Skip to main content

Sharing and collaborating is not that bad – honest!

It seems that there are still teachers out there who equate sharing and collaborating with previous, bad experiences. Sharing and collaborating for them means opening their classroom doors to others and that in turn must mean the dreaded inspection and lesson observation both of which are necessarily bad.  Even sharing their fabulous documents in a shared area is seen as a way to check up on them.
However, thankfully, times have changed and there are a growing number of teachers out there who are trusting of such open approaches.  Sharing and collaborating is, in its simplest form, a way to avoid re-inventing the wheel.  At its very best it is a way to enhance what is happening in the classroom, in our departments, across departments and in our schools as a whole.  The moment I joined Twitter on Friday 14th June 2013 I became aware of the power of collaboration and I realised how much good work was going on not just within schools but across schools all over the world.Take one good tweet, with a fabulous idea – use it or upuse it (my new term for taking a resource and making it fit for purpose in my working environment with a small tweak or two) and then retweet as it is not just about taking but giving too.
The sharing and collaborating is not restricted to lesson ideas but also plays a part in our thought processes and the way we approach our teaching.  It is a useful reminder of teaching methodologies that we may have forgotten – and in the busy life of a teacher it’s easy to see why and how we forget.  Sharing and collaborating is best for us and most importantly, it is best for our pupils; they will be the ones who benefit the most from such an embracing culture.
The job of those who do collaborate and share is to teach those who do not to see how invigorating such openness and such an approach can be.  The sharers and collaborators need to get out, convert and welcome some new members to this large, helpful, like-minded – but diverse in so many ways - group of individuals.

Popular posts from this blog

Google classroom - using the question feature

I have in previous posts shared my enthusiasm for Google classroom.  It is a perfect tool to enable collaboration amongst students, to ensure fast and effective feedback and at the very least to keep tabs on the work your students have and haven't done.

Google Classroom allows you to post an announcement or set an assignment attaching any kind of document you want, be it spreadsheet, document, picture or presentation. The attachment can be copied for each individual student in your class and they can then work on the document whilst you are able to keep tabs on the work they are doing.  Furthermore you can make comments on their work, having highlighted any particular issues and talk to them directly via the chat tool. Other options allow you to reuse any previous post if so desired. However, one element that I like but I have not really made the most of is the question feature. 
This is a very simple tool where you simply post a question,  set a due date (or not, as you wish) and …

It's Quizlet - but not as we know it.

This past academic year I did not use my iPad in lessons as much as I would have liked.  Previously I have given out my one iPad and let students use it to create little digital postcards or books using the book creator app or using tellagami they made spoken presentations hiding their anxiety behind an avatar of their making.  Each student has then shown the next student how to make such a presentation using the prescribed tools.  This has been a system that has worked well and given all the students a chance to be creative and enhance their learning and demonstrate their knowledge.
However, this year, just past, I have focused more on a few tools such as google classroom, which you can read about here and here. I have also used Edmodo a great deal as my students have been involved in a collaborative project with students in France.  Edmodo is an excellent and safe platform for a project such as this. Both Google Classroom and Edmodo allow for collaboration and give opportunities too…

iDoceo - marking in the 21st century

The very title of this blog may lead you to believe that I am an out and out technophile.  To a certain extent, this is true; I love to make the most of technology in my classroom and redefine what I am able to do with my students.  Increasingly, I explore technology options for managing my own day to day planning.  I can see and understand the benefits of google drive and documents for me when communicating and collaborating with colleagues and friends.  A shared document is easy to work on and I appreciate the way I can link in photos and so on.  This being the case when I was introduced to iDoceo I could see so much potential.  It was clear to me that I could do away with my traditional mark book and use this new option.
Firstly, I was easily able to import the class spreadsheet from our school information system along with all sorts of details that I wanted to use. 
Once my mark book was in place it did not take me long to sort out my calendar linking it to my school outlook calen…