Collaborative Technologies: Pros & Cons. Uses and Issues.

A basic introduction to online collaborative technologies, helping you to understand what they can be used for, but also what to be careful of in order to protect data

Collaborative technology is one of the many great implementations of the world-wide-web, allowing colleagues, students and organisations to work together to produce, edit and deliver content, wherever they may be located. However, there are precautions that need to be taken to make sure confidential or sensitive information stays in the right hands to avoid common dangers such as corporate espionage, IP theft, fraud/identity theft and more...

Positive Aspects of Collaborative Technologies

Online tools are great! At least, they can be. Here are just some of the reasons to consider implementing them to help you, your project or your business/organisation.

Positive Aspects of Collaboration

There are many important aspects to collaboration. It is increasing popular for employees to want to collaborate with each other, not only in the workplace but from far afield and remote locations, here's some important advantages to collaboration:

  • Ability for multiple editors
  • Can be accessed from any location
  • Enables multiple edits at the same time
  • Every user can see the same additions
  • Wider geographical reach or access to new beneficiary groups
  • More integrated or co-ordinated approach to beneficiary needs
  • Financial savings and better use of existing resource
  • Knowledge, good practice and information sharing
  • Sharing the risk in new and untested projects
  • Better co-ordination of organisations' activities
  • Competitive advantage
  • Mutual support between organisations

Issues surrounding Collaborative Technologies

When using online services for the creation and storage of files, it is important to bear in mind that there are certain pitfalls and threats. Content can become unreliable, unhelpful and may be compromised.

Issues with collaborative learning

• Anyone can submit content

• May not be retentive to the topic

• Only the person submitting can remove their content.

• Possible security risks as anyone can access the page

• Information may not be accurate

• Working from home can mean you're not entirely focused on your work

• Groups can be large and therefor too much content can be posted

General Guidelines for Using Collaborative Technologies and Mitigating Risks


Examples of Collaborative Technology


Collaborative technology comes in many different shapes and sizes, each application serving a slightly different purpose. Below are some examples of popular software:

  • Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides - An online storage solution and office suite, Google Drive allows users to store a variety of content, such as documents, images and videos and in this way can act as a cloud backup solution. These files can then be shared with specific users or made public using a link. Documents, spreadsheets and slideshow presentations can be worked on from the software, too (by multiple users simultaneously if required) and changes are saved in real time and visible wherever the document is accessible.
  • Evernote - An online notebook with the ability to create multiple notebooks and sections within them, for whatever content your heart may desire. Group notebooks allow multiple users to work on the same projects to share ideas, images and web clippings.
  • Huddle - An online collaboration and project management tool useful for businesses and education, Huddle enables the creation of an accessible workspace that can be used to store and share files, discuss projects and send important notifications to members.  
  • Skype - Probably the most widely used VoIP (Voice-over-IP) service in the world, Skype allows calls and video communication across the world, with the only requirements being a compatible device and an internet connection. Skype is used extensively in businesses and organisations for video conferencing, and also allows the sharing of files and more.

Which would be the best tool for creating and delivering a presentation with a colleague based in London while on location in Birmingham?

  • Skype
  • Huddle
  • Google Drive

Select 2 features of Google Drive, NOT available in Evernote

  • Basic text editing and formatting
  • Creation of spreadsheets used for calculations
  • Auto backup solutions for important resources
  • Mobile application version allowing work on-the-go

End of Training Test

Final Test! Fill-in-the-blanks below to complete the paragraph on collaborative tools.

Online collaboration tools are a great way of connecting people working on the same . They can be accessed by  users at once and changes are made . A popular online collaboration tool is Google which also comes with its own suite of office apps. Within these, Google , a word processing application can be used for note taking, creating letters and reports and inserting images.

Shared folders and files should be shared for maximum security and to minimise the risk of unauthorised use. The credentials should only be shared with .


It's time for a quick quiz!

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.