Researcher stuff – Collaboration

One of me in SL

This is "me"

Networking involves a number of activities. The starting point is Communication, next you can move onto Collaboration. Yesterday I wrote about apps (applications) that were mainly involved in Communication. Today it’s the turn of Collaboration. The divisions of apps into particular groups is rather artificial as many apps cross between the groupings, however, these are based on groups in Social Media: A guide for researchers produced by RIN.

Conferencing is first on the list of collaborative activities. Many of you will probably already attended a webinar. People often use the word webinar (a combination of the words web and seminar) rather than conference simply because the activity is more like a seminar than a conference. At a conference you tend to expect to be talked at – there is usually a lot more activity in a webinar. The most well-known apps for conferencing are Elluminate, Wimba and Adobe Connect. Blackboard has now acquired both Elluminate and Wimba so anything you use in university, or between universities, these days is probably Blackboard Collaborate which is a combination of Elluminate and Wimba. Both Elluminate and Blackboard are well outside any individual’s finances but for a group of 15 you could use GoToMeeting for a cost of about £3.00 each per month. All of these programs provide you with video, audio, presentation boards, collaborative document production, text chat, screen capture recording. Wikis are another good way of collaborating. You can use wikis to help manage a project, create guidelines or policies, or even collaboratively write a whole book. The most used wiki program is PBworks, it is very easy to use which probably accounts for its popularity. If your university doesn’t have an account with PBwiki you can set up one of your own for free. If you want something that is more open try Wikia but I think that it is more useful for data collection than data presentation as it is not as secure as PBwiki.

Social bookmarking is a useful way of keeping and sharing links to web pages, online articles and other online resources – these resources are retained in the Cloud. Delicious is very useful and fairly easy to use. It’s nearly as easy as using Bookmark or Favourites in your browser but you also have the advantage of being able to save other people’s bookmarks too. Once you start sharing you normally find those you share with come up with links to information that is new to you. Just remember to tag your bookmarks or it will all start to get in a dreadful muddle. A similar program, “citeUlike is a free service for managing and discovering scholarly references” very useful, very plain, very easy to use and will produce a bibliography for you. In citUlike you can link to other people, ask the site to watch for papers that might interest you and browse through what is already available as well as saving articles yourself. If your thing is science then you might like to use Mendeley, which is another Cloud social bookmarker but specifically for academics in science, this one will also produce a bibliography for you. It’s very smart and effective and can be used across different platforms. Personally I like Diigo but it provides a little more than Delicious. Your bookmarks are always accessible to you from your iPhone, Android or iPad and, if downloaded can be read offline. The best thing about Diigo is the way you can annotate the information you keep whether it’s a web page, picture or whatever, a far more detailed engagement with the information than Delicious. Of course there is no reason why you shouldn’t use both 🙂

Wow – didn’t realise how long this is getting. I’ll come back to this on Monday and finish off with Social news, Social documents, Cloud Portfolios and Project management.


About timjohnson
I came through a tortuous path to the role of Adviser in Digital Literacy in the Information and Learning Services Department. In the past I was a: Senior Lecturer in Health Informatics, Senior Lectuer in Midwifery, Midwifery Sister, Staff Midwife, Nurse, Secretary, Bars Manager. I would have liked to be a jeweller and silver smith but of course there is always retirement for that :)

One Response to Researcher stuff – Collaboration

  1. Pingback: A little help « Digital Literacy @ University of Worcester

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