Bishop Mueller Library

Online Collaboration Tools

In notes on October 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Let’s Talk met on October 12th for a discussion over online collaboration tools.  Much of the discussion centered on file sharing and communicating.  What do we mean by collaboration tools?  Here are a few scenarios:

Faculty at the Chroncile’s Prof Hacker blog gave several examples of how they’re using online tools in the classroom.

Archaeologists at Pompeii are using mobile apps on their iPads to take field notes and share information across the dig.

Uses on campus …

Some file sharing already happens on the local network at Briar Cliff, using programs like OneNote, which is included in the Microsoft Office package.  One office here, for example, shares to do lists in OneNote then moves completed projects into a running document for quarterly reports.

Prof. Tom Kleen has been using Google Spreadsheets for the campus football pool, using the summary tool to easily get charts and graphs based on data entered by participants into a public web form. The library has been using delicious.com to share bookmarks on their website and wordpress.com to post news announcements to their new home page.  Other departments on campus are training their students to use WordPress for their online portfolios.

Other bookmark or link sharing tools include diigo.com, where users can add notes and highlighting to webpages they want to remember. ReadItLater is a slightly different service that helps you keep track of online articles, blog posts or webpages that you want to get back to when you have more time.

For automatic online back-ups and file syncing across computers, we looked at Dropbox.com, which gives users 2 GB for free.  Other tools that were brought up included Windows Live, Carbonite, and Mozy.

Dropbox has been used in the library for sharing notes, articles, and collaborating on documents.  If you put your Dropbox folder on your laptop’s local hard drive, it can function as a mobile network space – even when you’re on the road.

For photos, we looked at Flickr and Google’s Picasa.  The library has a Flickr album for our Validation Day tours and screenshots of featured resources.

Are you using collaboration tools in your department?  Do you have some great workflows in place with the tools mentioned above?  Let us know in the comments!

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