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Teachers Learn Better Together

Edutopia – Les Foltos

“Educators often say that education is frustratingly isolating. And if you talk with them about collaboration, you quickly learn that they know it can be a powerful tool to improve teaching and learning—and many feel a growing expectation to collaborate. Reducing the isolation starts with the recognition that collaboration is a learned skill. Educators can begin to learn it by focusing on five key aspects.” (more)

Make Small Groups Meaningful

Education World – Dr. Tisha Shipley

“Small group or conferencing is a time built into the daily schedule for the teacher to work with students, one on one or in a small group. The groups can be built differently, depending on what the teacher is trying to accomplish. This is a time where teacher’s can plan focused learning for each child. You can build the groups by ability so that specific and certain skills can be focused on.” (more)

In the wake of Chromebooks, education needs to focus on collaboration

E-School News – Brady O. Bruce

“Lately, technology additions in classrooms have focused on providing each student with his or her own laptop; for many schools, it’s become the new normal to issue every student a Chromebook. This has been a great step forward in advancing how students learn, with more interactive content on Google Classroom, video materials, and document sharing.” (more)

Competition versus collaboration in STEM education

The Silicon Republic – Andrew B Raupp

“If you’re a mentor or instructor working to promote STEM education, chances are that you’ve experimented with a little friendly competition in your teaching and learning dojo. Playing competitive games with students is a seemingly great way to prime the pump for participation and generate some enthusiasm around academic performance.” (more)

Setting Up Effective Group Work

Edutopia – Jeff Knutson

“Research supports what we probably already knew about student collaboration: It’s integral to learning. We know that collaboration helps students build their interpersonal and social and emotional skills. We know that students don’t learn facts in a vacuum; social learning helps them build a more meaningful understanding of the world.”(more)

To Build Teamwork, Breakout EDU Challenges Students to Think Out of the Box

Ed Surge – Chrissy Romano-Arrabito

“I was on my way to my new gig as an elementary teacher one morning when I first heard the term “PBL paralysis” on a podcast. Erin Murphy and Ross Cooper, authors of Hacking Project Based Learning, were using the term to describe the hesitance that teachers feel when jumping into Project Based Learning (PBL), a hands-on model which encourages students to learn through doing. Their advice? Start with a small project and go from there. I decided to take their advice, beginning with a simple project for my 3rd graders around designing balloon-powered cars. But what started out as promising quickly went south. Balloons weren’t inflating, cars weren’t making moves. While I observed my students, I realized the main reason they were struggling was that they simply weren’t working together as team. There was no collaboration and there certainly was no effective communication. In some groups, students were downright mean to each other.”(more)