An Online Environment for Academics and Professionals to Locate Collaborators and Refine Ideas
Keywords:e-learning, collaboration, conferences, web technology, social networking, professional networking
Academic and industry conferences have been used for years as a key method for sharing knowledge and ideas among academics and professionals in specific areas of study. Conferences provide a rare opportunity for people to form relationships with colleagues around the world, and not only to exchange ideas within the context of formal presentations, but to get to know one another informally through other conference activities such as dinners and receptions. While conferences do indeed have tremendous value and contribute substantially to the growth of research in their fields, we have identified some ways that we can use technology to improve the impact of conferences on research and results, to make better use of the time between conferences, and to allow more involvement from people who cannot attend conferences. In this paper, we describe a community-based Web site for academics and professionals, and to be rolled out first for an international e-learning association.
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