We hear about the word collaboration all of the time. Our students need to have opportunities to collaborate to grow as learners. But are we providing students with an opportunity to do so? Many of us choose not to. Simply because it's difficult to find the tools.
Finding ways for students to collaborate and interact with content in different ways is an example of Providing Multiple Means of Engagement. When our students are able to engage with content in different ways, they often become more motivated to learn.
I found a tool just the other day that fosters collabroation, it's called LiveMinutes. It's a site that is used to host free Web Conferences, but is very useful in an educational setting. Users can create a meeting space, where they can chat, share documents, and use an interactive white board. If monitored by the instructor, it could be a very powerful tool for our students to use.
This site gives you the opportunity to create distance learning environments for your students to watch PowerPoint Presentations, video clips, or even chat. You can even integrate Skype. It's free and easy to use, which makes it even better.
Why collaborate? Have you taken a look at the world today? Your child's favorite cartoon is no longer developed in one city or country. Artists in multiple locations are colalborating on the storyline, graphics, and sounds. The Internet is the vehicle that is making this possible. I love the quote "we are preparing our students for their future, not our past." This is so true. If we neglect the power of collaboration, we may be missing the boat.