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FORUM: New technologies and collaborative processes | An Enabling e-Learning event

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Have you ever been in a meeting where ideas were bounced around the room? How did it make you feel when your concepts were embraced by others? What happened as a result of this collaborative process?

As the old saying goes,‘Many hands make light work’ and teachers are good at sharing planning templates, resources and ideas for teachable moments. Check out this video from Roxy Hickman on, Teacher Collaboration from her post in Collaborate to Enhance UDL.

In this podcast (24m.11s), Ewan Macintosh talks about the complexities of collaboration between different people, but equally highlights the potential for creativity.

imageSo, how can we harness that potential for the wider good? What e-tools can we use, that enables several people to come together (beyond our local contexts) and co-construct new knowledge - anytime/anyhow/anywhere? How might we encourage our students to do the same?

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 8.30.35 PM.pngThe education system is moving towards an increasingly collaborative model. One of CORE Education’s 10 trends for 2014, describes Networked organisations as; more fluid, borderless, relationship-based organisations, where new partnerships are formed and collaboration encouraged and respected within a high-trust model.

The hierarchy has changed and now anyone can network together socially or professionally to meet personal or common goals, through the use of web-capable mobile devices and social networks.

"Better community connections are an obvious way for schools to access the resources they need to provide 21st century learning experiences. Stronger engagements between the education sector and other sectors will also be needed if there is to be engagement by the wider community in supporting the kinds of changes and innovations that have been argued for across the future-oriented educational literature." Future-oriented teaching and learning A New Zealand Perspective, NZCER (p 54)

The potential of our Virtual Learning Network community, is the ability for each of us to drive our own personal learning, within a culture of continuous learning - right across NZ. Take a look at what happens when teachers connect and co-construct new knowledge together in the VLN.

Registered Teacher Criteria 7: Guiding question

How can we promote a collaborative, inclusive, and supportive learning environment that embraces e-learning and engages learners?

As schools evolve into more networked organisations (within and beyond the school itself), students are also adopting more collaborative, co-constructed approaches as part of the learning process.

In this Enabling e-Learning video, Developing key competencies through writing collaborations (2:13) students share the process of story writing (crafting, modifying) using Google docs, which have helped to develop key competencies - such as critical thinking and relating to others through constructive feedback.

In this Enabling e-Learning recorded webinar, Tim Gander shared how his secondary students reflected on their learning in a collaborative manner, using video and Google apps. You can read more about this process in Tim’s blog links: http://bit.ly/VjA7uN and http://bit.ly/14VkARF.

Want to know more about collaborative skills and abilities? Here’s a useful definition in, What are learning skills?

We’d love to hear from you too. We’d love to know more about how you, your teaching colleagues and students are using technologies to promote communication and collaboration and why this has been beneficial to the learning process. Any barriers, pitfalls or lessons learned - all welcome! 

Please feel free to share your examples below >>>


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  • Sandy Dougherty (View all users posts) 24 Jun 2014 10:06am ()

    hi there, I have been working with students online for a number of years now. I have trialled as many technologies as I have had at my disposal with varying results! I think first and foremost students need to feel safe and secure and part of a positive community before they will respond effectively and productively. Building that community feel is not really what this discussion is about but I felt the need to mention it. Once students are feeling confident I feel that they generally get a lot from any type of collaboration. There seem to be few students who prefer to work on their own all the time. Google docs is a really easy platform to use and the comments and thoughts are easily captured and recorded as well as shared. 

    I think it's quite important for us to consider that to appeal to all learning styles and personalities it’s important to use different types of tools so that students can record using audio and/or video. I think it's easy to assume that today's students will find videoing their ideas easy but in fact my experience tells me that they often find this hard and need time to practice. A tool like Voicethread offers all forms of recording so that students can choose and this can work really well. The first time I used it the student response was so good I was bowled over. Further attempts to use it were mixed and I realised that I had to plan the activity very carefully and not just assume that the tool would make the activity work. Important lesson!

    Just some ideas from me. I have seen some Skype tweets that interest me and haven’t as yet followed them up. I wonder if anyone here is using that effectively? However I better get back to report writing. I will keep an eye on this discussion with interest.



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