How can a school in Africa find a partner school in UK ? Establish expectations and norms for working together. This reinforces the learning aspects in a fun way. Fires in the Mind: What Kids Can Tell Us About Motivation and Mastery, Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age, Curriculum connected to real world experiences, Locals designing solutions to local problems. The most common challenges of high-quality, effective teacher collaboration are: Lack of a True Professional Learning Community (PLC)—PLCs are a powerful tool in education and school reform. Participants of the Canterbury Delving Deeper Conference 2016 share how a change to more collaborative practice has worked for teachers and learners. Personal/Professional Learning Network (PLN): Stay in-the-know with all things EdTech and innovations in learning by, signing up to receive the weekly Smart Update, . 3. Strong collaborative cultures develop over time and require effort and commitment to the process. Related: 25 Brainstorming Techniques for Problem-Solving and Planning. Using Stanford's K12 lab Design Thinking for Educators a methodology, or process leading product and service designers use everyday, participants collaborate to come up with ideas and learning experiences and then share them online for all to benefit from. Teams in social studies solved problems as they virtually traveled across the country, caring for their oxen and hoping they didn’t catch a variety of diseases. “Students [learn] a variety of different approaches to the same topic,” English teacher Bailey Cavender writes at The Educator’s Room. to the modern era, by connecting the game to programming lessons. They tied it all together with programming as part of the presentation process. Past generations might not have learned coding through Ozobot, but they likely braved the wilderness in the simulation game Oregon Trail. Here are three extended categories focused on just that: In terms of modeling, this might be the most important. It has even been identified as the most important professional skill in the new economy (see Forbes). Collaborative groups can’t be assigned—they have to be built and nurtured. If schools are to remain “un-stuck,” then teachers must have time for sustained collaborative reflection on school practice, conditions, and events. It is also the social corporate responsibility of others to raise standards, not just within their own school, but within the community they serve. There is no perfect guideline to follow for a successful collaboration, but by supporting each other, I believe the benefits can be endless for schools to enhance their learning experiences and professional development, and provide better progress for pupils. Examples of how to build a collaborative team. Google has already revolutionized how many of our teachers and students are working on a daily basis. Collaborative learning activities can help students to develop problem solving and group work skills. There are many types of collaborative activities that students can complete. In order for teacher collaboration to be effective, teachers should want to participate, rather than feel like they have to. Focusing on Language in Science and Math Lessons, “STEAM is not a curriculum, but rather an approach to teaching and learning rooted in authentic cross-curricular integration,” music educator and arts integration consultant Brianne Gidcumb writes at, . Even tech-based learning is getting a modern makeover with STEAM. One way to do this is through rigorous projects that require students to identify a problem (for example, balancing population growth in their city with protection of existing green spaces) and agree—through research, discussion, debate, and time to develop their ideas—on a solution which they must then propose together. Teachers certainly care about making sure students learn what is expected of them, but they also want to tap into a love of learning and address student interests. When we get teachers co-planning and co-teaching based on a shared vision, here are some of the benefits we can expect: The best part about the benefits of teacher collaboration is that they can be a reality—as they are in so many learning communities around the world. At the end of the year, all students will reach the end goal of having a better understanding of the cultural movement in its entirety. When there is less room to hide, nonparticipation is more difficult. It’s often also the case that it’s quite difficult to justify the short term impact and much easier to measure the impact being made in the long-term, so don’t be put off if you’re not seeing an impact of your collaborative working straightaway. Ryan Bretag writes, "Educators shouldn't be the only ones contributing. This has led some schools to focus on collaboration and make it a priority. They explained to our Manchester students about the components they needed and where to get them. Thank you for subscribing to Schoology Exchange! How might we connect today's core curriculum with the real world? Check out these 10 great examples of collaborative learning with STEAM and how it benefits students in the long run. Kids today are asking far to often for relevance in what they are learning. Lucy Madden, CEO of Letters to a