As passionate fans of collaboration and life-long learning, we were delighted to see GroupMap included in the SMARTEN Project’s Augmented Collaboration Toolkit.
GroupMap was built with the values of equity and inclusion front of mind. It’s therefore wonderful to see our application being used by others to further those values.
Like the SMARTEN Project, we see the digital environment as a space that can foster collaboration and cooperation.
Importantly, a virtual space removes geographical barriers without significant financial outlay or effort. It is a place where people can come together to share ideas, explore solutions and build consensus; in other words – to think better together.
It’s possibly no surprise that the seeds of GroupMap were germinated within a university environment. We were looking for a way to better facilitate discussions with large groups.
We wanted to see ideas not just shared but combine and evolve. Importantly, we wanted to offer an effective way that would allow all voices to be safely heard. Over the years we’ve refined the features in GroupMap to further that experience.
Interestingly, with the evolution of online collaborative tools, virtual discussions can now offer greater safety, transparency and equity than sessions delivered without such tools.
Opportunities such as contributing input anonymously, ranking ideas and the use of votes help to counteract groupthink, introversion and bias.
Knowing GroupMap is used to support innovative learning opportunities such as SMARTEN is very rewarding.
With the impacts of the 2020 pandemic fresh in our minds, it was great to see the responsiveness, adaptability and flexibility of its educational activities, and the new networks forged.
We hope to continue to support projects like this again in the future.