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.
Collaborative planning is a constant conversation. (Thanks, Fiona 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.
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?