Pre-Scientist, developed a pen pal program to encourage writing in traditionally STEAM subjects. Partnering also provides all of us with opportunities to continually learn and improve. Because of this new-found importance, a common reason people get fired is their inability to effectively work with others (see Workopolis piece on personality). In his article Education Technology, he explains how music can become a platform for programming through music composition. Images: © Rawpixel.com, stockbroker/©123RF Stock Photo, jovannig/©123RF Stock Photo, klimkin. According to the Global State of Digital Learning Survey, more than 30% of teachers, and nearly 50% of administrators report that teacher collaboration is a top priority for them. Here are two examples of collaborative working: Example 1: Brainstorming as a group Getting together as a team to share ideas and ask questions as you move toward a decision is a great opportunity for collaboration. They don’t have to be experts on every single subject, but can collaborate with those who are to create exciting educational experiences that also drive results. Students were also asked to work in groups where they could practice their new vocabularies together. Author: Shelly Rider May 20, 2015 Teaching students how to think, work together, and communicate clearly are exemplary and attainable goals. Collaborating to Create a Weather Balloon, “Often teachers have little understanding of what students are working on in other courses,” educator, . Give students time and opportunities within the activity to develop leadership, decision-making, trust-building, communication, and conflict-management skills. Students write about what they’re learning or other non-fiction topics, but they also write letters with stories and creative elements. Some built structures with blocks, others painted and drew, then danced with scarves. Or complain about a lazy teammate? Our students are witnessing our collaboration, or lack thereof sometimes, each and every day on our campuses and in our classrooms. Cross-curricular education focuses on skills and long-term learning. Please share your own experiences of inter-school collaboration or leave a question in the comment box below. “Often teachers have little understanding of what students are working on in other courses,” educator Jordan Catapano writes at TeachHUB. When learning about this period, some students will be interested in the people and facts featured in history class, while others will want to read the poetry from that period or listen to the music. One sixth-grade science, math, and language arts teacher, Adam Smith, shared his recent collaborative project: a high-altitude weather balloon. meet at a predetermined time to discuss a particular topic. Our challenge as educators is whether we walk the walk. More innovation produces more leadership, customers, brand approval and ultimately success. Organize schoolwide projects and challenges. We just need to find ways to connect core curriculum beyond the classroom by attracting the right people and asking the right questions. We ask our students to collaborate, or partner, but do we truly do it ourselves? Students need a reason to collaborate. Libraries are important hubs and can provide meaningful connection points outside the school gates. There are so many opportunities for experiential learning to happen out in the community surrounding the school. Am Head of Science Department, senior teacher at Mbawa secondary school in Malawi - Africa. Until recently, OAC used audio conferencing to connect with homebound kids, but it was one-way and costly. 9,486,713 and 9,545,582. Improving Technical Writing Skills Related to Other Projects. The education charity SHINE run a programme on Saturdays where state schools collaborate with independent schools. Deliver them an open invitation to reconnect, collaborate and share their experience, skills and time to make a difference. For example, the creators behind the blog Getting Nerdy with Mel and Gerdy shared their play on the STEAM acronym: This acronym encompasses the entire learning spectrum, so some teachers (like those in social studies or language departments) don’t feel pressured into adding math or programming into their lessons. It’s not just about the parents or teachers, it’s also about families, community groups, social groups, businesses and community leaders. Most of us who teach believe in the power of collaboration and frequently engage our students in collaborative activities. Primary school teacher Chantelle Rich told The New Zealand Curriculum that she used this approach with vocabulary lessons. Use libraries to advocate for school-community partnerships and student learning. Have students evaluate their own participation and effort and that of each team member and triangulate those assessments with your own. A few educators are even changing the STEAM acronym to make sure every subject is incorporated. Registered office 65 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NQ and our registered number is 12595779. In terms of modeling, this might be the most important. All rights reserved. If Triolet in the PE department doesn’t know what students are learning in other classes, he can’t incorporate those lessons into his classroom.