#EduroChallenge Day 3: Working in Virtual Teams

#EduroChallenge Day 3: Working in Virtual Teams

Day 3 of the #EduroChallenge is about teams and it’s something I’m personally very passionate about. Not only because we at Eduro Learning are a virtual team. We have no office space, yet we meet and work together all the time. In my opening keynote this year to educators I talk about that collaboration means in 2017 and beyond. We’ve always wanted students to be good team members, to learn to collaborate. However, in 2017 we need to make sure we’re also teaching students how to collaborate across time and space. That is a skill that is highly sought after in companies today. When are we creating learning experiences for students to collaborate across time and space? I have a friend who works for Amazon (everyone in Seattle has a friend that works for Amazon). He is based in Luxembourg because it’s more central to the two teams he manages. On in Seattle, the other in Bangalore, India. A survey by Gallup in 2015 found that 37% of American’s telecommute to work. I wasn’t able to find research newer than that but the trend is definitely heading upwards to 50%. If half the students in our classrooms need to know how to work in virtual teams, when are we giving them the opportunity to practice and understand how to communicate in that form, respectfully and productively. Do you have stories about virtual teams? How do you help students learn to collaborate across time and...

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The 4 Cs of Learning

The 4 Cs of Learning

You know the four Cs right? I mean everyone is talking about them. The four Cs that are going to change education in the 21st century? They are amazing! Do a Google Image Search for 21st Century Skills and you get a beautiful display of the four Cs. Great colors, wonderful wording and multiple ways to explain: Communication Collaboration Creativity Critical Thinking I look at this list from the lens of a 4th grade teacher, a tech coach, a consultant or a substitute teacher and I can’t help but think…really? This is new? There is nothing new in this list that educators haven’t been teaching and focused on for years. Don’t get me started on these being “21st century skills,” a phrase I gave up over 7 years ago. So why do these things keep coming up? As I work with schools and educators, we do focus on these four Cs. They aren’t new…but in a way they actually are new. How we view them is new, what they mean is new. In 2016 these four Cs have a different meaning. Communication: Teaching to communicate the way the world communicates Not sure if you have noticed, but we no longer write letters to each other. We write Facebook updates, Facebook messages. We write emails…lots of them actually. We write LinkedIn updates, Tweets, Snaps, and Grams. I’m not saying it’s right…I’m saying this is how the world, both socially and in the business world, communicate. So where are we teaching this in schools? Where are we teaching: How to create and send an email to a variety of audiences? How do you make contact with someone on Twitter and LinkedIn? How do you use Instagram to get your message across via images? Yes…communication isn’t new to education but how we communicate has changed. Are we teaching these new forms of communication? Where do they belong in our curriculum? At what level should we start and how do we assess these new forms of communication? Those are the questions we should be trying to answer in 2016. Collaboration: Across space and time Collaboration isn’t new. I remember doing group projects in elementary school in the 80’s. We collaborated on projects, on worksheets, on reading and science projects. Collaboration….getting along, working with others…has always been a part of education. So why is this a “21st century skill”? In 2016 collaboration means across space...

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Connection and Communities

Just finished up a full day at UNIS-Hanoi and thinking about where the conversations focused today. I spent the day talking with groups of teachers; Math/Science, Languages, Humanities, etc. We talked about my opening session and then got into some ideas on what learning looks like in a 1:1 tablet program that they have launched this year…how does it change the learning landscape for students? Collaborative Note Taking: A hot topic with all groups today was the notion of taking collaborative notes. During my opening session I embedded a gabbly chat into the handout wiki page and asked those that brought laptops to have a back channel discussion. Some found it empowering while others found it overwhelming. I did not give any guidelines, no instructions other than…go here and chat while I talk. We talked about how you might use a similar system within a 1:1tablet classroom. Where 3 or 4 students might take collaborative notes for the class in a shared OneNote document. Or you embed a chat and have two student moderators in the class to make sure the chat stays focused and on topic. Or use Google Docs that would allow the other students after class to go and add any missing information. Collaborative note taking is powerful on many levels, it allows students to not always focus on taking notes, it allows a student, like me, who is an auditory learner to not worry about taking notes but instead, focus in on the discussion, the ideas, knowing that I’ll have access to the notes after class. Face to Face time: We talked about this notion that I wrote about recently on what should face to face time be used for. That students can and should be finding the content outside of class and that face to face time should focus on the discussion around that content, about going deep in learning, in verifying information and understanding that teachers no longer hold the key to all the content. Release yourself of that duty, put that on them. Have homework be each student finds the best 5 sites and start your lesson around the sites they have found, have them be your researchers for content and use the face to face time to talk about the big ideas, the concepts, and the theories. Understanding Literacy: We spend time looking at how to refine a search. We talked about the Search Syntax...

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I think she's on to something….

I love the fact that there’s no definite beginning or end, which acknowledges the fact that all teachers come to a school with different history and different needs. Not everyone will need to start with “full collaboration” when they come to ISB because they might have already done something like that at a previous school. Nice work Kim! Read the full article here with...

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