Victoria Lovejoy, Ed.D.
Director of Online Learning PODetc
• This presentation is an excerpt from an online course offered through
PODetc, Professional Online Development from the Educational
• Learning Objectives: The four week course focuses on ISTE’s 2008 NET Teacher Standard:
Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity, Model Digital Age Work and Learning,
Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership and ISTE NET Student Standards, Creativity
and Innovation, Communication and Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and
Decision Making, Digital Citizenship, and Technology Operations and Concepts. The four
weeks of instruction are organized as follows:
•Week 1: Defining Your Collaborative ToolBox in the Cloud.
•Week 2: Sharing Online.
•Week 3: Collaborate with Data
• Week 4: Reflections on the Nature of Collaboration and Final Project
What’s in your
• Start by watching this Youtube clip to explain "Cloud Computing."
While we won't be concentrating solely on the term "cloud
computing," when we use the Internet to create and share
documents, we are using the "cloud." More and more applications are
available on the cloud and schools can leverage educational
packaging and many open source (i.e. free) applications that can
become valuable learning tools.
• Now read this article on “cloud computing” and decide if you are
using the “cloud.”
• What online digital tools do you count as part of your collaborative
Players in the cloud...
• As you start to explore the cloud, you will see a lot of familiar names including
Yahoo, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and Google. There are many aspects to making
services and applications available through the internet, and there are many
stakeholders invested in a big financial way. There is a long, but interesting video
recording of a major round table discussion among the big players in the cloud -
you can access it at the following link:
• The discussion is entitled: “Whose Cloud is it Anyhow.” This forum discusses many
issues including platform “wars” between different operating systems. What you
should focus on is the discussion of social sites and applications that not only
foster but thrive on interaction among their subscribers. Consider your thoughts on
the concept of a “cloud.” How could this idea of an information and application
“cloud” serve education and businesses? What questions does it raise?
• To continue to build your understanding and vocabulary, read the
following three articles:
• What is Cloud Computing? Wikipedia. Retrieved April 10, 2009.
• Knorr, E. and G. Gruman, ( 2008), What Cloud Computing Really
Means, InfoWorld. Retrieved April 10, 2009.
• Albaneseus, C. (2009) Google Gives Advice on Cloud Computing.
PC Magazine. Retrieved April 10, 2009.
Inventory your “Tool-
• Now take a moment to think about your online collaborative tools. Which of the
following do you make use of?
• Online chat (example: Yahoo messenger)
• VOIP (example: Skype)
• Internet hosted eMail (example: gmail, Yahoo mail)
• Online surveys: (example: Survey Monkey)
• Meeting coordination programs (example: Meeting Wizard)
• Teleconferencing or web-conferencing (example: GoTo Meeting)
• Collaborative documents (Google docs)
Build Your Glossary
• Here are some terms and definitions teachers from past courses have developed reflecting
concerns, implications, skills, and more:
• Sustainability - As with all technology it is constantly changing. What is next after cloud
technology? How long will this technology be around?
• Cost-Nothing is free and if businesses are working in the cloud in an effort to save money
that means someone else who they worked with in the past is losing money. It would be
hard for me to believe that if the demand increases in this area that the cost does not
• SaaS - SaaS is an abbreviation for software as a service. SaaS is when you deliver a software
application through an Interent Browser and it can run on any platform.
• Equity - How do we define equity in group projects with students? We need to create a
working definition that matches the ability of each individual student and help individuals in
the group understand the nature of equity.
• What does the concept of working in the “cloud” do to your definitions of
work, collaboration, ownership, authorship...?
Google Apps, for
• Sometimes it helps to see examples of a tool in use. Google has
collected a variety of case studies from a range of educational
applications. You can access the case studies at the following link:
• Each of the studies include a short video clip of an interview as well
as a brief write-up. Select and study a minimum of three of the case
studies that seem most applicable to you. Reflect on a few of these
case studies with your professional peers. What elements do you
think might be applicable to your environment? What potential
issues do you see that might arise?
• Whether you want to have a public site or simply a private site which you can set
as your homepage and personalize for things that you do or have an interest in,
iGoogle is a versatile place to start.
• In the screenshot on the previous page, you can see that I have a variety of RSS
feeds into readers that are specific to my interests. I have also created boxes with
links that I use on a regular basis so I don’t have to search bookmarks to find them.
If you explore iGoogle you can find practically any imaginable kind of widget to
add to your page. If you want to have sports scores from your favorite team, there
is likely a widget for that to add to your page.
• Visit this link to learn more about iGoogle pages -
- look for the link that tells you about creating your own iGoogle site. You can also
view this video on creating an iGoogle site:
• Google is a familiar name and is wrapped around more services than you might
expect. In addition to being a major search engine, Google offers services
available to educators, businesses, and industries of all types.
• Google is one of the options to create and share online documents, surveys, and
presentations. There are other options available and the foundations of
collaboration will hold true for all types. For the purposes of this presentation, we
will use examples from Google.
• Also notice on my iGoogle page, that I have a section that lists my various Google
Docs - these include documents that I have made and shared as well as any that
I’ve been asked to share in or have downloaded from a public site.
• You don’t have to have an iGoogle site to enjoy the opportunity to collaborate on
documents but if it is something that looks appealing it might just fit a need for
The Art of
• Before embarking on a collaborative assignment, it is critical to redefine
ownership of a project. When you are collaborating with others, the end-product
falls under a category of shared ownership. Now think about this from the
perspective of your students or colleagues and imagine how to some, collaboration
is more emotionally challenging than to others.
• Whether you are collaborating for your own purposes or directing a group in
collaboration, it is important to think about the process as much as the product.
Collaboration is an art and it is certainly a skill we need to foster in our peers and
students for their success in the future.
• Having defined your goals and rubrics for a collaborative project it is time to
consider the tools:
• Click here for a “Plain English” explanation of Google Docs for Collaboration -
Playing in the Sand!
• Hopefully this has given you a peek into the power of collaborative tools and we
are only just beginning to look!
• As a way to get you started, follow this link to a shared document that you can add
to or edit. Remember all conference participants will have access to this
document so be respectful but if you have never used Google Docs or similar online
collaborative applications here is a chance to experiment!!
PODetc - Professional Online Development from
the Educational Technology Community
• PODetc provides teaching professionals:
• Online learning options
• Courses on integration strategies of 21st century technology skills
• Collaborative online classroom environment
• Increase knowledge of the latest technology tools
• Convenient asynchronous format 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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