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?


About Janine Lim

Janine Lim, PhD, currently serves as associate dean for online higher education in the School of Distance Education at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, MI. She and her team support over 200 online courses, provide training for faculty teaching online, and work with the campus infrastructure support of online learning. Her department also provides educational technology and Moodle support for faculty and students. In addition, Janine is responsible for the faculty and courses of the Consortium of Adventist Colleges and Universities. Janine has taught over 15 unique graduate educational technology classes online numerous times over the past 15 years, with some classes attracting participants from all over the world. Her undergraduate teaching includes social media courses for communication and digital media majors. Janine has served on the board of the United States Distance Learning Association since April 2015. Prior to her work at Andrews University, Janine coordinated distance education for 22 K12 school districts in southwest Michigan for 14 years. In that position, as one of the co-founders of TWICE, Michigan’s K12 Videoconferencing Organization, Janine has spearheaded popular international K12 videoconference projects such as Read Around the Planet and MysteryQuest. While still serving on the board of TWICE, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the CAPspace website for collaborative videoconference projects. Janine also served on a team of Michigan educational technology trainers providing a workshop called ATA Technology Academy. Her current online learning research interests include successful teacher behaviors, quality online discussions, and student activity patterns in self-paced courses.
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4 Responses to Which collaboration site should I use?

  1. Danny Maas says:

    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. Janine Lim says:

    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.


  4. Ken Conn says:


    Did you try any of the sources below to get in contact with a school or get tipped in the right direction?

    U.S. Embassy in Prague:

    Czech Republic International Chamber of Commerce:

    Czech Cultural Organizations in the United States:

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