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Pearl Renaker

Page history last edited by Pearl Renaker 14 years, 2 months ago



Project Name: 

Distance Collaboration Tools


Project Mission & Goals: 

Document tools that far-flung members of the Pac Rim Studio

and AfH can use to better collaborate with each other.


Process, Tools & Methods 

  • Research and experiment with online collaboration tools. 
  • Interview people who have previously worked on distributed projects to identify best practices.
  • Create catalog of resources and web links.
  • Experiment with organizing a meeting among some Pac Rim Studio members to share ideas. 


Final Deliverables: 

Document that analyzes several available options and makes recommendations for

which tools are best suited for which uses. 

Detailed users' guides for a few tools that explain best practices in how and under what circumstances

to use them, how to set up the room, etc.


Pac Rim Studio Contribution: 

Improve ability of geographically distributed teams to share information and collaborate

more effectively with each other.




Challenges in information sharing arise when working on a distributed team:

 - Who else is working on the same issues that I am?

 - What information might others have that could help me?

 - How do I learn that information from them?


There are many online tools that can help improve team communication:



 - Multiple people can view and contribute to content

 - Asynchronous

 - Typically has permissions hierarchy



   - Best for unstructured text sharing

   - pbworks.com

   - moodle.org


  Discussion groups

   - Interactive question posing & answering (with "push" capabilities)

   - Over time, rich content archives develop on specific topics

   - Drupal  

   - BigTent


  Structured document sharing

   - Spreadsheets, lists, presentations, and other document types

   - Google Docs



 - Synchronous (real-time)

 - Large group – meeting presenter pushes information

 - Small group – more collaborative meeting

 - Share documents/desktops/applications for viewing, as well as audio/visual connection


  Web conferencing

   - No video of participants

   - ReadyTalk (uses dial-in for high quality audio)

   - Most videoconferencing engines can do this too


  Online video conferencing

   - Audio/video transmitted over Internet

   - Cost low, quality variable

   - WebEx

   - Skype

   - Windows Meeting Space / NetMeeting

   - MegaMeeting

   - Oovoo


  Dedicated video conferencing

   - Special hardware plus dedicated bandwidth

   - Expensive, but highest quality corporate solution

   - Works well for larger groups

   - e.g., Polycom



  - Very close interaction with trusted collaborators

   - Can be effective for demonstrating particular skills/apps

   - Windows Remote Desktop

   - LogMeIn

   - TeamViewer






Comments (2)

Adam Katz said

at 3:26 pm on Feb 9, 2010

seems like a close link to what I'm talking about. if these tools could be somehow linked back to profiles, so compatible people could talk easily or could readily see what they need to get in order to talk to a specific person.

Pearl Renaker said

at 9:37 pm on Feb 17, 2010

Yes, that's a good idea - it's hard to make the initial connection and know that you'd like to collaborate with a particular person or pick their brain for information on a topic.

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