Communication and Collaboration

Posted by on Mar 2, 2010

This week I had the distinct privilege of presenting two sessions on Communication and Collaboration at District 30 in Illinois with Andy Kohl. Although we had enough material to last us through the day, we tried to cram it all in a 90 minute time slot. Needless to say, we didn’t get to everything.

I think the conversation was outstanding, and I believe we should all take the time to wrestle with these ideas together with other staff members. I’ll share the session notes and presentation here, and please feel free to use anything that will be useful for you. And really, I mean it, go have these conversations with other members of your institution. I think you’ll find it an excellent opportunity for growth and learning for everyone.

Introduce Moodle and backchannel to attendees. Invite them to join in the process, building collaborative notes.

9:30 – 9:50 = Introduce ourselves. Introduce Moodle and Backchannel. Ask teachers to define collaboration. Use Etherpad to have them build this definition together.

9:50 – 10:00 = Review the definition and reflect on the process with them.

– What was different about this experience?
– How could this look different for the classroom?

– Discuss portions of the Panitz article.

Review questions asked in the article.

Students must learn to routinely ask questions such as: “Are we thinking clearly enough? Are we being accurate in what we say? Do we need to be more precise? Are we sticking to the question at issue? Are we dealing with the complexities of the question? Do we need to consider another perspective or point of view? Are our assumptions accurate or are they faulty? Is our purpose fair-minded, or are we only concerned about advancing our own desires? Does our argument seem logical, or is disjointed, lacking cohesion?

In other words, these important standards of thought must be applied to all of the important structures of thought: to its guiding goal or purpose, to the central question, to the information used with respect to the question, to the judgments that are made with the information, to the concepts inherent in the judgments, to the assumptions that underlie the judgments, and to the implications that follow from it.”

10:00 – 10:20 = Roundup of tools which can help provide these learning experiences for kids.

– Moodle
– Wikis + Google Sites
– Google Docs
– Blogging

– Look at the bowdrill video from YouTube. Talk about this as a collaborative experience for this student. Use this as a transition to the topic of communication.

10:20-10:40 = Discuss how communication has both changed and stayed the same.  Show “Can This be His Home.”  Discuss the result of new mediums and the “four resources model”.

10:40 – 11:00 = Time for teachers to work on a lesson example or retool an existing assignment.


We only got to the point where we showed “Can This be His Home.”  Lots of good stuff in the Four Resource Model.  Maybe we’ll get to it next time.

Thanks to American Backroom for the use of the Flickr image.

1 Comment

  1. Chris Fritz
    March 3, 2010

    I was just trying to find that “Help with Bowdrill Set” video the other day, as an example of public student work and open assessment, but couldn’t remember what it was called! Your post came just in time. 🙂 Thanks.


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