9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 7, 2012 5:51 AM by srowswell1

    Module 5 Reflection: Supporting a Collaborative Classroom

      In Module 5 you were asked to consider ways to promote safe use of technology, manage and support collaborators and their technological tools. How might you prepare for unexpected challenges that can occur with online collaboration and technology?



        • Re: Module 5 Reflection: Supporting a Collaborative Classroom

          Planning, planning, planning and then some more. After that have plenty of alternatives available if the plans go pear shaped. Students need to be given time to come to terms with the technology if they’re going to take on board the learning I expect from them. I realise now that I will need much more scaffolding than I thought I would for using technology with collaboration. I also need to be vigilant in the classroom to ensure that no students ‘slip through the net’ and fail to engage with the technology and hence miss the learning opportunities. Giving credibility to the technology experts is a good way to encourage the engagement of some of the other students.

          This unit has been good in that I feel that if I set up something and it doesn’t quite work, I will be able to salvage something of a learning experience.

          • Re: Module 5 Reflection: Supporting a Collaborative Classroom

            Well, planning is how you can overcome challenges!! The main points I took away from this module is always check and test everything, even if you have used it before, have a back up plan and alternative activtiies organised just in case!!

            Also, doing the legwork to teach students how to keep themselves safe during collaboration and how to use tools effectively is a key factor- without explicit instruction and modelling, problems could arise that a student does not know how to deal with. Further, giving all collaboartors a clear outline of the project, time lines, expectations and checklists will help to minimise problems.


            The main thing this module gave me is the skills to plan effectively for collaboration and some strategies to deal with  management of collaborative activities and any problems. This is the information I really hoped to gain from this course.

            • Re: Module 5 Reflection: Supporting a Collaborative Classroom

              As always, planning and flexibility are the keys!

              The resources and check lists provided in this module will help support the efficient running of collaborative activities.

              I think we have all experienced the list of possible problems that may arise during the implementation of collaborative activities, but I now feel better prepared to deal with them when (and they will) arise. Flexibility is the key here, and I feel we are in a better position here within a primary classroom to be able to work around these issues through the ability to change timetables where necessary. It is also very important to have a back up plan with engaging relevant activities.

              I have learned the hard way a number of times that just because something works at home does not mean it will work at school, and although I'd like to think I have now learned that lesson for a final time I know I will probably fall into that trap again, but with time it will be cemented to always test things at school first. :-)

              I am really looking forward to implementing some of these tools in a multi stage class inquiry next term. ;-)

              • Re: Module 5 Reflection: Supporting a Collaborative Classroom


                This module looks at the explicit instruction and organisation that must be done at the beginning and throughout the unit of work. Once again it is the teacher’s role to ensure that all the hardware and software, links and apps are easily accessible and in working order. A checklist for addressing everything is a great idea. Also an action plan for troubleshooting could be collaboratively worked out between the teacher and the students. Planning and preparation are the keys to successful collaboration and when this is done well, most obstacles can be overcome. I look forward to planning well and having successful collaboarations next term.

                • Re: Module 5 Reflection: Supporting a Collaborative Classroom

                  What I took away from this  is yes we need to plan and we need to plan for when things go wrong. But this goes with almost all lessons we teach as we will constantly have interruptions of one kind or another in the school environment. With what I have learnt through the course is that collaboration requires lots of preparation to run smoothly and it wuld be wise to work in collaboration with fellow colleagues, especially those that are tech savvy.


                  cheers Tracey C

                  • Re: Module 5 Reflection: Supporting a Collaborative Classroom
                    Catherine GrahamSmith

                    Ditto! Yes, planning is the key to success when collaborating. Add technology to the mix and planning becomes even more vital.


                    Collaboration begins with the teacher and, in my case, the teacher librarian. We worked on a unit of work to incorporate inquiry learning and technology. Of priority was a series collaborative activities culminating in a final project - an interview filmed on Imovie. All tasks invited collaboration and were successful to a large extent.


                    What I learned mostly in this course is that collaboration continues even throughout the unit! Constant dialogue between students and teachers meant that all students were engaged in the unit of work and the results were very pleasing indeed. The framework provided and the check list will become essential documents that I use when I sit down to work with my staff in the future.

                    • Re: Module 5 Reflection: Supporting a Collaborative Classroom

                      Something I don't always do is to plan enough contingency options for when things go wrong. I find it easy to be flexible and think on my feet but that is not necessarily going to ensure that the outcomes for students are reached to the same quality. So that is my 'resolution' after this module. The resources in this module should help me with this. I have found it useful to have a central place for students to go to access links, clips and online tools. At this stage, we use KnowledgeNet, our school learning management system. It might be a good idea to give the students some experience with a cloud based bookmarking tool as well to broaden their horizons. I would need to ensure that using such a tool  would fit in with our acceptable use policy. I haven't had too many problems with things not working at school that worked at home but I'm sure as I delve deeper into online collaborative tools, I will find out more about the problems as well:)

                      • Re: Module 5 Reflection: Supporting a Collaborative Classroom

                        I also must admit that I am guilty of 'underplanning' when it comes to dealing with digital tools. I have discovered the importance of checking and re-checking everything, however, I must ensure that I have something in place to ensure that my students are going to receive the full benefit from the learning experience, no matter which direction the lesson takes. I find that my lessons are very teacher directed - to a certain point - and then my students are given a little bit of 'lee-way' in terms of how they work. Most of them choose to work collaboratively and this generally benefits all involved. I am looking forward to having more successful collaboration experiences for my students this term.