Monday, September 3, 2012

How Do You Communicate?

Synchronous Communication - Participants connect with each other live or at one given time. This type of communication may be accomplished via text and audio/video technologies.
Video:  Skype, FaceTime, Blackboard, WizIQ
Text:  Instant Messaging, Social Networks, Back Channels (Today's Meet)

Asynchronous Communications - Participants communicate regardless of time and space.  This type of communication allows multiple participants to access, view, edit, listen and contribute to the conversation anytime or anywhere, regardless of other participants.
Video:  Recorded Meetings, YouTube,
Text:  Google Docs, Wikis, Blogs, Collaborative Calendars, Email, Social Networks

Knowing and understanding the technologies that support both of these types of communications does more than increase the chances for a successful project, they make them fun.  They do this because they build on the social aspect of collaboration - building relationship.  We, as humans, genuinely want to know people from other places.  Most of us value the cooperative group effort toward a common goal.  Using online spaces to connect students around a standard makes sense.

Here's an example 
I was assigned the task of creating a blog post about Teacherpreneurs with three other people.  Once the topic/groups were assigned, class ended.
We had a week to:
  1. Decide how to get started
  2. Organize our thoughts in a common place
  3. Share our blog post with the class
Communication tools were essential in the success of the project.  Here's how:
Decide How to Get Started
We used a social network (the FCP ning) to get the ball rolling on this project.  A group member shared a chat with all members of the assigned group - checking in, basically starting a hand-shake.  This was the first time anyone had worked together and it was essential to say hello and introduce.  From there a plan was born.  One group member would start a google-doc and we could all jot down our thoughts on the topic in one place.  
So far all communication was asynchronous.  
The google doc allowed for each participant to work independently, yet collaboratively in one space.  
Organize Thoughts in a Common Place
Google docs allows the ability to work in a collaborative environment on one document.  Here we could easily write, edit, and revise.  
At this point, we were still missing a group member.  We used additional forms of communication to attempt in contacting the missing member.  Group members chatted synchronously on the ning using the instant messaging feature.  From here, members emailed, tweeted, and sent messages to the missing member.  
We also used the instant message feature to continue the direction of the post, refining the editing process.  We could have done this on the google doc itself, but the immediate feedback the instant message feature allowed for quickened the process.  
Share the Blog Post
The post is written, the google doc made public, and the link to the document is shared with the rest of the class.  A cooperative and collaborative effort that enhanced the definition of teacherpreneur to all members of the class.  

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