2.3 Summarising the integration of different Collaborative Technologies for a range of purposes, tasks and communication media

A tool or device in collaborative technology either falls under hardware or software. Hardware is anything physical which you can touch, for example a mobile phone, a webcam or a computer screen. Software refers to the programs that run on a computer, for example an operating system, spreadsheet software or email client software. Integration of these different collaborative technology tools and devices can be beneficial to a variety of people for a range of reasons.

Collaborative technology can be used for the purpose of exporting information into other formats, for example a word document may need to be converted into a Portable Document Format (PDF). The user would have to have a computer or a laptop with Microsoft word software and software able to open PDF files installed. In this scenario Microsoft word would be able to convert the file itself, however this will not always be the case. Conversion software may be necessary in some circumstances as well.

For work purposes, an employee may be allocated the task of conducting research and the biggest source of information is the internet. In order to have internet access, the user needs to have hardware like a desktop computer, a modem and/or a router. They would need an Internet Service Provider such as Sky, Virgin and BT. Web browsing software is essential for accessing and viewing web pages and have features which make it use easier for the user to navigate around. This typically includes forward and backward buttons, a history folder and options to save frequently visited pages.

One common example of collaborative technology being used for communication media is capturing videos and images. One way to do this would require access to hardware such as a laptop with either a built-in camera, or one could be purchased separately. Video capturing software would also be needed, this will need to be configured with the camera by following the set up instructions. Some software exclusively takes still and animated photos without sound while others are able to capture sound alongside the video. Research should be done into which is more suitable, based on its intentional use.

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