The Journey to Collaborative Writing
At some point in our lives we have taken time to sit with others and share ideas that then get jotted on paper to complete certain tasks. A time that we think this is easy to do, one person writes while the others present their ideas. Have you ever tried to complete a collaborative writing task that involves the use of technology that can be completed by individuals in various areas but at the same time? Recently, I have done this and it is an interesting task to complete especially if there is limited training prior to.
To do the collaborative writing piece there are various Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) that the group could use for example, Wikispaces, PBWORKS, or a . The one that the members decided to use for our collaborative writing piece was the Google Document. The beginning tasks are simple, start by creating a Google Document account and then learning to add others so that the task could be underway. Once the writing piece has a title then the other members would need to open the link that is sent via e-mail in order to begin. Once everything was set up then everyone was able to begin the writing piece. It could get frustrating especially at the beginning if not all members are signed in and on at the allocated time specially if there is a time frame that needs to be followed. Everyone that is involved in the document is able to insert, remove, and correct information that is being inputted into the document at any given time. It is user friendly and makes communication more assessable for having a chat function which is similar to various instant messengers, like msn, skype, etc . The chat however, only works when all members are willing to communicate on it as well, otherwise it causes frustration. A quote from Edward R. Murrow, states that, “Communication is the process of exchanging information and ideas. An active process, it involves encoding, transmitting, and decoding intended messages. There are many means of communicating and many different language systems.” Which is the process that was completed through this collaborative writing. However, if everyone does not exchange information and ideas then the writing document would become fragmented. As learned in Leadership in a Technological World, fragmented is when pieces need to be put together instead of having it all over the place. As the document is in process everyone is adding ideas and thoughts that is all over the place and would need to be organized efficiently. Once the members contribute to the chat the writing piece became clear and had a better flow to establishing the final product.
When using this form of technology, it became apparent as to how it would be beneficial to use within the field of Early Childhood. When policy’s need to be created then the members can collaborate their ideas on the document at once instead of having to write it all down, meet and debate about the information. Having the accessibility to technology would provide convenience for others. Centers could also create a calendar that parents and staff could access by using the Google calendar. Information could be on as to, meetings, fundraisers, field trips, children’s birthdays, holidays and any other information that would be relevant to the center.
When first exposed to a Wiki to complete a test, there was lots of frustration and anger that built up when learning to navigate around. It was not a easy tool to use, unlike the document that was chosen for this writing piece. Patience and practice is what it takes to accomplish the task which are two traits needed when in the field of Early Childhood, especially when learning new teaching techniques.
When it comes down to building a learning community where everyone is able to build and learn from others knowledge, using a technology that promotes collaborative work is essential. Take the time to navigate the tool chosen in order to enhance the learning as much as possible. Once using the document, I found that it was easier to navigate around compared to the wiki that was used in class prior to for assessment purposes.
Cristina Basile RECE
Murrow, E. Best Quotes Retrieved from http://www.best-quotes-poems.com/communication-quotes.html