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 educational sector you know best?

  • - auer2212 auer2212 Aug 7, 2012 Especially important in engineering education, because the typical kind of work in engineering is team work, due to the growing complexity of engineering tasks!
  • it support new and effect forms of learning science and engineering, sharing of experiences, negociating of opinions and ideas, etc., support remote education having a learning group of teacher and peers as well as prevents isolation - Christian.Guetl Christian.Guetl Aug 9, 2012
  • Engineering education can be very complex but yet the work to reach a successful outcome can be very structured. Learning in a collaborative environment is particularly conducive to engineering education as the learning involves solving complex problems in a cooperative, collaborative and engaging environment. - Vanessa.Chang Vanessa.Chang Aug 14, 2012
  • Many schools today are without credentialed, qualified STEM teachers to facilitate their class. Using a collaborative type of environment can give students access to teachers and other students exploring and learning the same topics - which can then help them gain a greater understanding of the topic. - Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Aug 25, 2012

(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 STEM+ education?

  • - auer2212 auer2212 Aug 7, 2012 By using such collaborative environments the best lab setups (equipment, tutorials, ...) are available for all students.
  • - auer2212 auer2212 Aug 7, 2012 Collaborative working via the Internet is not only limited to education! It is increasingly used also in industrial developing processes.
  • collaborative learning experiences for labs, experimentations, discussion of phenomena, etc. - Christian.Guetl Christian.Guetl Aug 9, 2012
  • As the use of the cloud is beyond borders, the collaborative learning environment/space can be used effectively to share student experiences and work in cross-cultural set-up. - Vanessa.Chang Vanessa.Chang Aug 14, 2012
  • Agree with all!! Collaborative environments are a development must. In science, collaboration is paramount, but I would say that for all human enterprise. We don't have yet full environments, but some are emerging with interesting features, like Google+, with its Hangouts with videoconferencing and social media incorporated.- antonio.vantaggiato antonio.vantaggiato Aug 18, 2012
  • In the STEM world, it is critical to collaborate with others to gain a deeper context of complex problems and solutions. Having a collaborate space, whether real-time, virtual or asynchronous space, providing that platform is beneficial for everyone. - Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Aug 25, 2012

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

Please share information about related projects via our NMC Horizon Report project submission form.