Tag Archives: Collaboration

Classroom 2.0 LIVE!

What an honor to be chosen as the Featured Teacher for Classroom 2.0 LIVE! If you are interested in Project-based Learning or 21st Century Learning, here is the recording.  Here’s the Livebinder link to all of the projects and resources mentioned in the presentation.

Make sure you visit the Classroom 2.0 LIVE site and check the calendar for upcoming events and archives. They are always a great resource for cutting edge education ideas and resources.

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Collaboration

Such a great view of collaboration! People that realize that “it takes more than themselves to make magic”. Calling at 2am with an idea…not being able to wait to keep talking about the possibilities. I know the energy and power of that kind of collaboration. Why is it this is so difficult to manifest in most work places?  True collaboration is mutual.  The kind of collaboration he describes is a two way street…it’s a give and take. 

That takes risk, and it takes trust.

Voicethread Simply Speaking

VoiceThread Simply Speaking from VoiceThread on Vimeo.

ISTE 2013, I Can’t Wait to Meet You! Let Me Count the Ways.

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Read the Full post HERE on the ISTE Connections Blog

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PBL and the 21st Century Competencies

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PBL for the 21st Century Success: Teaching Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication and Creativity, looks like another wonderful edition to the Project-based Learning books published through the non-profit Buck Institute for Education (BIE).  Suzy Boss, lead author, and John Larmer, Editor-in-Chief  of BIE, summarized the book in their June 5th webinar. Although it was written for middle and high school, as 5th grade teacher, I think it would work for upper elementary as well. I’ll give a few highlights here, but it is really worth a closer look.

  • Focuses on integrating and explicitly teaching the 21st century competencies, the 4Cs: critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication
  • There are chapters that focus on each of the 4Cs that provide:
    • Example projects
    • Classroom ‘Look fors’ that we should be seeing over time to demonstrate learning
    • Infographics that deliberately explain how the Cs can be integrated in every aspect of the project
    • Rubrics to assess the Cs at all of the four stages of the project

In addition, you will find:

  • Research highlights throughout
  • Non-fiction emphasis
  • Alignment with the Common Core and explanations
  • Reflection prompts
  • Tech tips to help support the development of the 4Cs

You will find the webinar archived here.

The book, as well as their introductory PBL books,  can be purchased here.

You can find all of their webinars:

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Tioki Conversation with Milton Chen of George Lucas Education Foundation

I followed a recent conversation with Milton Chen, Senior Fellow of George Lucas Education Foundation on Tioki.

A participant asked him what his favorite Star Wars character was, and what he thinks of the Common Core State Standards. Here’s his reply:

Milton Chen, “Of course, I love Yoda, the master teacher! 

I’m in favor of Common Core, it’s amazing it’s taken us so long to have the states agree on high standards. But the main issue is how they will be accomplished, what is the curriculum to get our students to high levels in English and math? I favor more of a creative, collaborative project-based approach, so I’m hoping there will be more discussion and implementation of this and teacher acting more as coaches than direct instructors.”

The more I work with the Common Core, the more I agree with this. I am watching organizations all over trying to incorporate the standards as neatly and gracefully as possible, but it seems the most effective way may be the messiest. In education, we have valued orderliness, sequence, separation, isolated skill assessment….then on the other hand we talk about the value of collaboration  creativity, and problem solving.  Without bridging the  these core values and classroom practice, how can we expect to achieve what we all say we need?

The ideas swirling around in our industry are great. The core focus of the Common Core is sound.   There is just so much distance between those things and how we are often trying to achieve them. I am thrilled at the collaboration within our industry that we are all participating in, and if we really believe in and value the things we say…collaboration, creativity and problem solving, we will get there…and it’s probably going to be messy.

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Help Educators take the First Step into Professional Learning Networks

Writing about PLNs on an online blog is a problem. Anyone reading it is already part of a PLN.  All of us have stories like the one I encountered today. The real question is how to bring this understanding into our buildings and neighbor classrooms. Here is a snapshot of a single event I was part of just today.

There is a teacher in Honduras who asked for help from her PLN yesterday.  Her school’s new strategic plan includes moving towards discontinuing their stand-alone computer labs and incorporating tech directly into the classroom.  She is a Tech Integration Specialist, and she needed help. Within 24 hours, after several group emails, resources started pouring in. Areas were identified and a google doc was established. Turns out that her school is not the only one doing this, and she was not the only one with questions. No doubt that everyone involved will come out better for the involvement.

There is no way to overstate the power behind this kind of collaboration.

Here is a link to a wiki that helps educators take that first step. It was originally used for a series of workshops, so feel free to join and use it the same way. Add your own resources if you like. Becoming a Connected Educator for Teachers and Administrators using Twitter, RSS feed and Global Collaboration. If you have other resources, feel free to link them here.

Is your leadership inclusive and empowering? If you’re the leader, you’re the wrong one to ask.

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There are many things we say we value and really believe to be true in ourselves. Leadership is full of those ideas. How do we really know if we are building effective collaborative leadership? Ask the people you are leading. Make a point of cultivating work relationships that will provide honest feedback.

Here’s a good article that was written for principals and published on the nassp  website, but it could be applied to any level of leadership.

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A Must See for all in Education

What We Have Done as an Educational Community is Priceless

Change. In education,we are accustomed to seeing changes in philosophy, funding, materials, focus, ideology, scheduling, and leadership. Right now, we are in the middle of the biggest change in our careers, and what we have been doing as educators is priceless.

The difference between this change and the zillions of changes before it, is that now we have a connected community. There should be no district, school, or teacher working in isolation trying to figure it out alone. Since the last major change, we as educators have pulled together. We have organized ourselves on every level, from superintendents to classroom teachers and everyone in between . We have posted our opinions, knowledge, and resources on blogs and websites and twitter. We have shared like no other industry. We have stepped up for our districts, our schools and our students to make education better for each and every learner. We have demonstrated professional generosity on a level never seen before. So it is there that we will learn and grow…and change…together. This change will not be like ones before. We will make it work for our students and for our districts,  and we will make it more cohesive… because we are working together.