S.13 – Collaboration


Session13: Exploring New Forms of Communication and Collaboration

Session Overview

Socially networked communication is a natural part of human interaction. From smoke signals to cell phones, human beings have employed technology to enhance and amplify communication for thousands of years. Each new medium of communication impacts and transforms human interaction and exchange. In a very short time span during the last several years, there has been unprecedented development of digital technologies that have at their core the capacity for anytime / anywhere communication. This capability has begun, yet again, to alter how we connect and communicate with each other. Given that the frequency of student-faculty contact both inside and outside of the classroom has been shown to be one of the most important factors in student motivation and involvement (Chickering & Gamson, 1987), it is important to consider how communication technologies might be used to enrich contact with and among learners. This class session will focus on the exploration of a range of web-based communication tools, and consider instructional examples as a means of understanding potential uses in other teaching contexts.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this session you should be able to:

  • Identify and discuss example uses of digital technologies that support course-based communication and collaboration
  • Consider how networked communication and collaboration can shape learner interaction

Key Questions

  • How are communication technologies changing expectations for interactions both inside and outside the classroom?
  • What problems are we attempting to solve with the introduction of real- time / always-on communication technologies in educational contexts?
  • What are some advantages / disadvantages of using socially networked communication tools in educational settings?
  • How might networked communication tools be used to support personal learning within a community of practice?


>> “Speed Dating” – Presentation of brief (5 minute) teaching vignettes that emphasizing how practice is enhanced – or how some problem is solved – by the use of a digital technology within the context of teaching / learning.

Communication (Possible options to consider…)

  • Email
  • Video (Appear.In / Google Hangout / Bb Collaborate / Skype / Facetime)
  • Networked comm (Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn / Academia.Edu)


–       Compelling use case for teacher / 7 Principles

–       Compelling use case for students / 7 Principles


Collaboration (Possible options to consider…)

  • Track Changes -> email
  • Google Docs  (small group – Gliffy / Prezi)
  • Wikis (Wesch example)
  • Diigo – Distributed annotation
  • Wikipedia


–       Compelling use case for teacher / 7 Principles

–       Compelling use case for students / 7 Principles

Suggested Assignment

1) Read selected book / begin draft of your review / reflection paper

2) Post ONE profound idea to your Learning Journal

3) Add to our collective knowledge…

Form:  Digital Technology to Support Teaching and Learning
Responses: Collection of Class Examples