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Unread 04-13-2012, 07:10 PM
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Team Communication Methode

For last couple of years our team has used the website www.edmodo.com for communicating between team members. Basically edmodo allows each student member to create a student profile and then get updates (via texts or email) on what is being posted. The problem we are finding with it however is we have so much information being posted to edmodo that many times important information gets overlooked.

I was wondering what other teams used to communicate with each other. Blogs, mass email, texting, or some other service and how well it works. I am hoping to find a free service that will allow my team to communicate easier and more effectively without reinventing the wheel.

Any input on the topic of team communication would be great!
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Unread 04-14-2012, 10:19 AM
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FRC #0694 (StuyPulse)
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Re: Team Communication Methode

Our team uses a set of email mailing lists for our communications. We have what we call the "main group," where meeting announcements, general logistics information, and engineering discussion take place. Then, each division of the team has its own mailing list (programming, marketing, animation, the FTC subteam, etc) for division-specific discussion. Finally, we have a mailing list for the EC (executive positions) where more high-level team decisions are made.

Now that I write about all these groups, it seems like a lot to keep track of, but when each division lead administers their own group, it works out fairly well. Of course, none of these groups are exclusive to members of a single division, and people from multiple divisions are usually part of every mailing list. A benefit of this system is that receiving messages from a particular group is entirely voluntary, and people only sign up for the mailing lists that they are interested in.
If you're interested, we generally use google groups to administer the mailing lists.
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Unread 04-14-2012, 11:14 AM
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Re: Team Communication Methode

We use private Facebook groups. We have a main group where all of our members are in, then we have several other Facebook groups for CAD, Programming, Leaders Only, etc. Teams like electronics don't need their own group because they are not working at home on their own usually.
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Unread 04-14-2012, 04:42 PM
Cynette Cynette is offline
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Re: Team Communication Methods

My team (FIRST Team 1511, Rolling Thunder) uses a combination of methods. We have an e-mail system very similar to the one DoronS described for Stuypulse. It is used for weekly team e-mails, and announcements for the whole team or a select subsection of the team. Individual subteams will use their e-mail distribution for back and forth conversations during build season.

We post breaking news and top calendar items on our webpage and also have a forum on our website for general interest conversations and things that we want to make available to a larger audience.

We also have a wiki page(s) to track activities related to the robot build season so all team members can know the progress of the individual subteams. It is maintained as our engineering notebook and is very useful for documenting lessons learned from year to year.

New this year, we have a Facebook page, but it is mostly for fun since not all of our team members are on Facebook.
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Unread 04-14-2012, 05:24 PM
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Re: Team Communication Methode

My team has an online forum (teamwork.saintsrobotics.com) to communicate. We first introduced it two and a half years ago, and now it has become a vital communications tool, especially considering that we are a large (40+ regular members) team with many subdivisions.

Forums are a good option for a team, but they take time to get used to and navigate.
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Unread 04-14-2012, 08:50 PM
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Re: Team Communication Methode

Team 1305 fully utilizes Google Apps for all their communication needs. Using a Google Group, each member can send an e-mail to all others on the "E-Group". It also allows us to moderate messages from new or younger team members who don't yet know our "E-Group Etiquette". This setup also includes Google Calendar for organizing meeting times. Through the Google Group, reminders for team meetings can be sent automatically to all members. We also use Google Docs for document collaboration. Trip forms, essays and other important documents can be shared with the entire team at once by sharing it with the Google Groups account. We use Google Sites as a team "Webshare" where, like a wiki, all team members can create and edit documents and guides as well as upload files for the team to utilize. Our programmers use Google Code to collaborate on programming. Finally, we use YouTube as our video sharing tool of choice. We use Google Apps mainly because our students are spread across seven different schools within our school board. We are currently using the free license, but since our team operates out of a school board, we are working to get the Google Apps education license. Communication is one of our many great challenges, but we always overcome it.
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Unread 04-15-2012, 01:07 PM
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Re: Team Communication Methode

Thanks for the replies. We use Google docs for sharing files between mentors and could use Google groups/email lists. We too use a Google calender to keep everyone on the same schedule. What I am really trying to do is simplify how to send out important (need to know now) type of information and just useful information for different groups. I like the idea of the forum for sharing useful information in team groups. I think we could make that work well for our team.
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Unread 04-15-2012, 01:22 PM
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Re: Team Communication Methode

Does anyone else use PTC's online WindChill software?
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Unread 05-02-2012, 10:49 AM
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Re: Team Communication Methode

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJCaliciuri View Post
We are currently using the free license, but since our team operates out of a school board, we are working to get the Google Apps education license.
How long (time) have you been using the free license? My understanding is that it's good for 30 days.

It appears that Apps for Education is geared towards entire school districts (e.g. mydistrict.edu), so I'm very interested in hearing whether a sub-group of a school district will qualify.
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