Monday, March 15, 2004

Pioneering collaboration tool Groove launches new version

News today in the online collaboration arena: Groove is allowing paying customers to try out the beta (test) of version 3.0.

For those of you not familiar with Groove, some background. The application creates virtual collaborative workspaces. It has stood out among similar offerings because of its use of peer-to-peer technology (which means that users don't need Internet access) and its flexibility. Far-flung users of Groove can not only do the usual collaborative work--share and co-edit documents, co-navigate Webpages, chat, view multimedia presentations, and so forth--but also create their own customized tools within the program.

Applications such as Groove will become more important in the learning arena. In "We Learning" part I, I write about an instructor who has replaced virtual classroom technology with Groove. As workflow-based learning becomes more prevalent in companies, programs like Groove will be viewed even more as learning tools and will be integrated into other workplace systems.

The promise of Groove has been great, but as Robin Good writes on his Kolabora Website, the program has not gained widespread use because of its bandwidth and other technology needs. Version 3.0 aims to solve that problem. Good provides an in-depth analysis of what version 3.0 offers and doesn't offer as well as links to various articles on Groove.

If you're not a paying customer, you can still take a test-drive of the application. Version 2.5 is available with a free two-month trial for all users.

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