Galway CT231 students join #icollab

blog imageOver the coming weeks, CT231 students will have the opportunity to collaborate with students in Spain (Barcelona), Germany (Berlin), New Zealand (Auckland) and the UK (Salford) on the iCollaborate or #icollab project. Our class will be bringing Ireland into #icollab for the first time.

The project, now in its third year, is described by Helen Keegan as “a community of practice where… students work together on creative social tech projects that cross disciplines, levels, time and space.” Coordinating a project with students in 5 countries, crossing 12 time zones, and working in different terms has its challenges. But the project coordinators decided at the start to view these differences as an asset. Students in each location share their work and students in other locations can engage and connect — sometimes immediately, sometimes later that day, sometimes much later. As Helen Keegan describes:

“We’re now looking at the ‘tag-team model’ of education: the projects never end, as there is always a cohort to carry on, and lead into the next group, and when they overlap that’s great – that’s where the genuine collaboration happens. …Traditionally, we deliver modules/courses, neatly chunked into 12 weeks, with units of assessment, leading to grades etc. and that’s the way things are (generally) done. I’m not saying scrap all of that, but I do think that modules are best served as springboards to other things. Increasingly, students are connecting across levels and cohorts through Twitter and now we have ex-students getting together with current students, undergrads coming to postgrad classes (and vice versa) as they’ve connected online and have a genuine interest in getting involved in other groups/further curricula outside of their taught modules.”

As the Galway group’s first foray into sharing across those boundaries, CT231 students are posting their Ignite presentations online (via the CT231 Student Showcase), inviting feedback and conversation. The #icollab team in New Zealand asked if CT231 students would also be willing to post videos of their presentations, as another means of students connecting and sharing. Last week we did a trial run of this using the Bambuser app. Bambuser enables live video streaming from mobile phones or webcams. Using the app is simple: one click opens the app, one click records and streams (in public or private), and one click stops recording and uploads to the user’s Bambuser page. Once posted on that page, others can view the video and add comments.

bambuser capture

One of our student presenters agreed to be filmed this week so that we could trial the app and learn how best to use it for recording presentations (thanks, Jack!). The experiment was a success and we learned some valuable tips for future recordings. After sharing the video via #icollab, feedback from New Zealand was available to us the following morning (thanks, Thom!). We look forward to extending the collaboration with students in the coming weeks.

In class this week, we’ll have a further discussion about how we’d like to be involved in #icollab — discussing the terms and vision for the project, as we see it. Looking forward to it!

(A slightly longer version of this blog post is available at catherinecronin.wordpress.com)

Image source: CC BY-SA 2.0 marfis75

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