Dominic Watts

My comments on technology and business

Student collaboration gets personal...

Student collaboration gets personal...

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Ok, so you’re a student with a PC.  You’ve been given an assignment and you’re working with 5 other students from you’re course.  You have a start date and a hand-in date, you need to deliver:

  • Final document
  • Evidence of team-work
  • Project plan information

How do you do it?

Does your university provide a framework for this?  Can you do this with no single-point-of-failure along the way, such as a VLE or network?  Can you do this without being logged onto the University network/VPN/VLE?

I’d imagine most students would answer ‘no’ to these questions.  So just how can this be done?

This is a common scenario in universities now and let’s think about what a student needs to make this happen:

  • The team needs to work in context together with all the tools and information in one place
  • Tight connections are required between team members and other parties that participate in the project
  • Ad hoc in nature, the team needs to be able to create a virtual workplace without any IT assistance
  • Personalised environment specific to the learners'/project requirement
  • No incremental costs per project
  • Confidentiality to protect and IP or malicious activity
  • Continuity of operations – so single point of failure should exist
  • Distributed and replicated storage
  • Team members need to be able to work any place any time with or without connectivity

Does this sounds like a tall order?  What does Microsoft have to offer?

Groove Virtual Office:

Groove Virtual Office software allows distributed, cross-organizational teams to share files, execute meetings and projects, and track data and processes inside virtual workspaces.  Groove software’s unique decentralized architecture “just works” in any operational setting, requiring no application server infrastructure or network connectivity.  Because teams using Groove can work anywhere, anytime – with or without connectivity -- they make better, faster decisions, share information securely within and across organizational boundaries, and benefit from shared context and awareness during planning, execution and follow up cycles.  Despite its end-user empowerment, Groove software can be managed and deployed centrally.

For more information on Groove please look here or contact me directly to discuss how this could work in a learning environment.


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