It Takes All Kinds: Collaboration

This is the second in a four part series. Part one is here.

Teamwork

This idea has been rummaging around is based on the ideas Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.  There are many aspects of this book worth discussing but the one that I think is most interesting for our classrooms is the way we deal with and think about this idea of collaboration. It’s a buzz word that is included in every new document that includes the “21st Century Learning” jargon and you won’t hear many educational talks today that don’t include the word. I believe that it’s the internet and the affordance of technology that makes us want to apply these principles to our classroom. The problem is, collaboration online is not the saem as collaboration in physical spaces. This is an issue.

We failed to realize that what makes sense for the asynchronous, relatively anonymous interactions of the Internet might not work as well inside the face-to-face, politically charged, acoustically noisy confines of an open-plan office.

While Cain is writing about offices, the notion of collaboration in schools often means kids working tables instead of desks. I … Read the rest

Always Read the Comments

You maybe already know this but I needed to be reminded.

The good stuff is often in the comments.

I admit that I’m largely a reactionary blogger. Many of my posts are done in a spur-of-the-moment-I-think-this-is-interesting-or-I’m-ticked kind of way. I do have the odd reflective post that has been mulled over for a few days.  My recent pointing to Clay’s post was the former.  Sometimes that’s okay but other times it bites you in the you-know-where.


I went back to Clay’s post and moved past the regular, “great post”, “I agree” stuff (not that’s all bad but just less interesting) to some challenging thought provoking writing. Jennifer Jones, who is easily the most prolific commenter I know,  writes a wonderful, challenging comment that made me both hang my head in shame (for I was as guilty as Clay for not reading the study) but also shed light on a bigger issue. Brilliance. D’Arcy Norman, less prolific, more of a “cut to the chase” commenter, adds the pertinent information. Clay then respectfully admits errors, pushes back slightly but appears to be learning right in front of us and adds an Update at the top of his post alerted new … Read the rest