that are designed for the use of collaborative work groups. Typically, these groups are small project-oriented teams that have important tasks and tight deadlines. Groupware can involve software hardware, services, and/or group process support.”

Workgroup Computing. On the other hand, tends to be used to describe support provided by the networked microcomputer. Articles on Workgroup Computing usually restricted themselves to discussions of software products such as group calendars and shared telephone directories and files.

Directory and review of collaboration technologies

Bulletin Board System - An early version of internet forums where users can publicly post, read, and reply to messages. [Byron Kask]

Etherpad - this collaborative, simultaneous text editor allows numerous users to work live on a document at the same time. Additionally, allows a replay in video format of all of the changes made to the document. Especially useful because there is no account required - simply navigate to a specified URL and start collaborating. [Jeffrey Laird]

Diigo - Online bookmark: Organize by tags or lists; Access from anywhere, anytime! Archive: Do not just bookmark! Annotate: Do not just archive! Highlight! Add sticky notes too! Archive pages forever! Make them searchable too! Create a private or public group for your company, class, and teams. Share findings to the group -- make it the second brain for your team! Interact on the web pages in-situ or in the group. [Adam Rattray]

[Google Docs] - multi-user documents which can be published for public viewing or kept private. [Sharon Hann]

Internet Forums - One of the most common web-based platform for collaboration or topical discussion. Also known as Message Boards and Discussion Boards. [Byron Kask]. If they are active the replies can approach chat on very large or active forums or when there are :hot button: topics [Kathleen Cavanagh]

Newsgroups - Much like the early Bulletin Board System, but hosted in public servers and are still in use. [Byron Kask]

I use [google docs] quite often and like the word document style and the ability to easily share the document, however I do find it is difficult for multiple people to edit at the same time. [Ashley Jones]

Application Sharing-Application Sharing (google docs, etc) allows users to access shared documents and/or applications simultaneously from each participants computer. Typically the documents or applications can be fully utilized synchronously as well.[Liz Hood]

Video conferencing is an interactive and collaborative communication technology. It allows for two way audio and video interaction between 2 or more locations where you can meet and share documents and computer-displayed information. [C.Jung]

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server is used by organizations and businesses for content management and so staff can collaborate on projects and share schedules with one another. [Marjorie del Mundo]

LiveMeeting is another way of collaborating in the same space, with shared audio and video. Unfortunately it las a cost. [Barbara Mair]

Yugma is a web conferencing interface which allows participants to share both desktops and ideas. The basic free version is suitable for most needs while the paid “pro” version allows for a variety of more complicated interfaces including whiteboard and recording/playback of the meeting.[Liz Hood]

Mikogo is a web conferencing tool which supports file sharing and communication between multiple participants. Files can be transferred, synchronous communication is supported and session recording/playback is possible. [Liz Hood]

Elluminate is another wonderful tool to have meetings and actually see the other people! [Barbara Mair]

Projjex- Projjex is an online service that helps small businesses manage their clients, projects, tasks, time and invoices. It's designed to help run a business in the most efficient manner possible. It helps to drive more revenue, lower costs, and improve business relationships. [Anthony Di Palma]

Scribblar - Shared whiteboard space allows users to work on a document at the same time. Features chat window and ability to upload images to markup. No account required means quick classroom access if needed. [Jeff Laird]

Skype Skype is a free service that allows multiple people to communicate via voice, text or video from any internet connected computer or handheld device. I've used it often in my MET classes and also several times with my own class in contacting classes elsewhere in the world. [Cari Wilson]

Skype 2.8 also allows for file sharing and "show my screen" options. [Erica Toombs]

Messenger - Similar to Skype, Messenger allows multiple users to communicate via voice, text or video from any internet connected computer or handheld device. The difference between the two applications is that Skype also incorporates mobile technology allowing users to contact others on a landline or mobile phone. [Colin Cheng]

[1]QQ is a Chinese messaging stystem where it is very similar to MSN. Many users download it on to their mobile phones and use it as means of an entertainment space. The penguin with the scarf is the mascot for this application and is widely used in Asia. It also comes with an email address and other additional features (Iris Chan)

ICQ is the MSN that I loved to use way back in the days...just felt sentimental when seeing Messenger, Skype, and QQ. ICQ is "a personal communication tool that allows users to meet and interact through instant messaging services such as text, voice, video and VoIP as well as various entertainment and community products" (ICQ). [Eveline Yu]

Sina is... very scary when you first enter - with its flashes and the feeling of information overload. However, all my students are familiar with it as it is the largest Chinese-language infotainment web portal. It has portals globally, which provides the local news, mobile services, community interaction in your part of the world. It also offers community-building channels, free and premium email, blog services, audio and video streaming, game community services, classified listings, fee-based services, e-commerce and enterprise e-solutions. Basically, it's the first-stop in connecting to the world...and its million flashing ads is how the site generates revenue. [Eveline Yu]

[2] - NING advertises itself as primarily 'Social Networking' however it is a perfect web based shell for collaboration. You are able to easily discuss, comment, and build webpages in a collaborative fashion. (Jay Dixon)

