The whys and hows of collaboration

Collaboration: n. 1. The act of working together; united labor.

                                           2. The act of willingly cooperating with an enemy

Okay, so I’m not talking about strategies of war, though sometimes the life of an educator may feel like a battle.  For the past several years, our school system has had “late start Wednesday” –  a cause of joy for my third-grade daughter every Tuesday evening.  However, the purpose was intended for teachers to meet in grade levels/departments, by school, or on occasion by district to collaborate on various educational topics.  I believe some of the best pd available happens in these small, in-house, settings.  This morning at a K-2 collaboration, a second-grade and a kindergarten teacher shared what they had learned at a recent workshop on using technology in your writing curriculum.  This brought up the topic of Twitter, blogs, and Skype.  I shared how I use Twitter and blogs to collaborate with and learn from educators around the world.  Wow – collaboration, literally, at my fingertips!  I recently read (in a blog, of course) about a school system where teachers log into Skype every morning and use that to communicate with one another more often (and quicker) than by email.  Research has shown that people learn better when they talk about what they are learning.  So, here is the big question, are you allowing your students to collaborate?  On a daily basis?  Using Twitter, blogs, Skype, moodle, Edmodo?  Good old-fashioned face-to-face communication?

Collaboration:If it’s important for educators, then it’s important for students.

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