Future-proofing for Collaborative Tools [A4]


In the years since computer-mediated communication first became a reality, a bewildering variety of collaborative tools have become available, not all created equal. Some modify existing technologies, e.g. extension of browsers to permit collaborative use. Others are monolithic, such as the CAVE virtual environment. In some cases, multiple approaches exist to achieve the same result – for example, an electronic whiteboard can store work created during a meeting for later retrieval, but a basic whiteboard can be augmented relatively cheaply to permit its contents to be stored. This workshop will introduce a number of collaborative technologies. Participants will consider the benefits of each approach through discussion and group work. Finally, the group will discuss approaches to future-proofing (networks, buildings, infrastructure) for the next generation of collaborative tools.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the session participants will have:

  • Gained an understanding of the uses, benefits and limitations of collaborative tools.
  • Considered the use cases underlying various choices of system with respect to a variety of tasks and needs.
  • Been encouraged to explore the various tools available and to consider the advantages, if any, to their groups or organisations.
  • Considered the infrastructure needs for collaborative tool use and how these needs may vary according to the evolution of technology and user needs.