I feel like I have been trying to do this for awhile, and it is so difficult to get to where I want to be with global collaboration. As a technology coach I have heard teachers often say they have no time.
This is always frustrating for me because I feel with technology we have the option for asynchronous learning, so we don’t actually need common shared time we can use whatever time we have.
In Davidson’s article Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age I often feel like she did when she saw the gorilla (and I think many of my students feel the same way). Instead of having a legitimate reason for not really paying attention to the assignment, I feel like trying to focus on just one thing (counting the passes) makes us miss out on the larger systemic issues that might be happening. If we are paying attention to something too closely we can miss out on other learning opportunities. What we need to do as teachers (connectivist teachers especially) is to link our learners up (either digitally or physically) with people who see the world a little differently.
The crowdsourcing idea for grading and learning and transforming learning makes so much sense to me, why should I be in charge of what is “good” or “passable”. Students might take assignments more seriously if their peers, or someone they looked up to were judging them. Again, like Clarissa says “It’s something I can do in my spare time, be creative and write and not have to be graded,” because, “you know how in school you’re creative, but you’re doing it for a grade so it doesn’t really count?”
Personally, I think it’s pretty inspiring that companies like Apple work with schools and let school communities repurpose their apps and technology. I love the idea of App Smashing especially when thinking about how to collaborate.
Our Collaborative Plans
At our school we have been trying hard to work with other schools. We have worked with other schools on our blogs. It has been a decent journey so far, we have people communicating with each other, asking questions and slowly digging deeper. But I would really like to “prosume” with another school.
Right now I am working with an environmental educator Ranger Ridley to work with Ontario schools for our units on Sharing the Planet. Like Andrew Marcinek mentions in his article the purpose of using social media, or blogs should go beyond connecting, which leaves me always wanting more. I am doing okay at connecting students, but how can I reach the empowerment stage?
So our success doesn’t look like this…