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A bigger concern of mine is that in the flood of opportunity to work in groups and collaborate, they seem to be incapable of doing anything on their own.
In the spirit of collaboration, would any intermediate or middle school reading/ELA teachers out there like to create book review podcasts with my classes? I've assigned students in my GT class the task of creating book review podcasts after they complete their Accelerated Reader books. I posted the assignment the week prior to Christmas break, and three students have already posted podcasts. Here is the link: http://www.ennis.k12.tx.us/webpages/mkitchens/mypodcast.cfm.
I think it would be cool if my class could connect with a class from another area. Perhaps the kids could compare notes on books or gather ideas on how to do podcasts.
In addition, I'm also looking for ideas on how Kindles and e-readers can be integrated into curricula. Check out my podcast/blog "My Two Cents" to learn more: http://www.ennis.k12.tx.us/webpages/mkitchens/myblog.cfm?blogid=4206
Amen....when we can't solve a problem in education, we rename it "educational." Cooperative learning, etc. only is effective if all students are equipped with the necessary knowledge to cintribute. Our curricula in schools is so weak that little is taught, and yes memorized, to recall later when "collaborating." There are things to know: history (how others solved these issues), economics (how others solve these issues), and political science (how others refuse to solve these issues). Man has noy created greater problems than we have dealt with in the past. Traditional subjects must be taught rigorously, primarily in elementary, middle and high schools, so colleges get the best and the brighest that ARE prepared to fight the fights to come.
I think that real classrooms will alway be the only best option that is out there. Am I right? What do you think?
Thats great that you tend to unite all the programs into collaborations, unfortunately I'm not connected to the educational sphere and can't help you, but I hope you will face many-sided support in your deeds...
A former student of mine got a job working on the movie Space Jam. Yes, it was a few years ago. The post production work of the film was done in three different production centers around the world taking advantage of "normal" working hours for their time zone. I saw this as a true collaborative work effort that students needed to learn in order to be prepared to work in todays creative industry.
Collaboration? A new concept? That is funny. Welcome to Dr. Maria Montessori's 20th Century concept now practiced for over 100 years in authentic Montessori classrooms.
Not to be confused with other versions of Montessori education, authentic AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) Recognized schools provide children at very young ages (as early as 5 years through 12 years) the opportunity for collaborative activities and learning in ungraded and non-competitive classrooms (thus eliminating the "cheating" concept; why would you cheat for a higher grade if there are no grades?) at the elementary level.
True collaboration provides each child to develop their own understanding, their own skills and their own relationships as projects develop throughout the course of the elementary experience prior to entering the project-based environments of the junior high (Erdkinder) level.
High school students in traditional classrooms suddenly confronted by collaborative projects are often times derailed by the concept, but students emerging from a 'career' of collaborative learning experiences are well-prepared, indeed, expect the process to filled with potential collaborators.
It's a different world out there when you can appreciate the value of younger children learning through the benefit of collaboration.
Doug: Collaborative learning has nothing at all to do with cheating. Nothing. Collaboration is the glue that holds together communities, companies, nations and, hopefully, our schools. It's also a way of dramatically enriching the learning experience.
A quick flashback to the early years of this country. Specifically, the Continental Congress, when a group of representatives from geographically close but attitudinally distant colonies gathered in Philadelphia to debate (among other things) a severing of ties with Great Britain. They disagreed and argued, often quite bitterly. But they ultimately shared a common purpose that could only be effected through a collaborative effort. One member of that early Congress reminded the other representatives that, if their revolt was unsuccessful, they would all surely be hung as traitors. Ben Franklin responded, "We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately." This is reiterated in the motto of this country: E pluribus unum......Out of Many, One.
That is what collaboration and collaborative learning is about - making the sum better than the parts. And our children need to know how to do it. It's an important and elemental skill, that bears new importance in our increasingly interconnected world.
I am a sub in our large school system for Pk-12. I'm previously a ten year technology professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, but my degree is in BS Education. I am not working on my Masters in Technology in Education and will go on to my doctorate in adult education so I can teach in college again. I taught myself technology at night at a community college so I could teach in the 80 and 90 in technology because it was in need.
Our public schools in oklahoma are way behind. No computers except in a lab that each class uses 30 minutes a week. The teachers are afraid of technology and do very little collaboration even in their subject area. Such a sad situation. We need to find a way to get our city mayors to care more about education and less about what "looks" pretty down town. We just had a 35 million bond passed to increase technology, but I already know that a big portion of it is slated to put fences around our schools because of child preditors and this is a college town and a very wealthy tax town. Average 3b2b home is 250,000 up to 5 million. We are an oil state so our economy is very good. It is not about money, I believe it is about awareness and understanding of the need, that 40% of our children are dropping out of school.
I teach teachers at a university level and collaboration can still be problematic. We need to teach how to collaborate. My university is teaching this through modeling best practices. This will in turn enable our students to teach their students. We live in a connected world and as teachers we need to ensure that we teach what is appropriate and acceptable methods.