A recent ULCC survey (Collaboration & Cloud Computing in Education, 2009) showed that 95% of educational institutions rely on e-mail for collaboration. Ouch. So what’s wrong with this? Well, for a start nobody enjoys receiving large file attachments in their e-mail inbox, it’s a sure-fire way to make yourself unpopular with anyone working remotely and having to download the file you just sent them. And once you’ve sent a file to several people for them to contribute to or review, you’ve lost all control.
How do you check that the recipients have actually looked at the file, or track their responses? Tracking responses via e-mail can be a real headache, especially if you need contributions from several people. Scrolling through your in-box and chasing people to meet deadlines you’ve set is time consuming and inefficient.
Then there’s the issue of ensuring everyone is working off the same version of a document. There’s nothing more frustrating than making amendments to a document only to realise you’re working on an old version. Or worse still, assuming it is the final version and using it when it contains out of date and inaccurate information; in e-research this is particularly critical.
So, how does Huddle fit in? Well, using an online collaboration tool makes sense for lots of reasons. Many users use e-mail for document collaboration because that’s all they have and they know how to use it. But just because it’s there, doesn’t mean it’s going to be good! Online document collaboration works. It allows people to access files anytime, anywhere and on any device. It gives control back to teams so they can ensure everyone is only ever working off the same version of the document. It allows users to assign approvals to team members so they can be sure that everyone that needs to sign a document off before it’s finalised does so.
Of course there are other online collaboration tools out there besides Huddle. But remember, we’re sponsoring the drinks reception at FOTE09, we’re UK based and jolly nice people.
For anyone who doesn’t know Huddle, you soon will! Huddle is a UK based start-up that does online collaboration. We’re winning accolades from all quarters and tipped to be ‘the next Google’ by Business Week magazine. We’re doubling the number of users we have every four months. And since May 2009, we’ve had a dedicated resource (that would be me!) focussed on the education sector. A web 2.0 company with specific focus on education – great!
At FOTE09, we’ll be talking about how educational institutions use Web 2.0 technologies. Come and talk to us and if you can’t make the event, then we’re holding a webinar so you can learn more about Huddle on Monday 12th October 2009 at 3pm. Please e-mail me if you would like to join this and we’ll send you joining instructions.
Pauline Yau, Sales Manager Education & Charities, Huddle.net
Follow Pauline on Twitter: @pollyy
Find out more about Huddle.net