Topic 4 The Right Tools

In the modern world, digital information sharing and communication between teams is not a problem anymore. There are many tools supporting such an exchange but often such possibilities are not explored because of uncertainty of changes, lack of digital competences or fear of being the only one who might not understand the new system. But more often than not, such fear is without reason and new tools can be implemented successfully with the help of teamwork and mutual understanding.

Through this topic, participants will learn what kind of communication and team project tools exist and what is necessary for them to successfully complete a group project.

Over the years many researchers have developed different models to evaluate digital tools and technology, as example TAM – Technology Acceptance Model (Fishbein, Ajzen, 1967). There are many variations for digital tool evaluations especially in regards to learning tools and technology.

Many of the models identify multiple areas of evaluation:

-Functionality (ease of use, extent of usage, support, customization and continuous creative engagement)

-Accessibility (required additional tools, costs, and in recent years, cross-platform availability)

-Technical Aspects (integration and combination with other tools, technical requirements)

-Privacy & Data Protection (Legal framework, registration, personal information)

Daily use

The participants each choose one digital tool they work with often (preferably in their daily practices). The participants are then asked to check the tools according to the previously identified evaluation areas:

-Functionality (Is it easy for me to use? Does it fulfill the requirements I have for it?)

-Accessibility (Can I access it from where I want? Are there any limitations in its use?)

-Technical aspects (Have I faced any technical problems while using it?)

-Privacy & Data Protection (What do I know about is handling of private information and data?)

Afterwards, they share their results with the whole group. The group can then reflect to what regard they actively evaluate the digital tools in their daily practices.

Collaboration Research

Based on the tools named in Topic 1 and, if necessary, with some additional tools to choose from, the participants will research the respective tools.

The participants are sorted into groups of 2-6 people, each of them researching a digital communication tool used for teamwork. After 20 minutes research, they are asked to present the tool, its features and other relevant aspects to the other participants.

This will foster their presentation as well as research skills and help them learn more about collaboration tools.

The trainer should introduce important other communication and collaboration tools, if they have not been mentioned before.

Returning to topic 1, this topic went into detail about digital collaboration tools and delivered the right competences to recognize the best tools for collaboration independently. Identifying the right tools for a project enables learners to apply more effective communication, thus improving quality, impact and sustainability for team projects.