Monday, June 7, 2010

Collaboration, getting sick of that word yet?

“Collaboration is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together in an intersection of common goals — for example, an intellectual endeavor that is creative in nature by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus.” (Wikepedia) When I first started my position as the TLC for Medicine Hat Public Schools, I did not know the impact of the word pertaining to my job. But, after one year as an Educational Technologist, the term collaboration is the essence of what I do.

In my mind the key to collaboration is sharing of information, which is so important in the 21st Century. The sharing of information with my ET friends has really helped me in my position. Everyone in my work is so willing to give. It makes our work easier, better and updated. I have been to a number of Tech. and AISI conferences this year and participated in a number of blogs to see the power of collaboration. I was able to learn from others and analyze information for my own purposes. And now I am able to give back. But,  time is needed and teachers and students need more time to collaborate. Given that time, all collaborators should experience the power.

With technology, collaboration is easier than ever. Experts are found at the click of a mouse. Student voice is at the end of their thumbs. Wikis, blogs, Skype, webinars, forums, and video conferences are some 21st Century methods for collaborating. For teachers, it is still the question of “how” that becomes the barrier. Not only the how, but the risks incurred. But if the risks are not taken, students will miss out on the opportunity for authentic learning, and so will teachers.
Are you getting tired of the word ‘collaboration’? I’m not.

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