Hello, my name is Fengrong Yang and I’m currently a first year PhD student in Educational Psychology and Quantitative matters in UB. Collaborative technologies create spaces for people to interact, exchange ideas, and connect – regardless of geographical location, age, race, gender, physical ability, or any of the other ways that can separate us.
They help us share ideas and develop communities.
Some collaboration tools enable Synchronous collaboration- meaning “real-time” exchanges. Other tools facilitate asynchronous collaborations – meaning “at different times.”
The tools often include video and audio, and enable collaborators to share screens, documents, and files, and most importantly – ideas.
Think of web conferencing as a good example of real-time collaboration.
Companies use audio and video collaboration tools to facilitate both formal and informal exchanges among colleagues, allowing participants to experience the benefits of face-to-face meetings.
Technology tools that facilitate real-time exchanges are often free, and allow you to communicate from your computer, phone or tablet.
Web conferencing is very similar to making a phone call but it also provides the advantage of seeing and hearing the other people you are communicating with.
Conferencing tools often enable:
- desktop and document sharing
- file transfers
- the use of a whiteboard, and the ability to record meetings
An advantage of real-time collaborative tools is that we can easily replicate aspects of being together in a physical space.
When we can see each other our sense of connection is increased.
There are asynchronous collaborative tools as well, these enable participants to engage with and contribute to collaborations at different times.
An example of an asynchronous collaboration would be an online multimedia slideshow that includes images, documents, and videos that allow people to navigate slides and leave comments in multiple formats.
These types of collaborative tools help to co-develop and create. For example, one person can start the creation of a slideshow and then another person, or an additional group of people, can continue to add to or edit the original file.