In today’s work culture collaboration is key. This is why it is essential for students to learn within a collaborative learning environment. In Part 1 of How to Nurture Teacher Collaboration, we discussed the importance of teacher to teacher collaboration. In order to teach students how to effectively collaborate, teachers must actively collaborate with other teachers to constantly grow their own knowledge base and keep current with technological advances.
Once teachers are actively collaborating for professional growth, teachers must conduct knowledge transfer to students. The good news is, collaboration is beneficial for both teachers and students. For teachers, working together with students is a powerful way to augment lecturing by looking to students for feedback and insight throughout the learning process. For students, being part of a “team” is a non-threatening way of improving communication skills and learn through discussion.
Teacher to Student
Now a day’s children are inherently tech savvy and the education system in the United States has leveraged this fact. If used properly, technology can reach all types of students, spark lively discussion and most importantly, prepare students for the modern workforce.
There are a lot of tech tools out there for teacher to student collaboration. Some are project oriented and others are vehicles for creativity. Outside of widely adopted tools like Google Docs and Padlet, there are tools that help assimilate information and teach students to collaborate with one another.
- Peergrade – students can evaluate one another’s work anonymously through teacher determined rubrics facilitating the evaluation
- Newslea – teachers can share current events news articles with students no matter the reading level, enabling students to comment and take quizzes providing immediate feedback to teachers on whether or not the student understands the material
- Gosoapbox – way for teachers to reach students fast, no need for the student to create an account, the teacher sends a link to students for access to polls, discussion questions, quizzes etc.
These are just a few collaboration tools for teachers to students. The important thing about online tools is to use them appropriately. Teachers need to monitor interaction between students and find ways to provide confidential communication with students when needed.
Gone are the days where teachers lecture, test, lecture, test only. Collaboration is essential for teacher growth and student growth. Teachers learn by gaining insight into their students viewpoints and real-time feedback on particular topics being taught. Students learn by listening to peers, expressing their opinions/areas of concern and working through issues within a non-threatening team-oriented environment.
- First-hand knowledge on whether students understand the lesson
- Exposure to student’s point of view and disconnect when lessons are not readily understood
- Insight into individuals students learning styles/preferences (i.e. visual, auditory, or kinesthetic)
- Knowledge transfer (what works, what doesn’t work) from students that can be utilized for future lesson plans
- Gain experience working as a team with each other
- Opportunity for shy students to participate
- Way to gain time to work a problem and ask for assistance outside the confines of traditional classroom time
- Non threatening way for students to review each other’s work and learn how to provide constructive feedback to peers
Collaboration no matter teacher to teacher or teacher to student, is essential in modern day education. Teachers can learn by first working with teaching peers and using the first-hand knowledge to help foster meaningful collaboration with and among students. Make sure to reinforce the importance of TEAM. By making collaboration a keystone of the educational process, academia can properly prepare students for the future!
Larry Lipman Knows Team Building for Teachers
I facilitate seminars that are interactive, learn-by-doing, and rich in content. Participants will learn life skills that they can apply in the classroom and at home. Call me today at 770-333-3303 and find out how I can customize team building activities for teachers.