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Collaborative Learning Social Media style

24/11/2011

I was having a discussion with a client the other day. The issues / pain points raised by him was so much within my domain, I was so glad the conversation was happening. Not so long ago, as students we worked in collaborative groups and shared learning material in a physical environment. IE. met at places, exchanged reams of paper, hefty books, print outs etc. This was all good and essential social habits. After all, nothing can replace one on one human interaction. The closest we got to a virtual environment however, was uploading assessment material / answer sheets into an Intranet team room for markings.

Conventional team rooms still exists in most organizations. The person I was speaking with was the Head of IT in a major educational institution. His dilemma was that students and academics don’t collaborate effectively enough through its present systems. This was a truly engaging conversation, as it gave me the opportunity to introduce to him IBM’s Connections software. IBM Connections is a Social Business Collaborative tool like no other. I can say this with great confidence as I have used several similar tools. IBM Connections provides an expansive array of collaborative methods such as File sharing, Blogging, Communities, Wikis, Activities, Profiles, Forums, Tags etc which makes it like no other similar solution available in the market today. I guess this is why premier market intelligence firms Gartner, IDC and Forrester have all named IBM Connections the market leading B2B Social Business software tool.

In the past teaming and group activity was built around documents. I explained to the client that the world of collaboration is about being people centric and not document centric. He got this very quickly and went away with a different point of view about Social Business and how this can be applied to a collaborative learning environment.

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