Center for Research on Collaboratories and Technology Enhanced Learning Communities: COTELCO

Director – Associate Professor Derrick L. Cogburn
Location – 346 Hinds Hall
Phone number – 315-443-5541


The Center for Research on Collaboratories and Technology Enhanced Learning Communities (COTELCO), established in 1999, is a social science research center organized to explore the socio-technical infrastructure required to support geographically distributed collaboration and knowledge work, particularly between developed and developing countries. In 2002, nominated by John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems, COTELCO won a Smithsonian Innovation Award/Computerworld Honors Award for its contribution to building the Information Society. A case-study on the lab, along with supporting materials, is on deposit in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and in museums and archives around the world.


  • Globalization Seminar: From January to April each year since 1999, the Globalization Seminar has brought together students from South Africa with students from the United States in an advanced interdisciplinary seminar called “Globalization and the Information Society: Information, Communication, and Development.” Over the past seven years, the Globalization Seminar has included students from Syracuse University, the University of Michigan, American University, Howard University in the United States; and the University of the Witwatersrand, University of Fort Hare, and the University of Pretoria in South Africa. This year’s offering will include the University of the West Indies and Kigali Institute of Science and Technology as partners. This project is supported by Syracuse University.
  • Employer Demand Project Collaboratory: Americans with disabilities have significantly lower levels of employment than their non-disabled peers. Prior studies of employment rates among people with disabilities generally have relied on a “supply-side” approach, analyzing how personal characteristics predict employment and earnings. These models have not sufficiently analyzed variables related to employer demand (and the interaction of employer demand/supply and the environment) as predictors of employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Thus, there is a need to systematically understand characteristics for qualified workers with disabilities, particularly as work requirements change over time. This project sets out scientifically rigorous and evidence-based methods to develop, identify, and evaluate employment demand-side models. This project is supported by the Syracuse University’s Burton Blatt Institute.
  • TANGO: In 2005, COTELCO and the Moynihan Institute at the Maxwell School were awarded a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study transnational non-governmental organizations (TANGOs) as agents of human and social change. This study has three components: (1) interviews of TANGO leaders; (2) a large-N web-based survey of TANGO leaders; and (3) content analysis. This research practicum focuses on a sub-set of this larger study by exploring the transnational networks that exist among TANGOs and their use of communication and collaboration technologies to expand linkages with knowledge producing communities. This project is supported by the National Science Foundation.
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