This morning I am giving a talk about using technology for collaborative learning. One of the points that I plan to emphasize is that collaboration should be happening in your classroom on a daily basis. Collaboration in the classroom isn’t new, what’s new is that it can happen in real-time and it can happen 24/7. Collaboration can happen in the manner pictured above in which the first grade students I worked with last week helped each other with GoAnimate projects. Collaboration can be using TodaysMeet to exchange ideas to support a classroom discussion. Collaboration can be using a Padlet wall to create collaborative KWL walls. Or collaboration can be asking your students to text a parent during class to get additional perspectives to add to a classroom conversation.
Certainly, technology enables you and your students to undertake collaborative projects that in the past would have taken weeks and complete them in shorter periods of time. Think about the peer-editing process for written work. In the past a student would write his or her paper, print it, bring it to school, swap papers with a classmate, and then read, edit, and return the paper. Now you can use Google Documents and speed up that process which in turn allows you to spend more time on the writing process and less time waiting for the process to happen. Bigger projects like video creation projects can now be completed by a team working remotely. I like WeVideo for this purpose. By using the combination of the website and the Android app students can work from anywhere to make contributions and edits to their projects.