NASA continues to reach new heights in collaboration

Tuesday - 1/11/2011, 5:45pm EST

One small step for man ... one giant step for government employees?

NASA continues to push the envelope concerning its day-to-day use of video conferencing. The agency uses the technology for meetings, seminars, international conferences and face-to-face meetings, as well as quick conversations.

"At NASA, teams at varied locations need a way to engage in timely, technical conversations and collaborate remotely to meet mission-critical goals," NASA's Deputy Chief Information Officer Deborah Diaz tells Federal News Radio.

And the "locations" include an Open Government Summit held a few months ago, where 60 percent of the participants used electronic tools to "virtually" attend. The organizers made sure to bridge the gap between physical and virtual participants with video streaming, cooperative note-taking, online teleconferencing and adapting conversational practices in the room.

"Technology enables and supports one to thousands of conversations," said NASA's Chief Technology Officer for IT, Chris Kemp. "We're finding that if we don't stand in the way of that conversation, incredible things can happen."