Collaboration and Learning – What Are Your Examples?

A while back Karen Schweitzer did a guest post here titled 15 Free Online Collaboration Tools and Apps. Karen is skilled at writing popular posts, but even so, I have been surprised at how much traffic this one has attracted. Apparently people are hungry for free online collaboration tools.

Meanwhile, on other fronts, an attendee at a recent Webinar I was part of noted that collaborative learning …

…should be a particular strength of e-learning from the perspective of technological capabilities. Yet I feel we are still in the early stages of discovering how to move from “broadcasting” knowledge to collaborating in learning. Where are the collaborative learning successes in e-learning? What can we do to accelerate this shift?

The question got me thinking about Karen’s post. My suspicion is that most of the people searching for and finding that post are not thinking in terms of collaborative learning. Or, perhaps more accurately, they are not necessarily thinking of what they will do with the tools as “learning,” even if it is. But in reality, I’m thinking there is a huge amount of collaborative learning going on out there. Whether you see it or not depends on your definition of learning.

So, I’d be really interested to find out how readers here are using collaboration tools and how they see them feeding into their learning, whether in a formal, traditional sense (e.g., as part of working on a class assignment, participating in class discussion) or in an informal sense (e.g., building knowledge as a project team, sharing experiences across social networks, etc.).

If you have an example of how you or others are using online collaboration tools with a learning twist, please comment and share. Is it working well? How or how not?  (And in case you hadn’t thought of it in these terms yet, this post is itself an attempt at collaborative learning!)


3 thoughts on “Collaboration and Learning – What Are Your Examples?”

  1. Greetings,

    I too was drawn to this thread from the “15 Free Online Collaboration Tools” because of a recent class grouping at a local community college. I’ll post back here if we (a small group of 5 college students enrolled in a Business class) choose to use one of these or another collaborative learning tool and/or application.

    Thanks for the post, thanks for the information and best wishes,

    SparrowHawke (my online name)

  2. Symphony Educate is a online academic collaboration site geared for school districts, district schools, and institutions. Easily create administrative, subject, teacher specific public and private sites within your community or site. Easily share documents, assignments, and class plans. Setup calendars for personal or school events. Contact us at SymphonyOffice.Com to learn about all our great features. Use Symphony Educate by SymphonyOffice.Com

  3. I ran accross Karen’s original article and follwed the thread to here. What I am looking for is a collaborative space where I can work with other students. 5 of us have been made into a group to work on a goup assignment and we need a way to work together on document, discuss research, and set deadlines. So we need file sharing, discussion with comments and attachments, caledar, and possibly a task list. It also needs to be totally private to the 5 of us with strong security. Lastly it must be simple to use and visually easy on the eye. Not everyone in the group is IT savvy.

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