I’m still getting ready for Elevate 2008, and I’m considering revamping my “Designing Quality Interactive Collaborative Projects” workshop. It’s time for an upgrade, I think!
So, help me out and answer this question if you have a moment:
What is the hardest thing about making a collaboration or videoconference project happen?
Just to help get you thinking, here are a couple answers from some of the coordinators and teachers I serve:
- Middle school teacher: I haven’t done a collaboration yet because of the preparation involved.
- Two elementary coordinators: It’s so frustrating when your partner doesn’t follow through.
What do you think? and let me know your perspective too – coordinator at what level? what level teacher? Please comment! Then I’ll post later about how my workshop went…
It seems like teachers always like the idea of the collaboration, but following through proves difficult. The prep work sometimes seems like an additional task that eats up time, and matching schedules can be hard. I do think though, that once one teacher in a school does is well/successfully, others will jump on board. I can’t wait to hear some tips & tricks.
That being said… I have planted the seeds of possible collaborations with an elementary school here in St. Louis… cultural exchange… any takers?? 🙂
I think what makes collaborations so difficult is that teachers and schools in general don’t think in terms of collaboration. I serve 27 school corporations in Southeast Indiana and try and promote the use of distance education in these corporations. This spring me and some of my colleagues did a listening tour around Southeastern Indiana to talk to school officials about what their needs are and how we as an educational service center could help.
Several schools expressed the hope that distance learning options could be found to help alleviate gaps they have in their curriculum. We asked specifically if schools had courses or expertise they would be willing to share with other schools and what their bell schedules were. What we found was that no schools was willing to offer courses to other schools only receive classes that met their needs; and of the 27 school corporations in Southeastern Indiana only two (2) were on the same bell schedule so even if they were willing to exchange expertise via distance learning they would not be able to match their offerings with another partner corporation because most were running different bell schedules.
I can’t for the life of me understand why Superintendents in charge of education can’t see the need to maintain similar bell schedules except that they don’t see any value in what someone else outside their own empire does. Sorry for the negativity but that is the situaton as I see it here in Southern Indiana.
#1 – Scheduling conflicts
#2 – Writing up the details so that each participant gets a clear picture of their role(s) during the connection(s).
#3 – The time to coordinate, given that we have so many other responsibilities!