Online Collaboration Tools

Brief Description:external image 601687741_ff3d58b0e5_m.jpg

This page examines neither a method nor a single tool, but an introduction to multiple tools that can help us collaborate and share knowledge online, allowing us to work across the globe, rather than limiting ourselves to our local groups. These tools are useful when there is reasonable and affordable Internet access; care should be taken to avoid them if some of your group or network is excluded due to lack of access.

Example Applications:

  • Connecting a global community of practice via an email list or blog.
  • Holding a weeklong online meeting in a web forum or blog.
  • Sharing resources on a wiki or a blog.
  • Using an online Yellow Pages to find people with a particular skill or expertise.
  • Sharing documents globally on an intranet.
  • Carrying out a peer assist with colleagues around the world using a web meeting tool.

Full Description:

Online collaboration tools are varied and multiplying every day. The Knowledge Cafe contains resources pages on some of these tools including:

The chief consideration in using online tools is to think first about what you want to do with others, and only then think about tools. It is easy to be attracted to new tools, but our prime attraction should be to how we connect and share knowledge.

For example:
  • If you want to have online conversations, consider email lists and web forums.
  • If you want to share news, consider blogs and email lists.
  • If you want to create documents and resources together, consider a wiki or web-based tools like Google Docs.
  • If you want to bring people together to actively brainstorm, critique or share stories, consider a web meeting or a Voice over IP tool (VOIP) like Skype.
  • If you want to stay in touch informally with others who are frequently online, consider instant messenging (IM).

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