Online collaboration in real-time

A software developer asked, “As a teacher trying to use this in the classroom with students, what would be your ideal way to set up accounts and document access for sharing, collaboration, etc.?”

I said:

Ideal? I’m not sure, but I can tell you that what I imagined as I began working with this was automatic View access from my owner account down to student accounts. I.e., I could see a list of user accounts, and when I selected one, I would see a page populated with thumbnails of their documents. I could click on one and view it. Of course, there would be a setting (which I could control) to bump up my own access to that document, including Edit and (possibly) Own.

Chat is an interesting separate issue. Currently in the world of adults & children and technology, teachers should not be communicating privately with their students. Teachers get fired for extended chats (not solely because they’re extended, but because they involve inappropriate content) or other digital communications, including IMs and text messages.

Gaggle.net provides a sort of sandbox for this kind of communication. Districts (including my own) set up individual student and teachers accounts through Gaggle that accommodate communication that is filtered and monitored.

Not sure how the chat in [your software] would fit into all this. It almost seems like there should be a “disable” option for chat — default On — that would prevent chatting between teacher and student. Between student and student might even need to be disabled. A student with good Alt-Tab skills could then use the chat facility in Gaggle while working on a document.

This all presumes students have the keyboarding skills (not just thumb-only T9) to make use of chat. As an old fart, I can hit 60wpm when I get going. Not everyone can. đŸ™‚

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