Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Collaborative Tech

When we think of or consider using technology in our classroom, is this what comes to mind?
A single solitary person.  Working alone.  Speaking to no one. It's time to break out of that box.  Anything we do well alone, we can do better with the help of someone else.  Even online.  I heard this loud and clear during Closing Circle today when my students were sharing one way that technology helps their learning.  
  • You can teach people what you know.
  • You can learn from someone else in another state or country.
  • You can talk to other people about things that you are learning about.
These sentiments were reiterated (or as we say, retweeted) by many of the children.

I whole-heartedly agree with my students.  Beyond connecting with others outside of our classroom via Twitter or Skype, you can create a collaborative atmosphere amongst your students while they are working online ~ 21st Century Skills.  Below are a few suggestions for doing so.  Have your children:
  • work in partnerships &/or groups to post comments on a blog.
  • coauthor an e-comic.
  • blend voices on Blabberize.
  • participate in a WebQuest.
  • team up on Carrot Sticks.
  • co-create a book talk Glog.
  • create their collective Wild Self.
  • co-produce a movie/video.
Can all of these things be done alone?  Yes.  But, why should we banish our children to solitary confinement just because a computer is involved?