Friday, July 15, 2011

Collaborative Technologies

 Collaborative Technologies

Technology tools are not only impacting the field of education, but are sought out to promote effective training solutions for businesses and corporations. Economic trends and industry needs are dictating training programs that are convenient, flexible and cost effective. As businesses continue to grow and expand, its training program will also need to grow and expand in order to reach and teach to the individual needs of its employees. It is important for instructional designers and consultants to be knowledgeable and aware of what technology solutions will be most effective. Take a look at the following scenario and recommended solution.

A Scenario Fit for a Collaborative Training Environment

An automated staff information system was recently purchased by a major corporation and needs to be implemented in six regional offices. Unfortunately, the staff is located throughout all the different offices and cannot meet at the same time or in the same location. As an instructional designer for the corporation, you have been charged with implementing a training workshop for these offices. As part of the training, you were advised how imperative it is that the staff members share information, in the form of screen captures and documents, and participate in ongoing collaboration.

The Technology Solution

Elluminate (BlackBoard Collaborate) and WebEx provide Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), video, and collaboration options that allow users to interact face-to-face. Both will allow staff to meet where-ever they want, in the office, iPhone, smartphone and even on the iPad. Additional features will also allow staff to create and share documents with others from a distance. For the staff that is missing in action, the meetings can be recorded and replayed at a later time. See Table for additional features of each.

Elluminate-BlackBoard CollaborateWebEx
Benefits / Features

Easily incorporate wider variety of content.

Application sharing configuration preferences.

Streamlined, easy deployment of multiple locations and choice of language.

Better support for international users.

Organize, script, and package content and activities before live session (formerly Plan!)

Automate routine tasks to focus on facilitating real-time interaction.

Create standalone recordings or industry-standard video files from session recordings and store on a computer, LMS, website, or CD ROM (formerly Publish!).

Playback video files on iPod or view standalone recordings even when not connected to Internet
Benefits / Features

Deliver just-in-time internal or external online training to quickly respond to market or organizational needs.

Reach more people, more often, without travel, facilities, or equipment costs.

Demonstrate products, concepts and procedures using high-quality video.

Promote critical learning skills and collaboration with virtual breakout sessions and hands-on lab.

Track attendance and training completion.

Train up to 1,000 attendees at once, anywhere in the word.

Take a Tour of BlackBoard Collaborate

Take a Tour of WebEx

“Collaborative technologies will enable business partners to easily switch back and forth from web, video and audio conferencing to see and hear each other and to share documents and information in real time. Today's enterprises are also looking forward to leading edge technology, flexible conferences, flexible deployment, common management suites, highly scalable solutions, secure VoIP conferencing, embedded multipoint options and videoconferencing solutions” (Sharma, n.d).

Sharma, S. (n.d.) Video conferencing: Next gen communication. Retrieved from

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