Last night I had a very positive experience with the use of collaborative technology in an online meeting with fellow master students. We used Skype for voice-conference and Etherpad for collaborative notetaking in real time. It was a two hour long meeting and we were 5 participants.
Everyone expressed positive feelings about the use of communication tools as the technology did not come in the way for the discussion, which was led by a conference leader and who also took minutes. The benefits of such an arrangement were summed up at the end of the session:
- intense and condensed discussion as everyone was focused on the message
- easy to follow the discussion as there was notes taken during the discussion
- editable and searchable document as well as portable afterwards
- clear agenda is a must for such a session
I’m trying to circle in a possible hypothesis for my master, and I might look at collaborative writing tools such as Etherpad or Google Docs in relation to peer reviews in language teaching.