What Mean Ye Collaboration Tools?

Bear with me on a long introduction here, but later in this post I am asking for ideas and possible remote participation in an upcoming presentation.

In an email exchange a few months back, Phil Long had asked me and Stephen Downes (I am the little leg on this stool) thoughts on a presentation on internet collaboration tools. I jotted some ideas down, clicked send, and did not realize that I had missed the point that Phil was asking us to co-present this session at the EDUCAUSE Seminars on Academic Computing (SAC). It hit me a few weeks ago when someone from EDUCAUSE emailed with reminders of registration and an inquiry as to who this “A. Levine” was.

So I’m signed up for SAC.. it’s almost like getting let in the back door to the ritzy country club, as this event has been referred to as “Snowmass” for its high elevation settings in Snowmass Village near Aspen, Colorado. I assumed this was mostly the CIO crowd hatching their ideas up in the thin air, but now it looks like this dog is crashing the party.

So “Collaboration Tools”… I can easily toss out things like blogs, wikis, IM, del.icio.us, flickr, et al… But is that what others, SAC like people think? Is email one? Blackboard (yuck)? There was some recent industry magazine with an article on “collaboration tools” and it was Oracle calendar stuff. Is that it? What about RSS? Is it bitTorrent? Is P2P count? Audio chat? Pod/Vid/AppCasting? And what about the clever and interesting ways people bend the services of del.icio.us, technorati, flickr into new unexpected results?

Yes, more than just demmo-ing and gloating about the tools, what the interesting things done with them?

Now I need some help and am counting on some readers to send some ideas. Yup, that means you, all the people I meet get conferences who say the read this blog but have never graced the comments box below. It’s time to outnumber the flow of comment-spam with some real stuff.

So here is what I want to know, feel free to answer all or none, but please, help with something!

* What are the first things you think of when I say “collaboration tools”?
* Which ones do you use for a real-life purpose?
* What do they do that you could do without them?
* Who do you collaborate with?
* Do you have a real success story? Perhaps one related to education?
* What are some specific ways the net generation are using these that the…. ahem… other generations are not?
* What are ways these tools could be used that they are not right now?

Secondly, I am looking for some far flung people (well outside of the Aspen area) who’d be willing perhaps to participate live via say Skype or text chat or iChat AV or other real time tools to share with our audience their ideas on net collaboration. This would be August 10 somewhere in the window of 9:00 – 10:00 AM MST (find your local time via the World Clock)

So who wants to play?

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Doh! I forget the date (just updated the entry)… August 10… 2005….. Earth,

    Wow, you were quick! I thought you fell off the edge of the planet ;-) PS, Brian, I just met with a faculty member who was here for your April wiki workshop and she is modeling an activity based on the one you showed here.

  2. I’d be willing to share some success stories of blogs, wikis, and IM in education in Orange County, Ca. I also have an iSight and could provide a cameo if our schedules would be so accommodating.

    Hopefully one example you can share is this effort of yours. ;)


  3. Thanks for the date. It turns out I am offering another workshop at that time… but, it is to a group of tech lead teachers in Laguna Beach who have been learning about the read/write web, so perhaps it could be a cool collaboration for them to take part in.


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