15+ Resources: Learn the Why, What & How of Teaching Digital Collaboration

Tony Wagner identified “collaboration across networks” as one of the seven survival skills for this age. How do we help learners embrace the power and possibility of collaboration, cooperating and networking in an increasingly connected world? The following 15+ resources offer insights into the why, what and how of teaching encouraging and nurturing digital age collaboration.

How Technology Can Encourage Student Collaboration – This essay is a great starting point for exploring the topic of digital age collaboration. It provides a compelling reason for it along with practical examples.

Using Wikis for Collaborative Learning – This article provides a solid introduction to the idea of digital age collaboration, focusing especially upon the idea of wikis. While it is an older article, the concepts continue to apply today.

Using Wikis for Learning and Collaboration – This article also gives a good introduction to wiki-based collaboration. It includes a helpful list of suggested tools and books for further study/reading.

Teaching Students to Collaborate Using Google Docs (video) – This short video provides a practical example of how one teacher helps students learn how to use technology to collaborate.

Randy Nelson on Learning and Working in the Collaborative Age (video)- This video provides important advice on what sort of collaborative skills (and attitudes) we want to cultivate in our learners.

Teacher’s Guide to International Collaboration on the Internet – Helping students learn how to collaborate with diverse people across networks is a critical 21st and 22nd century skill. This web page provides a collection of some of the best resources for building international collaborations in your classroom using technology.

Free Tools to Collaborate, Hold Discussions, and Backchannel with Students – These two sites provides a long list of collaboration tools and technologies (20+ on one site and 101 on the other). Some of these tools may not be the best or most current, but they illustrate what is possible.

The Online Collective Essay – This blog post provides several specific ideas on how to leverage collaborative writing projects with students.

Reflections on Digital Age Collbaoration (video) – This short video introduces the idea of collective knoweldge generation in the digital age. It also briefly introduces the dark side of digital collaboration.

Peeragogy Leaning Handbook – This electronic text (with multimedia) represents an approach to teaching and learning known as peeragogy (sometimes paragogy), leveraging peer-to-peer interactions for learning. It includes a large number of essays. Consider at least reviewing the article on technologies, services and platforms (http://peeragogy.github.io/ ). However, you will find short articles on motivation, assessment and resources for further reading. Note tha the site include a link to a Google+ community where you can interact with the authors and others interested in this topic. –

Group Essays – this guide from Duke University provides tips to students when working on a group essay. It also serves as a helpful guide for teachers who are considering creating a group essay assignment. This deals more with the process and pedagogy and not the technology. Combine the ideas from this resource with some of the ideas from the more technology-oriented resources to great a digital collaboration idea. –

What is collaboration? – This short blog post and table show the differences and features of four related but distinct terms: networking, coordinating, cooperation, and collaboration. You can use this as a guide to decide what sort of student-student interaction may be most useful for a given lesson or educational goal.

Collective Sharing and Generation of Knowledge – This is a helpful site in better understanding what we mean by “collective knoweldge generation.” The site includes background information, instructional videos, and a number of examples. Use the table of contents on the right side of the following page to navigate. Note that a number of the links to not work any longer, but those that do remain useful illustrations of how to leverage wikis for learning. –

Student Created Wikis – This page includes links to a number of student-created wikis, providing helpful examples of how wikis are used for student learning and collaboration.

 Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age – In this 2004 essay, Dr. George Siemens proposes a new learning theory that he calls connectivism. It is built upon the idea of collaboration and collective knowledge in the digital age.

Helping Students Develop Personal Learning Networks – Collaboration is not just about completing an assignment together. It is about developing a network of people who students can use to help them learning over and extended period. This is where the idea of a personal leaning network can be helpful. These articles provide tips and background on student personal learning networks, and how to help students develop such networks. – http://www.pearsonschoolsystems.com/blog/?p=2050#sthash.NNZ62uSL.dpbs , http://etale.org/main/2013/11/22/helping-students-develop-personal-learning-networks/ , http://whatedsaid.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/10-ways-to-help-students-develop-a-pln/ ,

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About Bernard Bull

Dr. Bernard Bull is the author of Missional Moonshots, Assistant Vice President of Academics, Associate Professor of education, and a frequent keynote speaker and consultant on topics related to educational innovation and entrepreneurship, futures in education, and the intersection of education and digital culture. Opinions expressed here do not reflect those of his primary employer(s).