Digital Literacy – Online collaboration
You're not always on your own as a distance learner - get the digital skills you need to work well with others in this episode of our Digital Literacy course - part of our 'Go The Distance' course, giving you the skills and knowledge you need to be a top-class distance learner! For more information about digital literacy, English language and study skills for distance learners, visit us at http-//www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/gothedistance. To find out more about our partner, The Open University, go to http-//www.open.edu/openlearn/tv-radio-events/events/go-the-distance.
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Oh, where is it? I’m sure I saved a copy here… Oh, hey. I’m just searching for a file I need for a project I’m working on with some other students. I’m sure I saved a copy onto my phone but I can’t find it, and the other project members need to work on it. Oh, and that’s what we are going to be talking about today: collaborating with others. Now where is that file?! Unfortunately, I didn’t have a copy of that important document on my phone, so now I’m in trouble with the other project members! I should have saved a copy of the document in the cloud. Of course, that doesn’t mean a real cloud. When we talk about the cloud digitally, we mean a remote server where we can save and access documents by connecting to the internet. That’s a really useful tool for working collaboratively with other students. Think about it. If you are working on a project with other people in different locations, it makes sense to have one place where you keep all your documents and files so that you can all access them whenever you need to. That way, you can all make changes and work on your assigned tasks at a time that works for you. It’s great for distance learners! So, how could that work? Well, let’s imagine you and some fellow students are working on a presentation. If your work is on the cloud then all of you can access it, and review your work and make edits. If you are using word-processing software, you can track changes too, so you can see what changes other collaborators have made. There are lots of cloud-based tools for working together. You can use platforms such as Google Drive to store your work. And you can keep these areas password protected so only the right people have access. Other cloud resources such as DropBox or WeTransfer let you store, share and send each other large files. And if you have large and complex projects to work on, you can even use cloud-based project management software. Some of these platforms will let you do things like: Leave each other messages on a message board; assign tasks to project members; create a to-do list, so that everybody knows what tasks are not yet completed; create a project schedule with delivery dates; store and share large files that everyone needs access to. Useful, huh? Of course some of these project management platforms you need to pay to use, but others have some free functionality. And of course, many academic institutions have an online learning platforms for their students that will allow you to work collaboratively with other distance learners. Oh! Ah. That’s my project leader now. I’m in so much trouble! Let’s hope he’s in a good mood. Paul, hi! I was just thinking about you. The document? Yes, ah, well, there’s a funny story about that… I’ll see you later… got to deal with this… bye. Paul, it’s fine! It’s just, well – it’s gone.
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