How often have you picked up a book that is a professional read and instantly connect with the pages you are reading. The chapters you read are giving you purpose and validation that you are doing something right. For teachers, this often comes from chatting with colleagues or seeing something on social media. The chapter called Collaboration: Working Together with Digital Tools” by Monica Burns has been the highlight of this book for me. She highlighted so many great points and may have changed my mind on social media in the elementary classroom…well let’s not get crazy yet!
Burnes discusses items that are being done across my classroom I thought for a second she was looking in my window. I love having my students collaborate on projects, math problems, books and science. It feels good to know that in the midst of pandamentic and changing our teaching process, things have not changed. My students absolutely love using jambaod with collaboration. That being said, this past Friday, Jamboad was not working and we have to turn on a dime to do something else. This is our world right now, if something is not working due to technology issues, we need to be able to think on our feet and have a back up.
Collaboration is key in any job or sport. Being able to work together to have a common goal is not just a school skill, this is a lifelong skill. I love the idea about assigning roles. I do this but I like to see what they choose more than not. If it is more of a jigsaw project, I would likely get ideas from students as to what they would like to do then assign the roles.
Let’s talk about digital citizenship and social media. This is something that I hit the hardest while we are online/hybrid. We have to be good digital citizens and show how to be objective and are able to listen. I really make a point that it is ok to disagree when working collaboratively or if something was posted in our classroom discussion. We talk about and show how we can disagree objectively. This is such an important skill to have and to be taught at such a young age.
Globally, I am still stuck in my classroom/home however we have skyped with scientists and authors. This has been awesome and my students have loved doing this. We gathered our questions and picked from a hat a few kids who were going to be our leaders for these sessions. The brainstorming before the meet was a wonderful experience for my students.
In conclusion, I believe teachers have used collaboration in their classrooms for years, now we are just using it a little differently. Virtual meetings and apps to use to collaborate are the new item we are using in our ever changing classrooms. Allowing students to chat with people outside of their small world to have more worldly experiences is an added bonus.
Tasks Before Apps by Monica Burns
IV.C. The online teacher arranges media and content to help students and teachers transfer knowledge most effectively in the online environment (iNACOL Standard K).
III.A. Candidates will know and understand the design and implementation of appropriate assessment of online learning that maintains and verifies academic integrity.
II.A. The online teacher plans, designs, and incorporates strategies to encourage active learning, application, interaction, participation, and collaboration in the online learning environment (iNACOL Standard C)