Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Planning Collaboration Virtually

About a month ago I started working on a presentation for the PA Governor's Institute STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Some of my fellow Keystones and CFF coaches gathered on a conference call to begin discussions about how to present 21st century skills to this audience. We broke off into 3 groups: elementary, middle, and high school. I had the pleasure of working with Jeff Rothenberger on the elementary portion of the presentation. We brainstormed, shared information, created a wikispace, and developed a Keynote presentation without any face to face meetings. We met today, for the first time, and gave our presentation.

A year ago, I would never have envisioned that this would be possible! Our early correspondence consisted of email in order to exchange skype names. Later we used video skype in order to share ideas. We each built our part of the project on a collaborative wikispace then moved into a Keynote presentation. (It occurred to me today that we could've used Google Presentations as well!) Jeff created the template for the presentation as well as his slides. He uploaded it to my .mac idisc. I downloaded it from there and added to it. We continued to revise up to and including the day of the presentation.

The implications for education are tremedous! Even though the digital divide is still a reality, many people in my area are migrating to the local libraries to obtain internet access. This virtual collaboration could make group work more feasible! Where was this when I was in college?!?


Jim Gates said...

Thanks for taking to time to share your thoughts on the day. I DO SO wish I could have been there. From what Jeff said you had EXCELLENT responses - which I KNEW you would.

I say it every day, and it's times like this that give me yet another reason to say, "I'm a lucky man." In this case, to have folks such as you, Jeff, Aly, Scott, Akram, and Cheryl as friends. You 'guys' are a class act.

Suzie Vesper said...

I know exactly what you mean! The world has changed. I am running a full day workshop on Web 2.0 technologies and decided that I wanted to have a contextual approach. I know a couple of great thinkers so invited them to put in their input using a Google Doc. These multiple perspectives have been so useful and has really helped me to shape up the day even though they won't be involved in the actual presentation itself. I think it is wonderful that we can now work this way.