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CSCW: What is it? March 23, 2008

Posted by kgalyen in cscw.

Basically, CSCW is a general term for using computer technologies to help people work together: Computer Supported Cooperative Work. Personally, I also like the idea of throwing a little “L” in there: CSCLW, Computer-Supported Cooperative Learning Work. OK, so it doesn’t flow too well. And yes, I just made it up, so don’t quote me on that! But you get my drift. 🙂 Learning technologies are not just for use with students; it also can be for workers, too!

One of the powerful ways you can implement technologies at work for learning and mentoring from peers. How often some people would love to “pick another’s brain”! Even more often (and probably unbeknownst to us) is the vast amounts of information stored up inside other peers…we never thought (or had the opportunity) to ask.

A good way to start doing it is by starting an online community of practice…a group that keeps coming together for a common purpose. What is that purpose? Well, your group will probably decide for itself. Or it will evolve. Or it will dissolve. (We’ll talk about ways to facilitate the developing of the community later to prevent dissolving).

One can easily set up a secure forum (such as phpBB), and without too much guidance, allow the community to grow.

Hehe. Don’t we all wish it was as simple as that? 🙂 We know that it probably isn’t. Because it isn’t. That’s why so many sites aren’t used, fail, and are thrown to the wayside. However, it’s also fairly preventable with a little proactive work.

That’s for next time!

Happy CSCW-ing!



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