The session started with people sharing their collaborations and their hopes. This session was facilitated by Paul. Be sure to check out his blog.
Collaborative Projects Shared
- Read Around the Planet
- Global Run
- MysteryQuest, MysteryQuest USA, LiteratureQuest, Texas HistoryMystery
- Monster Match
- Region 12’s Bluebonnet
- VC Projects Template Booklet
Types of collaborations
- Classroom and classroom
- Class and business (duct tape commercials)
- High school and elementary (Vocational school and kindergarten)
- Collaborating with a content provider – plan ahead of time
- Do the content provider project as a multipoint – get the classes started, and then the kids present to the museum as a judge, or do a follow-up afterwards
Driving question: Why aren’t all our teachers doing this? What are the excuses?
- Traditional teaching style
- Teachers are driven by the urgent; time
- Administrative support
- The scheduling issues
- “I do something right, and you tell one person. I do something wrong, and you tell 5, 6, 7 people about it.”
- We don’t promote the positive things we do enough: ways to share – blog, podcast, newsletter, staff meetings, bulletin boards, etc.
- Work with the ones that are showing up and are interested.
- It’s extra work.
- It’s unknown. It’s scary.
- It’s giving up control.
- Some educators don’t understand the value of collaborative learning.
Get a digital camera in the room and take a picture of it. Use that to share the ideas. Take the pictures and present to the board. Roxanne – “if you want more stuff, use stuff more.” Get administrative support. Write up stories about it for the school & the board. Do internal marketing.
Paul: Help teachers see how the projects hit the standards.
Use faculty time and superintendent’s conference day and do something on a big scale so everyone knows what it is.
Read the projects on the CILC Collaboration Center and be an audience for a school to get ideas. Also read the ideas
Rene Carver shared how he puts on his Cat in the Hat hat on and reads to the kids via VC. It gets them excited and it’s so easy and simple to get started with it. Paul also does Connect & Read. Just a really easy experience to get them started. They walk away saying, “that was easy. What can I do next?” For high school, participating in a multipoint interview where they only get 2 questions. It’s easier to start with. Babysteps are a key piece to getting people involved.
Teachers have to experience it so they know what it is. Find some ways to provide an experience. Do it during a staff meeting. Lots of the content providers (such as the Columbus Z00) do 15-20 minute demos so that teachers can experience so they know what it is.
Collaborate with the universities so that the new teachers coming in can experience videoconferencing and online learning. The universities aren’t used to this, and when they see how elementary is using it; they learn new ways to use VC.
Find one person to give it a shot. Start small and build up from there.
Time and state mandated tests are also an issue. Tommy recommended finding the lowest performing objective of your students on your test scores. Have your kids do a collaborative project where they teach other schools about that objective.
Tommy offers a Santa Claus program that gets the schools started with VC. And then they say, “what else can I do?”
Holiday Traditions Conference from St. Francis. Santa facilitates it. Paul has classes come in & out all day participating.
Every teacher has one lesson that they love and do well. Take that project you’ve done for years and add another class to it. Maybe they will present or do problems together.
You’ve got to give to receive.
Thanks Paul for facilitating a wonderful discussion.