Thursday, April 8, 2010

Free Collaboration Tools

A major 21st century skill is collaboration. The link will take you to a site that has 50 free tools for students to use to collaborate.  It is a great place to start looking for ways to do collaborative work.

Schools should be providing opportunities to do collaborative work because work places require those skills.  I once heard a comedian riff on the "I like to work with people" answer in a job interview.  His response was something along the line of we ALL work with people.  It's true.

Now back in my early school days, they used to call working together "cheating."  Minnesota also had an education commissioner, Cheri Pierson Yecke, who was concerned about students doing social loafing instead of work.  (Her book.)

To say there may need to be some controls on a group project is an understatement.  People will be concerned about the learning and how we are monitoring the projects.

Some of the collaboration tools mentioned in the link let you play back and review the work as it happens.  You can tell who is the worker and who may be the loafer.  Everyone's contribution is documented.

School should look a little more like work in the collaborative sense.  Where else are kids going to get those skills?  I would suggest you take a look at this list.  Do you have a few to add?

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