Collaborative learning takes place when a group of students work together to solve a problem. The students talk and discuss with each other and it is through this process that the learning takes place.
The act of collaboration can occur between students, teachers or the student and the teacher.
For future use: Collaboration tools that can be used in the classroom:
- The digital tools such as GoogleDrive or OneDrive (etc. from Thing 6 (Links to an external site.)andThing7) (Links to an external site.) enable students to work collaboratively on documents, slides, sites and presentations, concurrently (and from anywhere, anytime).
- Microblogging (Links to an external site.)– is a combination of blogging and instant messaging that allows users to create and share short messages. This website,Microblogging in the classroom (Links to an external site.), shares some of the better known platforms used.
- Twitter, is one of the most used microblogging platforms. 10 Twitter Tips for Teachers (Links to an external site.) provides a helpful starting guide. Kidsedchatnz (Links to an external site.), a twitter chat forNew Zealand schools that takes part every Wednesday between 2-3pm is also a great place to start with your students. Twitter can be used for way more that collaboration (Links to an external site.) as shown by the Global Digital Citizen Organization. See Thing15 for how teachers can use it.
- Yammer (Links to an external site.) is a social network much like Twitter or Facebook, but is only available to people who belong to your school. All of the postings are intended to allow collaboration between teachers and students to work on projects, share files and co-edit documents. Explore “5 Ways Yammer is Improving Communication, Connections, and Learning in our Schools (Links to an external site.)” or watch Build Classroom Community with Yammer (Links to an external site.) to learn more.
Microblogging looks like it could be a very useful tool to use in a secondary school. The reason I think this is because it incorporates aspects of technology that the students are familiar with. For example, the students are able to communicate in the form of blogs or instant messages. Further to this the students can conveniently upload content in the form of text, images, video and audio. Using a microblog seems to be a good platform for quickly sharing information and allows for a higher frequency of posts because the users are producing shorter pieces of writing each time.
Yammer seems to be another interesting tool that could be used within schools to assist with collaboration. I haven’t used Yammer before but it seems to allow for collaboration to occur between a group of people and in a sense the group forms an online community . This could be really useful in a classroom situation because small groups could create their own Yammer site and they could communicate via this. After researching I can see that these groups are able to message each other, upload documents and share group announcements. It would be a useful tool to use if the students needed to collaborate outside of the classroom and during their own time. Something like Yammer helps develop student centred learning and encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning.