Continuum of Videoconferencing Collaborations

We’ve looked at a continuum of equipment/software solutions for videoconferencing, a continuum of interactivity, and a continuum of depth of learning. Today, let’s think about a continuum of collaboration. We can think about it on several levels.

Continuum of WHO Collaborates

Continuum of Collaboration

The level of collaboration in a videoconference is closely related to the continuum of interactivity. Think about this:

  • The simplest level of a collaboration is where both classes present to each other; then ask each other questions. This is the most common method and the easiest way to get started. Many Read Around the Planet connections start at this level; and most of the collaborations in CAPspace are at this level too. The Around the World with 80 Schools uses this simple format as well. Is that bad? I don’t think so! Teachers have to start with something simple and easy; not too threatening and with a low commitment/preparation level. I am reminded of Jen Wagner’s concept of puddle projects vs. well projects. It’s ok to do puddle projects!
  • Involving the other class in your presentation. You may still present, but figure out a way to involve the other class in the presentation. Roxanne Glaser shared many ideas in the Read Around the Planet teacher guide, and in this blog post: Lights, Cameras, Interactions.
  • Students collaborate within the classroom. There are many collaboration or project formats where students work in groups to collaboratively solve a problem: MysteryQuests, preparing ASK questions, Math Measurement Riddles, etc.
  • Students collaborating across classrooms. This method of collaboration seems to work best when supporting technologies such as wikis as used to provide asychronous support between videoconferences. These collaborations tend to be longer term as well. One example would be the novel in an hour format Roxanne Glaser used in her ISTE workshop this year. See the results on the wiki here. Another example would be the CILC Vistas in depth projects, where students work collaboratively to solve community problems.

Have you experienced this continuum? Where do most of your videoconferences fall along the line? Any other insights to share? Please comment!

2 replies on “Continuum of Videoconferencing Collaborations”

  1. Chum says:

    I love these continuums Janine. One shot views at concepts of collaboration and interaction. What about adding collaboration with experts or community to it at the far end? The concept of collaboration being that we work together with someone to create something. So the more we collaborate the more levels of collaboration there are.. within the classroom, with other classrooms and with experts or community..

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