Search results: 69

Jenny Mackness wrote,

I find it difficult to interpret other people's mind maps.

Yes, I think that's one of the critical things that I find - also that I equally don't expect other people to understand my way of linking thoughts!

That said, I was helping a friend at the weekend design her website & we ended up doing a kind of mind map of all the stuff that she wanted it it. That did make sense & we both had a similar view on the structure. Wonder if it was so easy because we think in broadly similar ways anyway - or if it was what we were trying to do was just pretty obvious. Whatever, it made sense!
I like Mindmeister for sharing ideas with colleagues and I have to admit I have added branch to your map Emma! I am attaching a jpg of my effort in case it is blank for anyone else - shows how you export from Mindmeister. I have used several online mind mapping tools (sorry they are all on Web2access and Freemind is a good one (if you do not want too many features) as it is free.

I have evaluated quite a few mind or concept mapping applications having worked with dyslexic students who often find them helpful. A list can be found on Emptech but I am revisiting about 10 applications for a talk I am giving in May so in a week or two I will be up to date with the main differences between them all. It really comes down to the ability to use the keyboard to quickly get down ideas or how you can change the look and feel and whether the end result can be viewed as an outline and what you do with the export menu!
Attachment SCoPE_Collaboration_Seminar.jpg
My apologies in the process of learning to add items to mindmeister I deleted one of you items under Tools.

I am a great fan of mindmapping, we use the concept a lot in medicine, but I haven't had very much experience with it collaboratively. Our students use illness scripts (medical mindmaps) as an effective study tool when they need to remember 1000's of complex interactions. My favourite mindmapping guru is Mindmap Art.
This search for and review of collaborative tools misses the key issue of the context under consideration. There is fun and appeal in exploring each new technology as it arises but it risks disregarding the context, rationale and aims of collaboration in the rush to 'see what we can use this for.' Certainly we need to understand different technologies but when do we discuss the goal and purpose and context? I would suggest that to ignore the pedagogy is bad practice.

Is this a discussion about distance learning or campus based learning? Is this really a discussion of collaboration or tools? Are we talking about staff or student development? Where is that context?

What about providing a notional case study of pedagogical need as a basis for considering a given tool? For example, what are the design goals and constraints of this activity in which we are engaged as a possible case study for staff development contexts? That would give you time, audience, activity design, aims and outcomes to evaluate amongst a host of other things. We are discussing de-contextualised ideas in at least 2 different places. The key 'time' factor may be that of how to save 'wasted time' for those involved in this collaboration. :)

Best wishes,

Nicholas Bowskill,
Faculty of Education
University of Glasgow,

Creator of Shared Thinking

Paul Beaufait wrote,

as collaborative tools, tools aren't collaborative, are they?

I can see where you're coming from - though I'd see it as more of a case of "some tools have feature sets that can enable collaboration" - in a way that others don't.

So, the simple comparison between an HTML editing programme (probably not Dreamweaver with its checkin/checkout features!) & a Wiki, or Google Docs & Word is that any can be used for a collaborative exercise, but the Wiki & Google Docs make it easier than Word & the HTML editor, as you don't have to worry about versions etc., Everyone is working on the same view.

In another message, someone mentioned the fact that face to face is often the ideal situation. In that case, we've invariably got a single whiteboard/ flip chart / whatever we're working on - back to the single view.

I think that what Sylvia & I were thinking about at the start of this is the growth of tools that does make it much easier - and how we can use them.

I fully agree with you & the others who've pointed out the time (and, implictitly trust) involved in true collaboration, rather than co-operation.

I'm also most impressed with your counting of the posts!
One characteristic of collaboration that is of particular interest or, should I say, concern is the time it takes. Crossing over from Emma's mindmap (found in the wave, Mapping the Work), where I'd just tacked "How to find or make the time?" onto the branch Emma, I suppose, had named after this forum; I find here, and more recently in the Mapping ideas forum, that both Deirdre and Cindy mention time-related issues, specifically:

a) the time it takes students to get worked up to collaboration (Deirdre, p. 49691),
b) the time it takes participants (educational practitioners?) to come to trust one another (Cindy, p. 50041), and
c) hopes that college committee members will begin to use their wikis (more) collaboratively in time (Deirdre, p. 50771; all with emphasis added in the snippets below).

Deirdre Bonnycastle wrote,

Learning to collaborate at the highest level takes time, so it rarely happens in 1 week assignments unless the teams have worked together previously.


Cindy Underhill wrote,

In my experience, true collaboration is rare because it involves:

shared vision (which requires examination of motivations)
letting go of control (hard to do if you have a notion about what would constitute an acceptable outcome)
shared responsibility (for success and failure)
flexibility and openness to change
time for relationships/trust to develop ...


Deirdre Bonnycastle wrote,

I actually know more faculty who use wikis in this way than use them with students. All the committees in my college also have wikis but that is more cooperative. Since I believe that collaboration happens over time, I'm hoping that will change.


It is interesting to note, in reference to Dierdre's remark about faculty committees, that although educational practitioners (among others) frequently refer to wikis, for example, as collaborative tools, tools aren't collaborative, are they? It's the people who use them (and processes in which they use them) that are--or aren't--isn't it?

How many people you know will willingly invest the time necessary to engage (repeatedly) either in collaborative activities, such as explicitly and jointly sharing, comparing, integrating, and synthesizing their ideas, and collectively crafting, revising and polishing products of their endeavours, or in long-term developmental processes, such as observing, analyzing and documenting the processes themselves? The difference between page/post numbers for the snippets above hints at how long it might take active members of a community to begin to come to grips with concepts, purposes, and practices of collaboration. That's 1080 posts, actually closer to 2000 for the seminar so far, according to my calculator;-), not counting loosely integrated wavelets, graphics, and blips in Google Wave!

I see that someone's added quite a few Social Bookmarking tools to the Mindmap; I wonder if they are a good way into Collaboration with students, as they're relatively non-threatening; and can be useful to others if you're working as a group (e.g. with a shared course specific tag).

I've been trying recently to get students to use Scholar, as we've got that incorporated into the VLE (So it does things like picking up a course tag quite easily) - though I've not found students to be particularly keen.

(They weren't that keen on delicious either, the previous year ... guess I didn't bribe them enough with marks!)

Thanks, Deirdre - that looks really interesting, though the time's a bit awkward for me! (2am in the UK)

I've done the conversion (I hope!) through Time and Date guessing that "PST" is Vancouver time. Hopefully, if I've got the time right, that gives the comparison in the rest of the world, not just the UK.

(I've also copied the URL to wave for those that tend to just use wave)