Second Life - Second Life is a virtual world where users can have interactions with others users in many ways that mirror those that are in real life. Users are able to travel, discuss, purchase, sell, and take control of a “Second Life” in this virtual world. [Omar Ramroop] The potential for second life is to embed learners in a more "familiar" environment. Right now the emphasis for institutions is to get their bricks and mortar presence into this realm to set up shop [Kathleen Cavanagh]

Twitter began as a microblogging service which incorporates aspects of social networking. Users send and receive messages (tweets). The text based posts are limited to 140 characters. Tweets are displayed on the sender’s homepage and are sent to the author’s subscribers, known “followers”. Users can send and receive messages both through the Twitter website as well as a variety of mobile technologies. [Liz Hood]

Digu is the Chinese microblogging service which mirrors Twitter (as Twitter is blocked in China). Digu enables its users to use a computer or a mobile phone to keep connected with their friends, family, colleagues and people who are interested in following them through the exchange of short and frequently answers to one simple question: What are you doing? (Sound familiar?) [Eveline Yu]

Twiddla - Team Whiteboarding site. Free, easy to use, and no set-up required. (Erik Van Dusen).

Voicethread Voicethread is a neat tool that allows students or teachers to upload images or video and then draw and comment using text, voice or video. From there, other students can comment and add information. [Cari Wilson] [3] allows users to talk via VOIP and to share a common screen. You can upload common files like jpegs, word documents, pdf, mp3 and more. [Ed Stuerle]

Wetpaint Wetpaint is a freeform collaboration application that brings in features from wikis, blogs, forums, and social networks. (Erik Van Dusen)

Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Users can add, remove, and edit information in a topic. This sometimes leads to unreliable information, but in many cases, Wikipedia is a fast and efficient way to find resources and starting information on a topic. [Amy Frank]

Wimba is a tool to enhance interactivity between teacher and students (and among students) in an LMS environment. Wimba supports text chat, audio chat and video chat. Wimba Classroom: [4] Noah Burdett

Wimba Collaboration Suite : In addition to Wimba Classroom, there are other three tools that integrate with Wimba Classroom and all four form what’s referred to as Wimba Collaboration Suite. Other tools are; Wimba Create which is a content rapid authoring tool that comes as plug-in with Microsoft Word and enables authors to publish SCORM compliant courses on the fly. Wimba Voice is a set of tools that you can integrate with popular LMS(s) like Blackboard and Moodle, it simply add “voice” feature to different LMS sections like; discussion bulletin board, mail, news and announcement. Wimba Pronto is mainly an IM chatting tool that can be customized to run by the institute members only (teachers, students, staff) in an intranet manner, it has additional features similar to Wimba Classroom like audio/video chatting and application sharing over white board. [Ammar Al-Attiyat]

Blackboard Academic Suite - Blackboard is an online platform that is used as Content “Manager” and as an Online Learning Community. This platform can be used from K- Graduate schools as well as life-long learning and training, providing various tools as quizzes, tests, discussion boards, chats, course calendar, and even an Electronic Portfolio. Blackboard charges for its license depending on the range or volume of students using it. [Ceci Tagliapietra]

Delicious Is an online social bookmarking service- you can share bookmarks with different users or access your bookmarks from different computers through online access. I’ve used delicious in one of my online classes and it has worked great, students are continuously updating and adding information (bookmarks) which they can later consult. To see a quick (and very creative) video explaining the site, go to: [5][Ceci Tagliapietra]

[[ Acrobat Connect Pro]]- webconferencing, deliver eLearning, share documents, host webinars. [Erica Toombs]

[iChat] - free with any new MAC - video conferencing, file sharing, slideshows, IM, video sharing and more.[Erica Toombs]

Bubbl.Us Mind Map - free collaborative mind mapping tool [Cindy (Leach Plunkett]

Mind Map - another free collaborative mind mapping tool. See an example of it in use [6] [Brian Powell]

The Telephoneis an old school collaborative technology which allows users to communicate across vast distances I guess that's what I get for showing up to the party late [Jim Richardson]

PB Works is has s free WYSIWYG wiki offering as well as other upgrade options for a fee.[Jim Richardson]

[[]]Marratech is a Swedish company which developed desktop conferencing software which allows for web conferences and video conferencing to anyone with internet access. This software is now owned by Google. A free client and server called Marratech Manager is downloadable from [7] (Bev Knutson-Shaw)

[8]Facebook is a social networking site. (Bev Knutson-Shaw)

[9] XiaoNei is the Chinese version of Facebook. Most users in Beijing using this site instead of it because Facebook is censored. It is a very successful rip off as a social networking site and has a lot more customizable features. (Iris Chan)

[[10]] Youku is the Chinese version of YouTube since Youtube has been censored by Chinese authorities. Youku consists of a variety of video clips that users post. From news to talk shows, the amount of content on this site is a result of collaborative technologies. (Iris Chan)


[[11]] is a free meeting application that can be used for up to 20 participants without a charge. It is video and audio capable, and can be recorded. It has a whiteboard, chat, and desktop sharing features. --AnnetteSmith 21:46, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Here is a site to consider: (Lorne Upton)