Thursday, October 23, 2008

Collaborative Technologies

To increase student collaboration, it is important to describe the four main focuses of collaboration. First, collaboration will focus on the group or team. Second, collaboration allows individuals to develop and explore skills and knowledge. Third, time on task is heightened in collaboration. Finally, high expectations are an integral part of collaboration.

Collaborations allow students to benefit from their contributions. Not only are the collaborators able to grow individually, but they also grow from the contributions of others. This is a social event, where the contributions add to the greater social knowledge.

It is important to remember that collaboration, when used as a teaching strategy, will give the participants opportunities to craft and define group roles, group expectations, and negotiate group conflict resolution processes. Group members will have the opportunity to develop project rubrics.

Some examples of software that promotes collaboration include Google Documents, Google Groups, Google Sites and Google Notebooks.

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