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Collaboration and the University

November 18, 2008

Okay, so I’m very sorry for the lack of updates. My only excuses are that it is nearing the end of the quarter, enough said, and I took the weekend off to top off my energy tanks because exhaustion was taking over in a big way. So enough with that and on to the topic of the day–collaboration and the university. Yes, everything is about collaboration.

Now I really don’t care if this article says that the blog is dead and we should all move to twitter. People declared the death of the book years ago and I’m still borrowing and buying books. It is just now that there are multiple ways to deliver and receive information. Is twitter fun and a neat way to keep up with people, sure? But blogs are still a great way to deliver information and even if people don’t get famous off their blogs anymore, which seems to be one of the laments of that articles, blogs still offer a way to get your voice out there on the web and contribute to the building of community.

So what does this have to do with collaboration and the university? Well, this article says that Web 2.0’s big advantage to the college and university world is the ability to collaborate. You don’t say? 🙂 And what have we been discussing on this blog, why, collaboration. It is all about connecting people to people, information to people and people to the information. Collaboration is always what Web 2.0 is about and it is nice to see someone write an eloquent article on the subject. I think one of the things that will save online learning is the fact that it is becoming easier and easier to collaborate online, even asynchronously. One of my big concerns with online learning is the potential loss of interaction and synergy among students that happens during great group discussions and projects in face-to-face classes. But with Web 2.0 growing, improving and expanding the opportunities for collaboration each day, we do not have to sacrifice interaction when teaching online. And that, to me, is a saving grace because I don’t want us to become a bunch of pod-people who never interact and lose all social graces of conversation. Remember, it really is all about interaction, community and collaboration. Without interaction, we are all just screaming into the abyss of cyberspace by ourselves which, let’s face it, does not sound like a very appealing way to spend your life.

And, last but certainly not least, a post with a video clip from Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. The stop-motion film looks awesome and Gaiman’s take on other people expanding and adapting his creative works is so refreshing. Talk about being talented and gracious. This article and clip renewed my confidence in Mark Twain’s quote: “Stay away from people who belittle your ambitions, small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

Have a great Tuesday.

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