Sunday, December 11, 2011

Week 5 of CED 550 - Collaborative

This week we listened to more presentations from our classmates. The focus of our asynchronous class was collaboration.

My experience with online communities has been positive. I have primarily experienced these communities through my grad work and I believe that this makes a difference. The communities that I have been a part of have consisted of people that are invested in what they do. They are interested in the topics and care about the group. This is what makes our group successful and my experiences positive.

I believe the biggest benefit of collaborative groups is the chance to hear others' opinions. It is always great to hear different perspectives about a topic. Collaboration has allowed me to gain a more robust understanding of a variety of topics because I have been able to learn from others.

I believe the greatest challenge of collaboration is finding the time to work together. Even though the web 2.0 tools have drastically changed the way that we collaborate, the reality is that we still need to sit down and make a conscience effort to communicate with others. Resources such as google docs allow us to collaborate asynchronously, but we still need to take that step. The hardest part about collaboration is that your group is as weak as your weakest group member. If someone does not share, the group falters.

My biggest concern regarding social development and socialization is that individuals who thrive in an online environment may not be able to communicate their thoughts when they are face-face in a large group. I find that it is easier to text, email, and post my thoughts than it is to vocalize these same ideas when I am in a large group. If an individual chooses to only share his/her thoughts through technology, he/she may not be able to communicate outside the online world. This would be a major disservice to our students.

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