Which collaboration site should I use?

In the last few weeks I’ve facilitated several collaborative VC projects, worked on a few, and taught a few workshops on videoconferencing projects. It’s made me think about projects and what it takes to make them happen. I’ve been thinking about how to find collaborative partners, and how those relationships evolve. Here are a few partner sites, tools, and strategies I use.

Alberta, Canada
When I want to collaborate with someone in Alberta, I use the VCAlberta social network, or email Alberta friends I’ve collected from Read Around the Planet, my online classes PICC & K2K, and the Alberta summer conferences such as Elevate 2008. I’m also learning about the possibilities with the 2Learn.ca site.

Ontario, Canada
When I want to collaborate with someone in Ontario, I use the Interactive Classroom site, or email Ontario VC friends I’ve collected from various experiences.

England, Scotland, Wales in the United Kingdom
UK connection are great collaborations. The time change is manageable for US EST, and the cultural difference is enough to make the connection really fun as well as curriculum related. There are three sites I use for UK partners: Collaborations Around the Planet, Global Leap, and Janet Collaborate.

Other international partners
For connecting to other countries, I’ve found that the Megaconference and Megaconference Jr. listservs are the best source for a potential international parter. You get on the Megaconference listserv by participating in the event.

Internet2 / International / University
If you want an Internet2 partner, international partners, or university level partners, another collaboration site to check out is the Internet2 K20 Initiative Muse site just released this fall.

Needing a partner fast
When I need a partner really quickly for a project within a few weeks, I send a note to the K12 IVC listserv. Usually I can fill a project within a couple hours. Partners responding are almost always US schools.

Needing lots of partners
For projects that I need lots of partners (like MysteryQuest), I post my request on several sites: Collaboration Collage, K12 IVC listserv, Megaconference Jr, and sometimes on the CILC Collaboration Center if I can wait for the announcement to go out on the next Monday.

Sustained Collaborations
There are also scenarios with sustained collaborations where I use “my collection” of videoconferencing friends. I have a folder in my email for all the states, provinces and countries where I know someone with VC. I also have a few good buddies like Arnie and Roxanne and others! who can help me get partners in a pinch. Some of those partnerships, especially those with Arnie & Roxanne, mean long term sustained shared collaborative projects and team facilitated events. Now that CAPspace is up and running, I’m starting to turn there when I need a phone number or email for a VC friend.

What are the strategies and tools that you use for finding collaborative partners?

0 replies on “Which collaboration site should I use?”

  1. What a fantastic collection of collaboration sites Janine! Thank you for organizing this!

    We get asked a lot about finding project partners or ways to connect with others using VC, and though the many options available can be confusing, this list you’ve created will be a great artifact for a long time to come!

  2. I am still looking for a school from the Czech Republic or a Czech community to partner with one of my schools.

    This is my first time to go searching for a specific type of school. I really need to find someone with a videoconference unit in a school that knows what kolaches are!

    I agree with Danny, this is a great list and an area that I have only dabbled in. This fall our projects grew so huge that I didn’t do many things like this and I am hoping to do more in the spring of this type.

    If anyone reading this knows of a contact…let me know!

  3. Roxanne – have you tried posting on the Megaconference Listserv? I would also try the Janet Collaborate site because the UK people I’ve connected with seem to be quite connected with Europe.


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