Collaboration - Higher Order Contribution and Co-Creation

"Co-creation isn't a co-operative 'create and share' mode, but represents the true collaboration we need in modern society"

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Collaboration literally means two or more people working together. Collaboration in learning means more than connecting or communicating or cooperating. It is a higher order thinking and problem solving skill. When it is done across classrooms and across countries it can become a powerful tool for development and knowledge building.


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  • Local: Collaborators who are geographically closer provide more opportunity for synchronous communication and often cultural and linguistic differences can be minimized.
  • Global: Collaborators who are geographically dispersed (eg cultural and linguistic differences or different time-zones) require more of an asynchronous communication approach. However, it is possible for collaborators to be in the same time-zone offering synchronous communication, but geographically distant with cultural and linguistic differences.

Collaboration: Getting Started

  • Get connected using common Web 2.0 tools
  • Start small, be organised and have clear aims and structures
  • Choose short activities at first, plan for accessible, short-term interactions
  • Develop digital citizenship skills along the way
  • Monitor student participation, be involved and provide feedback
  • Embed the activity into the curriculum

Tools for Collaboration

  • Wiki
  • Backchannel
  • Blog
  • Google docs / Google Sites / Google Apps
  • Educational network - Ning, Edmodo
  • Multimedia - WeVideo

Curriculum Design for Collaboration

  • Mixed teams of learners
  • Shared research, meaningful contributions - you cannot have collaboration without contribution
  • Collaborative learning environments - Web 2.0 - synchronous and asynchronous communication
  • Problem solving and focused discussion opportunities
  • Co-creation of a final product(s)

Global Collaboration 3.0

  • Engaged, connected teachers who know how to communicate using Web 2.0 and other online tools
  • Carefully planned and designed projects that are implemented with a view to effectively join classrooms together to enhance learning
  • Common assessment objectives
  • High expectations and requirements for connectivity and collaboration on teachers and students
  • Extended community partners who provide new knowledge, skills and resources for the learning community
  • Use of multimedia to pitch ideas to solve real-world problems
  • Teacher or student initiated themes, student-centered learning

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