Building collaborative communities online: a CSU initiative


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Collaboration between teachers and teacher-librarians has always been a desirable and productive activity within schools. With the growing use of the Internet, collaboration is being extended to include collaboration between schools, teachers and teacher-librarians that may be geographically disparate. The processes required to undertake this form of collaboration often require a new set of skills, including the skills of communicating using electronic media. The presentation will demonstrate a developmental approach taken by teacher-librarian students at CSU.

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Building collaborative communities online: a CSU initiative

  1. 1. Building Collaborative Communities Online A CSU Learning Initiative Roy Crotty Associate Lecturer School of Information Studies Charles Sturt University Diversity Challenge Resilience: School Libraries in Action - The 12th Biennial School Library Association of Queensland, the 39th International Association of School Librarianship Annual Conference, incorporating the 14th International Forum on Research in School Librarianship, Brisbane, QLD Australia, 27 September – 1 October 2010.
  2. 2. CONTEXT Students develop a Powerpoint presentation within a group situation – groups of 3 or 4 Group members have never met Group members may never meet Group membership randomly developed Members geographically and time isolated May not have been previously involved in this form of communication and collaborative activity Group members have a common task
  3. 3. Assignment Develop a Powerpoint presentation for an editorial panel of a professional journal NOT associated with teacher librarians 12 -15 slides Content related to one of four objectives: Leadership Organisational theory Strategic planning Developing mission statements Fifth objective – communication & collaboration
  4. 4. CBAM Model of Change Concerns Based Adoption Model
  5. 5. Levels of Concern Non-use / Awareness Preparation Mechanical Use Routine Use Refinement Integration Renewal
  6. 6. Communication 1 Students are given the email address of other group members Asked to introduce themselves Only required to offer information they feel comfortable to share Arrange to meet regularly Discussion of objective & topic selection begins “I was so unsure of what to say until I discovered everyone else felt the same.”
  7. 7. Communication 2 Students introduced to Neatchat Synchronous communication begins Objective & topic selection completed Tasks allocated by group members “ I began to feel more comfortable within myself when I could communicate with them online. I enjoyed using Neatchat and waiting for responses to my queries.” “I can see my students using this tool.”
  8. 8. NeatChat
  9. 9. Communication 3 Students introduced to Skype Synchronous group communication Increasing efficiency of communication Reducing ‘noise’, increasing information flow Voice, and possibly facial expression, can now be added
  10. 10. Skype Comments “Wow!” “And it’s free…” “Has increased our communication efficiency markedly and the number of times we meet.” “These people are now my friends more than just being group members.” “I’ve become a Skype junkie.” “What’s next?”
  11. 11. Collaboration Google Docs is introduced with assistance Allows online, real-time collaboration Powerpoint can be uploaded or created on Google Docs Can be accessed anywhere Youtube video provides evidence of benefits
  12. 12. Communication/Collaboration Students now have both communication and collaboration tools Enhances and empowers the group and each member to produce a quality product Ultimate situation: Group members on Skype simultaneously collaboratively editing the Powerpoint presentation
  13. 13. Levels of Concern Non-use / Awareness Preparation Mechanical Use Routine Use Refinement Integration Renewal
  14. 14. What’s Next? Sharing within a Community of Practice
  15. 15. Social Bookmarking site Save all your bookmarks online Share with other people Bookmarks can be tagged Allows tracking of your tagged sites Others can add to your site
  16. 16. Comments “No longer are we restricted to a clunky form of sharing with others.” “I’m a big fan of the transportable office.” “Sites are handy whichever computer you are using anywhere in the world.” “I’ve not had a real need to use it and now I’m addicted.” “Being able to access one point that holds all the links I need to help me understand the subject is both time efficient and helps my organisational skills.” “This is a must-use site. I will be developing my own for my senior high school students and sharing with other TLs.”
  17. 17. Questions Roy Crotty Charles Sturt University roy.crotty (Skype) 02 6933 2703