This Bring Your own Devices for Learning course or Mini Open Online Course is really affecting my TV viewing!
Anyway, time to hit the blog again. When I think about it, collaboration is an essential element of my role working within a central service team at a university. I am required, and generally happy to, work with a myriad of different members of staff across the institution. I collaborate with staff in back end IT systems to ensure the front end is working for staff I support. I collaborate with academic staff helping them create engaging courses, support assessment, explore and research new technologies with them. Then there's the work we do with alumni, centre for entrepreneurship, libraries, skills support, and so on. You get the idea, and that's just within my institution!
I do love a bit of collaboration. I enjoy and find it stimulating (as well as learning lots!) from working with a broad range of people, with disparate interests, backgrounds and views. Perhaps this is why I feel puzzled as to why certain groups in higher education tend not to collaborate in these ways, tend not share and sometimes demonstrate a level of competition that could be considered as conflicting with the goals of effective collaboration. Aren't we all working for similar aims and objectives?
The chats that I was following tended not to focus on apps, devices or tools. So I will talk about them a little here. These are the tools I use to collaborate with people at a distance:
- Google Drive
Fairly common tools I reckon. However, as I'm writing this up, I'm conscious about the themes of collaborating across time that Andrew Middleton has been discussing on his blog. Following on from that thought process, the use of open access materials or content with creative commons licences could be considered a collaboration of sorts: time shifted. For example, when I plan to create a presentation in PowerPoint (Yes, I still use it! Not a fan of prezi), then I tend to use Flickr or the excellent Xpert image attribution tool created by Nottingham university. These online tools allow me to create a presentation in collaboration with a range of gifted artists and photographers who kindly assign the CC licence to their work. Recently, I've had my head turned by HaikuDeck. This iOS app (when will there be an Android version??) but there is also a web version in beta right now. Its this version I'm most excited about as it also allows me to 'collaborate' with excellent artists who use Flickr and make their work available via creative commons. This video will show you some of the reasons why I like its ease of use and openness.
Finally, Blackboard Collaborate is a tool I'm currently training myself and others to use (desktop & mobile). I'm loving the way that control of the space can be given out to allow participants/students to use tools and the spaces in creative and collaborative ways.
I can't stop and won't stop collaborating!