Collaboration is the next big thing:
Not the next new thing mind you. Teachers have known that learning is a social process since the dawn of early man; and despite our collective tendency to close our doors and do our own thing, we do PLC work and study groups and committees and we kibitz with one another in the halls daily. We collaborate.
Our kids collaborate too. We are well past the days when collaboration meant I could add my name to a group project and get credit for the work done by that one smart girl…This week I saw kids sharing and critiquing each other’s work, collaborating in real time on a Google doc. There was even that trio that tried to help each other figure out how to get into the SBAC test.
Watching that this week made it easy to see how technology pushes collaboration from old news into the next big thing.
I can’t find the reality of a “flipped” elementary classroom, but I do see the power of classrooms connecting across video fiber to share understanding and learning.
The idea of Gamification of education seems overwhelming but I don’t think it’s too subversive to have kids learning as they playing Minecraft together.
There is no question that human buy-in increases when what we do or make or publish is offered to the world for feedback rather than just that one teacher.
I also like the irony that collaborative learning pushes us into less individualized work.