This module has given me a greater insight into what is necessary to organise, and maintain productive collaborative learning situations in my classroom. I have learned that I need to give students plenty of scaffolding to get them started; and maintain vigilance during the entire process. I see collaboration as a magnificent teaching tool which I should use with every class at some stage during the time I have with them. Aside from what they learn of mathematics, they will improve their collaboration skills, and they need those for life.
I found this module very helpful. I have learnt some great strategies to teach my students, but more importantly, what to teach them in order to help them become responsible and effctive digital collaborators. I found the information of teaching students to provide effective and meaningful feedback to their peers to be very useful and allowed me to understand more about the value of this type of feedback, for example how it can actually make the reviewer think more deeply about the feedback they are going to give.
I also like the digital writing instruction ideas and checklist for students. I can see this as a useful tool for older students to use as a form of self assessment and as a guide for preparing their digital writing tasks.
I'm now hoping that module 5 will give me some more ideas about how to manage collaboration in the classroom- this is where I feel thatI need some really concrete strategies to sue so I can set the students up for success.
I found this module very informative and it has made me aware of the importance of modelling ethical online behaviour.
The resources will be very useful in developing and supporting a fair and ethical online environment and the explicit teaching of these skills will assist the students in many future ventures.
I understand the importance of closely monitoring all group activities and developing positive prompts to elicit positive discussion.
I feel that through close monitoring and modelling and praise for positive online behaviour I will be able to encourage fair and ethical online collaboration.
Again, the importance of explicit teaching comes into play. It is my job to teach my students the importance of being ethical online. Hopefully, if they are fully informed of the consequences of online behaviours they will choose wisely. Providing instruction and activities that engage students in active listening will be a priority. Perhaps we spend too much time with our students multitasking and we need to teach each important collaborative skills in isolation first. I would get my students to complete a pre -assessment self assessment collaborative checklist and to repeat this during the task and again at the end. This will help them to continually reflective on the process and keep them focused on being ethical. At the beginning of every task I will make sure that the learning intent is very clear and precise, this will enable my students to choose the correct digital writing and research tools needed for the task. It is of the utmost importance that I teach them how to access and acknowledge sources used correctly by setting tasks that require them to access and use Creative Commons, fair use and public domain. Referencing skills and bibliographies also need to be taught. This explicit teaching is essential to assist students to avoid plagiarism but in my opinion even more important is for them to understand how they need to be responsible for what they do online and understand that the consequences of their actions, will not only affect themselves and others now but also possibly in the future.
As teachers it is our job to establish clear guidelines through explicit teaching of what we expect from our students when they participate online. As students use many digital collaboration tools they should have established skills in correct use, but we still need to ensure that they are on the same page as us interms of ethical behaviour and safety online.
We also need to make sure that ow we act online is appropriate as our students will be wanting us to lead by example.
Cheers Tracey C
I agree wholeheartedly with Rhonda and Tracey. As teachers, we must be mindful of explicitly teaching digital literacy. A major component of that is the teaching of digital citizenship. too often we think this Net generation are savvy discerning users of the internet but they are not. I was glad to see this component added to the course because as online collaborators we all need to be aware of "netiquette' and it cannot be assumed everyone is as knowledgeable, respectful and critical as their neighbour.
This unit has reminded me of my responsibility as a teacher librarian to collaborate more with teachers so that they become more explicit in their teaching of research skills. I need to remind them that it is indeed a process and that the affective as well as the cognitive should be taken into account. We all become confused, overwhelmed, disheartened even defeated in the research process coupled with technology. Support is key here!
I am really encouraged by the focus our school as a whole has begun to have on this important aspect of online collaboration. Ethical behaviour in all facets of life is something I'm sure we all want to instil and encourage in our students. There is so much evidence in the media that many adults find it hard to cope with the extra responsibility and anonymity that internet communication brings. One thing our school has begun to do is to bring in outside experts, particularly in relation to the legal aspects of internet use and protective behaviours. I hope this continues to grow as a key concern in helping to keep our students safe and responsible as they spend an increasing amount of time online. While we must be vigilant, we just can't be there all the time, especially outside school hours, so we must ensure our kids are educated. Parental education is also vital, particularly for those parents who are not as experienced or engaged in this area as their children. I love Catherine's comment about being mindful of the affective domain too. This is a key aspect of the inquiry model we have chosen to use throughout our school but it has not been on our radar to this point. Our teacher- librarian has also mentioned this in recent times as an area for development. Another area that is always difficult for students but essential is citing sources and writing reference lists. I love the online versions suggested in this module and will definitely give them a try.
I agree with Katie about the checklist becoming an assessment tool for older students, as well as the general agreement that explicit teaching of how to become ethical and responsible online users is paramount. Vigilance is important but it is impossible to be looking over every child's shoulder all the time. It is the same as everything, we need to give students the skills they need to be able to grow and become educated people. Stephanie's comment about citing sources and writing reference lists struck a chord with me too, as I find that these aspects are the ones that our older students tend to struggle with.