Recording from NECC

Session Title:
The Walls Came Down: Incubating Collaborative Learning Environments

Session Description:
Catch the fever! Participate in a lively discussion with grassroots edtech leaders as they discuss how a simple experiment spread through their collaborative network.

Date: Wednesday, July 2, 2008 1:30 - 2:30 pm CDT
Main Location: NECC - San Antonio, TX
Virtual Locations:
  • Backchannel (everyone is invited to chat and ask questions of the presenters.)

Purpose & Objectives

This group of panelists will discuss how they channeled their "viral" connections
to create a collaborative presentation about the then-emerging web application,
Google Presentations. Within twenty-four hours of its release, over forty (40)
educators from around the world made over 500 edits and used numerous tools
to learn the application together and share best practices with each other and the
educational community. Since then, the document has evolved into a
presentation that hundreds of educators are using to present and teach this
powerful tool. Furthermore, its evolution will continue into the first ever "virally
created" NECC presentation.
Building collaborative groups that promote cooperation, foster enthusiasm, and
cultivate creativity is becoming essential to the success of any organization or
group. Techniques that foster "viral" cooperation (that is cooperation spawned by
person to person contact through electronic means) are a vital part of the toolbox
of any successful organization.
Additionally the panel will discuss a number of free tools and strategies such as
microblogging (Twitter), blogs, instant messenger, Skype, and other web
applications to help ideas transmit quickly and promote cooperation within
groups. Whether your group is a school, system, organization, or just a
grassroots group of educators, you will benefit from learning how to rapidly
spread ideas so that you will: learn together, work together, and grow.
Note: If the requested technology is provided (two projectors and two screens
with a wired connection), we will have one panelist that will stream live from a
virtual educational world in Second Life to represent what is happening with
educators in that environment.



Google Presentations will be used to present this material enabling an
archivable backchannel for those participating. Additionally, we are requesting an
additional screen so that one panelist from second life may be streamed into the
panel as NECC's first SL panelist.

Outline and Time

1. What is virally caused collaboration? 5 minutes
2. How does viral collaboration work? 10 minutes
A) Viral networks
B) Viral Collaboration Tools
C) The Backchannel (and the power of archiving chats to take notes)
3. Measurable Results of Viral Collaboration 10 minutes
A) Accelerated Learning
  • Discuss integration of Presentations with other tools (Notebook, etc.) -
  • Demonstrate the Quantity of Information Learned and Shared on a timeline to
demonstrate acquisition of knowledge by a large group of people
B) Archivable Results
  • Shared on blogs, wikis, and others later -- permanent record facilitating
  • Promotion of transparency and openness (inclusive of all time zones)
4. Discuss ways that tools have been used with students, student reactions,
success stories - 15 minutes
A) Backchanneling in the classroom
B) Viral Learning Communities
C) Case Studies
NECC 2008 Call for Participation -- Proposal Synopsis (Proposal...
3 of 5 9/30/2007 10:28 PM
5. Professional Development Uses - 10 minutes
A) Presentations and Collaborative Courses
B) Information Sharing (I think we should focus on how we are all creating
similar things...this allows us to work together and have more time for learning)
C) Case Studies
6. Discuss a few of the glitches - 5 minutes
7. Where do we go from here - 5 minutes

Supporting Research

In the landmark book, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything,
authors Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams present compelling evidence touting
the importance of communities learning to massively collaborate on content. The
advent of technologies such as Google Documents, Google Presentations, Wikis,
and Skype enable professional developers, teachers, and educators to create and
share presentations that can be used around the world. This presentation is to
bring to the forefront a discussion of mass collaboration in education to a scale
that has not been seen previously.