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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Virtual Collaboration in the Pandemic

Nice look at how the pandemic has changed collaboration among computer science students and faculty.  Very similar to the experiences we have had.    In the past week, for example have used three different multiple collaboration tools.

Virtual Collaboration in the Age of the Coronavirus   By Paul Marks
Communications of the ACM, September 2020, Vol. 63 No. 9, Pages 21-23

When the COVID-19 pandemic began sweeping the globe early in the year, and governments began enforcing lockdowns that forced people to stay at home to depress infection rates, videoconferencing technologies rocketed into public consciousness as never before.

Professional apps including Zoom, Skype, Webex, and Microsoft Teams were suddenly thrown into the hands of people who had never used them, alongside more social-media-oriented ones like Houseparty and Whereby, as people sought virtual connection and collaboration tools to cope with the stay-at-home and work-from-home orders.

The effect of this rapid adoption of video chat systems was dramatic. Suddenly, debate in the media and on social networks centered on which was the best app or desktop package, with users treating it almost like an exercise in comparative religion.

Uses for the technologies flourished along with those ballooning user numbers, with video livestreams suddenly dominating locked-down domestic and work agendas. From live exercise workouts to yoga and meditation sessions before breakfast, to gaming at a distance, to attending virtual church services and craft lessons, to online school classes and workplace meetings, as well as convivial drinking and socializing sessions with friends of an evening, Internet-based videoconferencing finally came into its own.

Enduring memes were born, too: perhaps one of the most memorable being Sting's online, at-home jam with The Roots, aired on NBC's Tonight Show. The combo played a "quarantine remix" of "Don't Stand So Close To Me" (surely one of the social distancing anthems of the lockdown) with improvised musical instruments.  .... "   (full article at the link) 

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