One of the serendipitous joys of completing my own educational journey while I am teaching occurs when there is a truly meaningful convergence of the two worlds. This week it is in realm of collaborative learning. We explored Evernote which is a software suite created to help an individual archive collected work in much the same way that a traditional notebook/binder might, but that has applications in the cloud that make sharing and collaboration possible.
My own learners regularly bemoan when I assign them group projects (for all kinds of reasons that resonate at many levels), but one of their key complaints is their inability to easily connect with their groupwork partners. This week was no exception.
Voila! – based on my own learning in the session I created an assignment in our college LMS where they have been charged with finding collaborative methods in which they can be asynchronous and remote from each other. Our own exploration of these tools meshed perfectly – I can now discuss this better with them with some degree of knowledgeability (limited at this point, but give me a week or two). As students who are very much digital natives, I am hoping they embrace this as a valuable resource. Duncan (as cited in Ribble, 2011) notes how important cloud computing is to digital literacy for learners in schools today.
Further, even more opportune was the arrival of a well done SlideShare presentation in my Feedly stream this week, entitled, “Making Learning Collaborative.” It references TodaysMeet which we will be using in the next week or two to connect with our own learning groups. This gives the us the chance of connecting with our members in real time.
As part of our own assignment we are creating a slideshow. While I have used SlideRocket and am a fan, we are starting with a presentation in Google Drive (formerly Docs). This gives me another opportunity for sharing a) samples of work product b) stories of the collaborative endeavor (no pressure Digital Literacy team!); these are real-life and not just theoretical which is a very authentic way to teach.
Time management continues to be a key challenge for me. Our learning cohort has suggested some great tools and apps that sound very worthwhile in our Great Tools forum. I just need to carve out some dedicated time to really discover their capacity and the ways that they can perhaps contribute to my personal and professional lives. The idea of simplifying me PLE is very attractive – but I have not yet tried IFTTT tool – another task onto the “to-do” list.
Our learning team is working on Digital Literacy this week – anticipating another week of new and enhanced learning – clearly, these are educational directions in which all classrooms, remote and otherwise, are moving. I need to be ready.