10 ways for teachers to collaborate…

People talk a great deal about the ’21st century skills’ of collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity. Do we model them ourselves, as teachers?

10 ways to collaborate for teaching and learning…

1. Open the door.

Let go of the idea that you have to teach in ‘your way’ in ‘your space’. Team teach. Invite people in. Share spaces. Learn together.

2. Talk.

Collaborative planning is a constant conversation. (ThanksFiona Zinn). Share what worked and what didn’t. Build on each others’ ideas. Talk about how you’ll use shared spaces.

3. Be open-minded.

There is more than one way of doing things. Be open to new ways of thinking and new ways of learning. Learning can look different from the way it did when you went to school.

4. Include your students.

Ensure you are part of their learning community rather than boss of the learning. Ask for feedback. Talk about the process of learning. Listen to their voices. It’s their learning.

5. Make learning trans-disciplinary.

Learning takes place when we connect new knowledge or ideas with what we already knew. The more connections, the stronger the learning. Create opportunities for connections across disciplines.

6. Share.

Share your time, your ideas and your expertise. Share tasks and resources between team members. Share responsibility with your students.

7. Focus on the arts.

Work with the art teacher and the music teacher. Use the arts to enrich learning in any subject area.

8.Establish an in-school PLN.

Learn from and with your personal learning network. It might be your grade level team, teachers of the same subject or, best of all, a mixed group. Share practice. Build on each others’ ideas.

9. Establish an online PLN.

Use social media to connect and collaborate with educators anywhere, any time. Get the most out of Twitter. Ask someone to help you get started on building an online network. (I will)

10. Create a global collaboration.

Use Skype or Voicethread to collaborate with a class in another country. Exchange ideas and beliefs. Learn from each other.

Do you collaborate to make teaching and learning richer? How?

More ’10 ways’ posts.



20 thoughts on “10 ways for teachers to collaborate…

  1. “Without sharing there is no education” is a comment made by Alec Couros during his keynote address for #RSCON11. It’s a mantra which I’ve adopted and which this post supports. Thank you for a concise, explicit post.


  2. Yes! Yes! Yes! Once again a great post that is simple but gets to the essence of what collaboration is all about! I’m going to send this around to all of my teachers as a good way to self reflect on our current practices. We’ve been working on building our in-school PLN and this will be a great “checklist” to add to that endeavor!

    Great stuff!


  3. Ed,
    As usual, you have made a clear and concise way of looking at the bigger picture in education. I especially like #8 and 9 about having not just an online PLN but that is also in-school that can combine both electronic and face-to-face communications. To me, the beating heart of education is the relationships between all the stakeholders and this post addresses that in the PLN, and the points around being trans-disciplinary, including students, and the general overtone of communication.


  4. I absolutely LOVE #1. Simply being open to the idea of collaboration is the first step many educators still haven’t been able to do. Thank you for this great list.


  5. If you’re ever in Bangkok you must come visit the new Elementary building at NIST. I’ve been working all week and exploring and now have serious work place envy because the learning space is incredible! There are literally NO classroom doors, none! The classrooms blend into each other and you really have no choice but to allow others to see what you’re doing. It is perfect.
    Another great post too!


  6. This is still such a great blog post. Thank you so much for sharing! I especially love #10 because we have only JUST started collaborating across the world and I cannot wait to see what else schools and teachers come up with.

    +Shana @ShanaatCC


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