Tools for collaboration

National Professional Standard for Principals
Leadership requirements
2. Knowledge and understanding

Professional Practice
2. Developing self and others

AITSLdetailed Standard information


Technology can be a powerful tool to help build and strengthen collaboration, networking and collegial support across schools.

Create a Website for your Collaborative Alliance.

How can a website help me facilitate and enable collaboration and professional networks?

Simple website builders such as Google Sites are free to use and easy to set up, allowing for a central access point for all materials related to your collaborative efforts and professional networks. Files can be uploaded to your site for others to access and posts can also be used to enhance regular communication and show the progression of your collaborative journey. The development of sites such as these can help focus the Alliance and engender a collective sense of achievement among the members of your team. For an example of a Google Site designed for this purpose, click here.

Use Web Conferencing Software to Facilitate Collaboration and Collegial Support

How can Web Conferencing software enhance collaboration and collegial support?

One of the hardest challenges for successful collaborative and collegial support networks to overcome is finding time and a central location for regular meetings. This becomes even more challenging when there are large distances between Alliance members. Web Conferencing software such as Adobe Connect offers an easy way to overcome these challenges. It offers:

  • Time efficiency (no travelling to and from the meeting location)
  • Easy to access and bridges distance (can be used on PC/Mac, iPad/Android tablets)
  • Only requires basic hardware (built in webcam/microphone or cheap plug-n-play webcams)
  • Meetings can be recorded and shared (including all content and files used)
  • Adobe Connect is endorsed and supported by the DEC.

While there are many examples of this type of software available with a range of uses and features (such as Google Hangouts), the one endorsed and supported by the DEC is Adobe Connect. Where Adobe Connect differs from other products is in the range of functionality provided in the software to view PowerPoint or Adobe presentations (either uploaded to the ‘meeting room’ or via sharing the presenter’s desktop screen – which allows the viewing of whatever is on the screen) and share files, links and other information pertinent to the meeting.

Each meeting is completely customisable using a range of ‘pod’ options which include an instant messaging ‘chat’ pod and a ‘discussion notes’ pod to record the meeting notes as well as webcam and audio support. The other key feature of Adobe Connect that assists in facilitating collaboration and sharing is the ability to record your meeting and share the link with all members of your Alliance. This allows you to review the meeting at a later date and allows members unable to attend the meeting the opportunity to view the meeting anytime, anywhere, therefore ensuring that all Alliance members have access to the same information, discussions and support.

We have provided two documents that may assist you in utilising this powerful tool within your Alliance, and the contact details of Scott Paterson, the DEC Professional Learning and Leadership Coordinator coordinating Adobe Connect usage.

Scott Paterson
Professional Learning and Leadership Coordinator
Public Schools NSW
Level 2, 75 Talavera Road Macquarie Park 2113
Ph: 9886 7020
Fax: 9886 7070