Collaboration. What does it really mean? According to the Merriam-Webster Online dictionary, it is defined as working with another person or group in order to achieve or do something. I can relate to this definition because I am working with the teachers at Wayland to improve our technology integration. I am collaborating through time spent talking with teachers, planning with teachers, and helping teachers to use technology resources. Together we are trying to achieve better technology integration within their classrooms. We are collaborating.
But is this the only way to collaborate? No, there are so many other ways that we can work together to achieve something. I added some pictures at the beginning of this blog post to show new ways that people are creating environments to collaborate in. Some of the pictures were taken on a visit to Kent Innovations High. They are utilizing Problem-Based Learning to teach the students. Many of their projects involve groups, just like the "real world". So the school has created places for collaboration to take place. Another example of collaborative environment is the table that I saw, called a Think Table, where you can write directly on the table as you collaborate with others. One last collaborative environment is of our own Wayland High School Media Center. Mrs. Huyck is working to establish her own Collaboration Stations for the students.
We can also collaborate with other while online, such as through blogs. This blog is meant to open up collaboration at Wayland. The teacher Facebook page is another avenue we have to collaborate with others in our district. Teachers in our district are blogging with their students about topics that they are learning about in their classes. I blogged with a teacher outside of the district last year about using iPads in math class, Cheryl's Math Blog. I found that blogging with another person helped me in two ways: (1) I was able to learn from someone else's insights, and (2) I learned how I really felt about something when I had to put my thoughts into words. The math blog was one of the best things that I did as we learned how to better use the iPads in math last year.
So what types of things are you doing to promote collaboration among your students, staff members, and parents?
Please share with us how you are collaborating... (really, I want YOU to share)