Almost no one works in isolation anymore. We’re all part of teams and committees who are attempting to do all sorts of things together. Maybe we’re joint authoring a paper or developing a presentation. Maybe we’re planning some event together or creating a lesson that we’ll coteach. Regardless of the task, we are working in world where collaboration is central to many of the activities that we undertake.
To better reflect the collaborative nature of the working world, many educators are building more group activities into their classrooms. They’re using tools like Google Docs and wikis to help students work with one another. While these are tremendously beneficial to collaborative activities, I’d like to add SearchTeam to the list of tools that can foster collaboration. SearchTeam is built on a simple principle: search the Internet with others. With SearchTeam, users can search the Web with their friends, classmates, colleagues and others they trust. The best part is that the searching and sharing is done in real-time so users can find and share what they need from the Web easily. You will need to create an account with SearchTeam to save your searches and to share them with others. Otherwise, the site is easy to use and is a really novel entity online. In a way, it takes the best from web browsers like Google and Bing and combines them with the social features of Delicious and Digg. SearchTeam is definitely a useful application for anyone planning to work in a team online.
SearchTeam would also be a useful tool to build into a group classroom assignment. In a way, Google Docs and wikis represent the end products in the collaboration process. While the revision histories in these sites allow educators to view how a document evolves, they don’t capture how a group conducted its research or how it vetted information online. With a tool like SearchTeam, educators can take a peak into how a group chose different resources and how they determined which information was valuable. SearchTeam can give an educator a window into the starting points of a group’s collaboration and their research.
To check out all of the features that SearchTeam offers, be sure to check out the following video tour: