Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Col-lab-o-rate My Friends, Come On!

 The following is from a weekly column I write, called Curriculum Connections, in the OCDSB Business & Learning Technologies e-Newsletter.

Collaborate - to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor

Today was an exceptional day for networking with colleagues and creating opportunities for shared experiences, peer-to-peer learning and future collaborations. All these opportunities started in the cloud, included opportunities to present and discuss initiatives on the ground (f2f) and ended with excited agreements to further collaborate online and beyond.

Digital tools used were
•    emails and conferences; First Class, gmail – concept
•    wikis http://ocdsbinstructionaltechcoach.wikispaces.com/ - reference
•    Google images – Creative Commons licensed (intended for re-use)
•    Google Presentation – development of presentation by 4 colleagues, online. No need to email slide decks back and forth
•    The Google – research on cognitive load, and Marshall McLuhan (awesome read)
•    Twitter - cuz that's the way I roll
•    Youtube – videos
•    Screen captures and photo editing application
•    Itunes – download mp3 file
•    Laptops, projectors, clickers, and mobi’s

The point of all this collaboration, which culminated in physically meeting with 2 groups of colleagues today, was to find common ground to discuss Big Ideas, inquiry and critical thinking, and the compression issues that providing rich and fulsome learning opportunities present. Understandings and points of engagements were established and many people left these meetings with new connections and opportunities to further their learning. I can't count the number of times people told us they had an ah-hah moment. Many of these teachers are exemplary professionals who feel successful and valued in their practice, so offering accessible, alternative opportunities for student empowerment was a rewarding experience all round.

Oh yeah, and of course we talked about a whole lot of cool apps that are readily available, user-friendly, meet curriculum expectations and would be a great fit with a SIP.

If you are interested in engaging in this inclusive learning dialogue, please let me know.

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