What are Collaborative Environments?


Collaborative environments are online spaces — often cloud-based — where the focus is making it easy to collaborate and work in groups, no matter where the participants may be. As the typical educator’s network of contacts has grown to include colleagues who might live and work across the country, or indeed anywhere on the globe, it has become common for people who are not physically located near each other to collaborate on projects. In classrooms as well, joint projects with students at other schools or in other countries are more and more commonplace as strategies to expose learners to a variety of perspectives. The essential attribute of the technologies in this set is that they make it easy for people to share interests and ideas and easily monitor collective progress. These tools are compelling and widely adopted because they are not only easy to use, but they are also either very low cost or free, and easily available via a web browser.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the education sector you know best?

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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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