A new breed of online collaborative tools

Though I would advocate face to face meeting in physical space to help form supportive Communities Of Practice (Lave & Wenger), I’ve been thinking about how these communities can easily move in and out of online/virtual space and that through development of technology there seems to be less and less distinction between the two. I communicate with colleagues across the globe in the same virtual space as I do with the person on the opposite desk and I use similar tools in personal and professional space. On the back of these thoughts, I thought I would post up a few emerging platforms that facilitate continuing the discussion and would be appropriate tools to apply to the SAMR model of technology adoption in learning and teaching.

Known/Idkno – The Blog


Known’s strength lies in simplicity. Much like Tumblr, it allows a few types of post and a mixture of the short and medium blog format, which is why i’m adopting it to use for my research journal. It also allows you to roll out your own social network if you have some server space and allows you to comment inline on posts, which adds a nice social element to the content.

Medium – The Curator


Everyone’s stories and ideas

Medium comes from the Twitter stable and it’s fastly becoming the go to source of evolved ideas that might have started in 140 characters. A bit like the written version of a TED talk, Medium promotes the sharing of ideas and encourages responses from readers in the form of inline comments or their own stories.

Slack – The Team Communication Tool


Within teams, people will have different preferences about which tools they like to use for particular communications, this may be based on how they choose to communicate outside the work environment. Slack provides an easy way to integrate many communication tools such as Skype/Hangouts/Twitter in one interface so that colleagues can choose to connect in the way that is most familiar or convenient to them. Slack is currently taking enterprise communications by storm and ET are working with courses at Falmouth to look at how this tool may enable communication outside of the physical classroom.

Sublevel – The micro blog


Sublevel is a great example of browser led design, so doesn’t come packaged as an app for Android/IOS but works responsively across platforms in any modern browser. It makes use of web standards and is reminiscent of Twitter early on, with the added advantages of inline commenting and no character limit. Despite having no character limitations, like most modern messaging apps it feels conversation like, so you end up self-limiting posts. The community isn’t huge yet, but if you are interested in exploring it more, converse with me http://sublevel.net/the_markness/