"Here is a shared Google Doc...go and collaborate on a project...."
"Go to the Collaboration space and make a plan together....."
"Share the work on this interactive tool....."
Technology can be a great tool for collaboration and yet many teachers do not understand why it continues to fail in their classroom. Collaboration is not something that automatically happens when you add technology tools. It is something that needs to be facilitated and taught by the teacher.
I love using Minecraft Education Edition with students. It creates conditions that are beneficial for learning, and particularly for engagement, collaboration, and creativity (Riseberg, 2015). But having students join your server and collaborate on a project without any structure will result in chaos. I learnt this the hard way the first time I attempted setting a construction task. Minecraft could be replaced by a multitude of different platforms but the message remains the same. Teachers need to consider how the collaboration activities will work with certain technology tools. Does it change the dynamic of the collaboration or make it easier for one person to sit back and let others do the work for them? Technology tools are not always the silver bullet they are made out to be. Often it takes extra work to get them achieving what you want them to. This can be the reason why it is so easy for teachers to fall back on what they know works.
For me, the way I can help my students collaborate using technology is by persisting with it, supporting them and structuring its use in a way that is going to ensure their success.
Risberg, C. (2015). More than just a video game: Tips for using Minecraft to personalize the curriculum and promote creativity, collaboration, and problem solving. Illinois Association for Gifted Children Journal, 44-48.
Hello, thanks for stopping by! I am Laura Bain and this is my reflective blog for ESC515. This is my 4th subject in my Masters of Education, in which I am specialising in Information and Communication Technologies. Very excited by the coursework for this subject and looking forward to reading what everyone's thoughts are along the way. Thanks for taking the time to visit and reading my entries.