Collaborative Learning

Collaborative Learning for The Classroom

There are many technology behaviours that have become habitual since the 2020 Lockdown: schools adopted online learning platforms, teachers began to innovate and enhance the delivery of remote provision and students were beginning to acquire a level of digital literacy for real life.

Even though the days of banana bread baking and toilet roll shortages feel a world away; the digital legacy left by the pandemic is quite rightly still present in classrooms.

It is clear that, in ambitious schools, the archaic cultures of silent rows, independent copying and didactic lecturing are now obsolete.

Technology has equipped our young people with the confidence to communicate via numerous platforms and work collaboratively to achieve a common outcome or learning objective.

Giants Microsoft and Google have recognised this seismic cultural shift and now provide teachers with numerous tools which facilitate group work in contemporary classroom settings:

  1. Google Sites or Microsoft Sharepoint: These tools allow students to build their own websites – the perfect platform for compiling a portfolio of work, contributing to a revision resource in preparation for a summative assessment or a remote homework project. Students can be assigned to work on different pages and the teacher can see students working on these pages in real-time should they wish to do so.
  2. Google Jamboard or Microsoft Whiteboard: Not only do these tools allow teachers to annotate texts, model example answers and deliver lesson aids but, when appropriate, students can also interact with the teacher’s presentation by adding text, media or sticky notes.
  3. Third-Party Apps: In addition to the core suite of Microsoft and Google tools, both vendors boast a range of extensions which enables teachers to transform existing resources into digitally interactive activities which students can work on collectively. Kami is excellent for converting pdf documents, whereas for the Slides/PowerPoint faithfuls Teachermade is the tool you need. However, be warned, there are costs afoot for full functionality of these platforms.

So whether our students are collaborating remotely or in the classroom, it is clear that the ‘Collaborative Working Revolution’ is very much here to stay – a movement that will continue to ensure that every young person is future-proof and future-ready!

Published: March 14