Collaboration Outside of the Classroom

First, thanks again for your flexibility, patience, and perseverance during the MAP testing.  We learned many things on the technology side of the process, and hopefully what we learned will be applicable to next year’s testing cycle.

While summarizing the STNA data during our February 13 PD, I mentioned that collaboration with classrooms outside of our school building was not widely reported by staff or students who took the survey.  Since collaboration with people outside of our physical space has the potential to transform teaching and learning, this will be a focus of our building technology PD next year.  Because conducting collaborative projects take time to plan and execute, I want to share a few resources that focus on helping teachers find other teachers and experts with which to collaborate.  Even though there are a still a couple weeks left in this school year, now is the time to begin planning for next year.

As you start thinking about collaborative projects, start small and work to more complex collaborative tasks as you and your students become comfortable with the process.  In their book, Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds, Lindsay and Davis describe a Taxonomy of Global Connection with five levels of progressing collaboration (54-56).  Each level represents more complex tasks and student independence.  I’ve listed the levels below and details on each level can be found here.

  1. Interconnection Within Your Own Classroom
  2. Interconnection With the School or Geographic Area
  3. Managed Global Connections
  4. Student-to-Student Connections with Teacher Management
  5. Student-to-Student Connections with Student Management

Harris has categorized collaborative projects into two Telelearning Activity Types that may be helpful as you begin thinking about potential collaboration with other teachers and classrooms.

  1. Communication Activity Types involving student interaction
  2. Inquiry Activity Types which include the collection and use of online information

Sample projects and more information on each activity type can be viewed here. My newsletters for the following two weeks will focus on finding collaborative projects using Skype and Google Hangouts.

After brainstorming a few possibilities for collaborative projects, begin the process of connecting with other teachers and exploring collaborative tools.  My newsletters for the following two weeks will focus on organizing collaborative projects through Skype and Google Hangouts.

Harris, Judi. Telelearning Activity Types (2010): n. pag. Web. <http://txtipd.wm.edu/documents/TelelearningActivityTypes.pdf>.

Lindsay, Julie, and Vicki A. Davis. Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time. Boston: Pearson, 2013. Print.


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