Topic of Discussion How can we use collaborative tools to enhance learning?
(full details more here)
This was broken down into subquestions:
What do we mean by collaboration?
What are the barriers to collaboration?
How do we encourage collaboration between schools at teacher level?
Who needs to drive the collaboration?
Summary of Discussion
The discussion was varied with several threads running through it. It is clear from the discussion that all of those posting were convinced that collaboration has to be at the heart of educational developments.
It was agreed that collaboration has to include and involve all stakeholders with a call to ensure that this included parents.
There is still a job to be done with developing it in our own establishments as well as across the piece. Initially there were some suggestions from an ed tech point of view of what could be used to support collaboration – wikis, blogs, video conference, dabbleboard, Wallwisher, Mahara, collaborative mindmapping, VLE, podcasting, Voicethread, Skype, rafi.k.
The discussion then moved onto exploring the barriers to collaboration it became clear that edchatters believe they sit at various levels. It was suggested that a fear factor remains with to many teachers but also there appears to be several other barriers including knowing the tools, blocking of applications by firewalls, seeing how online tools can aid collaboration and a fear on the part of management teams and governing bodies of online participation.
There was a sense in the discussion that none of the barriers were insurmountable but did need to be recognition that people move at different paces and not all children are motivated by technology.
The edchatters moved onto how we can encourage teacher level collaboration starting with Teachmeet and then Twitter.
Bev Evans told us about work taking place in her school where staff are mentoring each other they are moving towards a different approach to learning where collaboration is at the centre.
We closed the conversation with thoughts of who should drive the collaborations discussed during the night and closing statements. There was general consensus was that teachers need to take responsibility for driving collaboration involving their management teams at all stages.
It was an excellent discussion demonstrated by the fact that the hour seemed to speed by with an emphasis on more than just technology. It was clear that all believed that collaboration is worth investing in, should be spread across schools and needs working at.
@primarypete_ tech comes 2nd. It’s all about the school and the individual wanting to be outward&reflective rather than inward looking.
@deerwood I think the first point we need to get across is that collaboration does not equal cheating
@primarypete_ there’s a clear diff between tools that let children work in the same space, & genuine collaboration
@john_at_muuua who is this collaboration with? student 2 student? student 2 teacher? That’s where problems arise. How do you CRB check an avatar?
@cliffmanning i guess moving from consuming to creating to sharing to collaborating is key
@nellmog its not just about ways to encourage online collaboration these tools can also encourage class room participation i.e. cameras
@knikidavies Interesting, you see collaboration as a skill in itself where I have been more looking at it as a means to an end
@katie_hague Surely collaboration is a core skill, especially in the world we now live in – we’re all a case in point!
@ideas_factory Does Colaboration improve learning or does it just improve social aspects of education?
@Antheald Was talking to 6th form today about collab now critical ‘life skill’ – but sit at single desk with pen & paper for assessment
@dughall: *Real* opportunity 4 community cohesion, cross cultural, international learning through tech. Such opportunities *must* be taken.
Tweet of the Week
@deerwood: I think the first point we need to get across is that collaboration does not equal cheating
Weblinks Highlighted During the Discussion
This is a great video to explain twitter to newbies http://bit.ly/aXeVKw
here is another video that explains twitter http://bit.ly/94WFxb
Art project encouraging students worldwide 2 celebrate global similarities & differences great tool http://bit.ly/c8DzbF also collaboration of K-12 classes in 119 countries. We’d love more
teachers in the UK! http://bit.ly/16UQFL
The google teacher map is very useful for networking http://www.bit.ly/teachermap
Around the World with 80 Schools is a cool project. For those who don’t know about it http://bit.ly/aYsxcI
Here’s what enthusiastic kids think of tech collab when first given the chance: http://is.gd/dkqts
The lead Moderator
Bill Lord – Literacy Adviser (Grantham)