Journey Into Collaborative Learning

I want to invite you to join me on a journey. You’ve already set sail on a grand voyage into the world of 21st Century Learning. But, I’ve found that every great adventure should include at least a few side destinations. You know, those little trips that you didn’t plan to take when you started out, but somehow become part of the itinerary? If you’re like me, it’s those side journeys that add depth and meaning to your travels more than the final destination.

The journey we’ll be embarking upon is one that speaks to the heart of becoming a citizen in this global, digital, hyper-connected world we inhabit. I’d like to explore with you how to brainstorm, design and implement projects where collaborative learning is paramount. To accomplish this, we’ll do many things including:
• take a tour of successful projects and what makes them tick,
• explore the process of matching outcomes to engaging activities, and
• learn skills that encourage collaboration and communication.

What I’d like for you to see me as is a fellow traveler. My paths have taken me to many places over my 20 years in teaching and I’d like to share some of the tales and lessons I’ve learned during those years. I’ve given you a little background information about those journeys here, but I invite you to join me on my blog, on Twitter or in Plurk to see and hear what makes me tick. I hope that you’ll be willing to share your tales too, because no journey is as fulfilling as when you have someone to travel the miles with you.

Of course, there’s plenty of research and best practices out there to study but there’s also nothing like knowing in your heart what works best because you’ve lived it in a classroom full of students. So, I look forward to hearing from you, learning with you, and someday looking back to reminisce about the adventure we had.

A word of caution. This adventure may delve deep into ideas and resources that go beyond how to use a web tool to design a lesson. If you’d like to expand your horizons or know what you’ll be getting into before you step onto the tour bus, check out the ideas that Randy Nelson shares in this video. To me, he speaks to the heart of what we’ll be trying to learn.

Waypoint 1: As you reflect on Randy Nelson’s definition of collaboration, share what classroom collaboration looks like to you.

Bonus points. Three books where I’ll be gleaning ideas that have nothing to do with technology might be worth a read:
Training to Imagine – Kat Koppett
Made to Stick – Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Thinkertoys – Michael Michalko

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