I don’t get out of the classroom much once the school year has started. There are jokes that if a colleague is more than two doors down, we never see each other. This is sad. This changed slightly when we put up the Keurig station in the corner of the room–people filter in and out to get coffee and say hi, but still it’s tough.
Collaboration is even harder. There seems to be a drought of time–for us we have department meetings once a week. That’s hardly enough to collaborate. Some schools are lucky enough to team teach, co-teach, have daily planning sessions, and get to really dig in and work together. Others are not.
That doesn’t mean we can’t share ideas. This week’s Learnist feature is about collaboration–I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. The reason is this–we do a lot better when we collaborate, and with all the social opportunities out there, it’s simple to cast a fairly wide net. I realized this while looking at links on Twitter chats–everyone always posts great lessons.
Working my way through the subject-area chats, #TLAP (Teach Like a Pirate) chat, and my local group, #EdChatRI, I marvel at the great ideas and lessons that are, many times, quite better than mine. I use them. I share mine that I think are good. We have a lot of opportunities to swap and exchange ideas, bringing the best of the best to students. These Learnist boards are collaborations. By putting the best material on Learnist together, it starts a conversation. People add their input, comment and discuss material. This is useful for educators, trainers, students, and workgroups–not just for schools. Think of the possibilities!
This is one of the biggest collaboration boards on Learnist, consisting of teachers from all over the globe. This is my dream collaboration–where one topic morphs into a dialog of people putting forward their best practices.
Many teachers wanted to go to ISTE 2013 and couldn’t make the trip. Alicia Sullivan put together this collaborative board to help assemble learnings from ISTE for her professional learning network #EdTechRI. EdTechRI is a group of Rhode Island educators that is heavily involved in spreading best tech practices in the region.
This board is a student board that started as an optional project and ended up as a featured board on Learnist’s homepage. Hali and Mel researched the ways LSD and other drugs were used in warfare, bringing up critical ethical questions about about warfare R&D.
Project-based learning, or PBL engages students. This board, designed by several teachers, will help you start out in that direction, getting the basic skills in areas that may seem a bit more difficult.
You might think this is not really an education board, but as someone who has spent a lot of time researching the impact of sports on American culture, history, mill villages, and other areas, I argue that sports are connected to many academic fields. I use sports in my classroom as a vehicle for teaching social history, economics, math, physics–anything I can integrate into the main objective. This is the first board on which I collaborated, and the Yankees are my favorite team.
Video games aren’t always a waste of time. This board shows how they teach resource management, allocation, spatial skills, and a host of other things kids need to develop. They’re fun, too. Students can practice Common Core based skills through video games.
This is a collaboration I did with a fellow social studies teacher, Dawn Clemens. She created the board, and I was able to add on. Collaborating on basic material allows us to bounce ideas off one another, and ultimately frees us up to spend time on other things.
Ten educators created this board, endorsing their favorite apps for education. This is critical because there are many apps out there but they don’t do much unless people use them.
I’ve suggested to our culinary students that they collaborate on food and culinary boards. This is not a student board, but as a Career and Technical Educator, this would be a great board to use for students in the culinary arts, and better yet, an idea for collaboration. I’m envisioning students creating boards together for recipes, cooking techniques and many other areas.
This collaboration is a collection of classroom boards. Please add your classroom blog on there. We’d love to see what you’re up to and exchange ideas, connecting through this board and our blogs.
This collaboration shows how to use Learnist for new learners. If you have an idea for an innovative use of Learnist comment on this board.