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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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  • Whaea Merenia (View all users posts) 18 Jul 2016 10:37am ()

    Since I've been reading a few comments, gone onto links, watched videos from various people there have been some key words that are seen and used and referred to commonly: collaboration, learner agency, reimagine, learner orientation, ubiquitous, engagement, interactive, pedagogy, innovation, creativity, design thinking, synergy - words that certainly promote reflection on how important it is to make sure that our learners needs are being met and our pedagogy is reflective of this - student orientated practice - we restructure ourselves to best meet the needs of our learners. I read what Tessa Gray had to write and listened to a Podcast from Ewan McIntosh, read interesting things from Tim Gander and it made me realise a number of things: The pedagogy behind e learning, collaboration, and communities is vital. Collaboration with e learning are a strong partnership because they lead to student agency, dispel the notion that learning is contained in four walls, and that learning stops after 3pm.  When I listened to Ewan McIntosh founder of 'No Tosh Ltd'  he speaks about how to develop collaboration. He says that collaboration needs to occur between a range of people from a range of different backgrounds. Are our schools the best places for this? We're decile 2 - many, not all, of our children experience the same home lives, the same experiences, the same backgrounds so maybe a way to combat this is to overload them with content, this would hook them in to inquire and then this would also mean that children would have to share within a group, so that when they come together it's genuine synergy and collaboration because person A has to share with person B who knows something different from B and so on. If elearning is used effectively as Tim Gander is doing with google+ than he is meeting the social and academic needs of his learners - by meeting the needs of a variety of learners and it's interactive. Tim Gander uses this quote to support the importance of positive interactions online. McLoughlin & Lee write that by using online communities "rich possibilities for students to create and share ideas, connect, and participate in broader learning communities that are not confined to the spaces in which formal teaching and learning activities take place." (2008 p.15)

    I've enjoyed reading and listening and comparing it to how I think and how I have to have a shift in my own practice, my own pedagogy and it's exciting. Our school is beginning this journey especially the shift in thinking in many of our teachers who have the desire but unsure about how to have a more blended class, more student agency, who have to reimagine their roles as teachers.

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