The Next Level of Classroom Collaboration
Educators are always trying to find new and innovative strategies to inspire and enlighten their students; collaboration has definitely come full circle, and it has been enhanced by the evolution of digital solutions. It’s often an enormous challenge to keep students motivated; however, according to education expert, Don Eckert, collaboration has become a staple for education institutions.
“Collaboration is becoming more and more necessary both inside of education and outside of education. We collaborate all of the time, both in person and virtually. Education is becoming more social and kids collaborate naturally. We must use collaboration as a classroom strategy and have kids learn to collaborate effectively. Some students do well collaborating and then reflecting quietly afterwards.“
Eckert stresses the importance of collaboration, not only in the education realm but also in many other industries. When students work exclusively independently, that environment can create gaps in their learning process. Socializing and interacting not only greatly improves the learning experience, it also adds another layer to the growing process for students. Allowing students to work collaboratively creates further opportunity to fully understand the material that they are being taught.
“Kids will create common documents to use for projects, video-chat with others outside of our school building and communicate synchronously or asynchronously with others around the world in order to accomplish a project. Technology is breaking down the physical barriers to a real-world education.“
Digital solutions are creating another platform for students to fully strengthen their abilities to grasp the subject matter—and it’s only getting better! What else can we expect from these solutions? Eckert believes the incorporation of video and podcasting will play a compelling role in education. Students naturally relate to audio and video elements in the classroom; these solutions engage the senses and, as a result, students are more proactive and productive.
What’s next? According to Eckert, students will begin to adopt personalized learning opportunities. When students are given the chance to design their own learning experience, they are more invested in their educational careers.
Never has technology provided such great opportunity for students to become what Eckert calls “life-long learners.” This theme suggests that when utilizing the digital solutions an intranet administers, students feel inspired to remain curious and inquisitive, both in and outside the classroom.
About Don Eckert: Don Eckert has been an ELA and Social Studies teacher for over 28 years. He has earned a Masters Degree in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) and a Master of Arts in Information Science & Learning Technologies. Eckert is passionate about inspiring students to learn, wonder, imagine, problem-solve, create and collaborate. He inspires students to become lifelong learners. He is constantly investigating and applying methods of implementing cutting-edge technology to enhance learning and collaboration. Don is the author of Cultivating Genius: The Why and How of Creating a 20% Time Learning Environment. He has extensive experience in Project Based Learning, “20% Time,“ Implementing a 1:1 Laptop Initiative and Integrating Technology into the Classroom. Eckert has presented at state, regional and national conferences.