TCC09 Keynote: Global Collaboration in the Web 2.0 World

Atlas, its time for your bath
Atlas, it's time for your bath

Liveblogged notes from the TCC online conference. My notes in italics

Presenter: Sue Waters


Web 2.0 technologies now provide extraordinary opportunities for enhancing student learning. What was face-to-face, formal with limited interaction – Social networking has made instant, on-demand, informal, global and constant. Nowadays our learners can interact with students and world experts from all over the world, sharing their learning while receiving instant feedback.

In this presentation, Sue Waters will guide you on a tour of how educators, from different educational sectors, utilize web technologies with their learners to collaborate on global projects. It will provide you with greater understanding of why educators are engaging in the projects while increasing your skills for empowering your students’ learning.

In traditional education, teacher is in the center and interactions are mostly between student and teacher. With Web 2.0 tools, many more connections–can connect to other classes, experts, etc.

Common Misconceptions

  • Assuming that all students are already using these tools
  • Assuming that all students want to use the tools
  • Assuming that all students are better at using technology than teachers

Global collaboration can be very small; can just be one teacher and one class with blogs or Skype. Good point to make; I think it’s easy to look at something big like Flat Classroom and feel overwhelmed if you think you need to do all that in the first year.

Why do you want to do global collaboration? B/c you start learning differently when you are online participating. Once you start doing it youself, you realize that you’re connecting etc. Hard to explain to people who aren’t out there doing it though; you have to try it yourself.

How you collaborate is different depending on your goals

With blogs, move students from passive lurking on a class blog –> blog comments first. Lots of learning happens in comments and interaction.


Collaborating on a wiki isn’t the same as writing on a blog. Students have individual ownership in a blog. We often assume that people are good at collaborating, but they often aren’t. Collaborating online is also a different skill and often needs to be explicitly taught.

Flat Classroom Project: comes from the idea that we have an ethical responsibility to teach people about different cultures, but it’s hard to do that if students aren’t actually interacting with people from other cultures.

  • Communicate = Ning
  • Connect = Elluminate
  • Collaborate = Wiki
  • Create = Video

If you’re going to run a project, think about what tools you’re going to use for each of the above–the 4 C’s

Net Gen Education Challenge moves to the next level–brings in an expert (Don Tapscott)


Lots of possibilities

Brainstorming (only listing things new to me below)

  • Jaycut: online video editing
  • Wiggio: group collaboration & coordination

Biggest potential problem is trying to use tools with students before trying to use it yourself. Get involved yourself first. Then start small with your project.

5 Tools for Building Your Own PLN

These are not in order–do the order that works for you. Sue’s wiki to support teachers building PLNs

  • Twitter
  • Blog
  • Feed Reader
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Ning

She has mixed feelings about Ning for students–it’s not as global, you have to be a member to interact even on public sites

Many projects use multiple tools–use a combination

Image: ‘Atlas, it’s time for your bath
Atlas, it's time for your bath

9 thoughts on “TCC09 Keynote: Global Collaboration in the Web 2.0 World

  1. @Sue, I saw that Bert included a link here in the email yesterday. Thanks! And you do so much already, so I’m glad I can make your life a little earlier.

    @Glenn, it’s really Sue’s point, not mine. These are my notes from her presentation. But I completely agree, and I think it’s true working with adults as well as K-12 students. I remember one participant from a class I developed who shared how she struggled with wiki collaboration because she was uncomfortable editing the work of other professionals. In that case, we worked through at least some of the issues by talking about the goals, as you mentioned. There’s also a question of trust; to really collaborate and create a shared product, you have to trust that the people you’re working with are working towards those same goals.

    So how do we create learning environments where it’s easier for students to trust each other and work towards those shared goals? I design 8-week courses for adults with no cohorts; that’s not a lot of time to get to know each other. I’m not even thinking about collaborating globally at this point, just collaborating locally. How do we build the kind of learning community that supports the different types of collaboration that we want to happen?

  2. Hi Christy, definitely will. I emailed through the link to your post to Bert and told him I could not have written it up better than how you captured it. By doing this you have helped me so much because I’m currently traveling for the next one and a half weeks which makes it hard to get as much done as normal.

    I think that Glenn’s comment relating to my point about different types of collaboration is worth following up to discuss.

  3. I like your point that we often assume that students/learners know how to collaborate, and that there are different types of collaboration — each with different goals, rules of engagement and (we would presume) different results.

  4. Thanks Bert! When I did this last year, I discovered I learned a lot more by taking notes this way than when I had just taken a few private notes for myself. And I definitely agree that it’s valuable to share this outside the people who are able to attend the conference themselves. We all are making our contributions to the wider learning community; this is a big part of my contribution.

    Bert, thanks for all your work putting this conference together. It has been a great conference again.

  5. Thank you for the informative and clearly written TCC 2009 live blogging posts. It is very useful that the wonderful content presented by faculty and teachers can be shared with others outside of the conference community.

  6. Thanks! Feel free to take this writeup and flesh out a few things (I know I left out most of what was mentioned in the brainstorming) and take out my side commentary if you want to use this as a starting point for your own writeup.

  7. WOW Christy excellent review of what I discussed during the presentation. Thanks so much to take the time to write it up — I couldn’t have done it better than what you have here. And I did plan to but from finishing the session I then have been traveling for the rest of the day.

    Thanks a lot.

Leave a Reply