COLLABORATIVE LEARNING WITH TECHNOLOGY

BY HEATHER KELLEY

WHAT IS COLLABORATIVE LEARNING WITH TECHNOLOGY?

"In addition to the usual types of communication among learners and instructors, the Web can foster collaborative projects and class newspapers, in chich several learners work together on a common product. Software such as Lotus Notes (IBM, 1999b), Lotus Learning Space (IBM, 1999a), and other work-group software are designed to facilitate collaborativeactivities. Increasingly, collaborative projects themselves are developed using software-a newspaper that is developed using desktop publishing software or a Web site that is produced with Web site development software. Sometiems the activity is partly off-line and partly on-line-- a chemistry laboratory experiment done by partners in a real chemistry laboratory, followed by their producing a laboratory notebook and report using word processor, graphics, and mathematical analysis software. In other cases the main activities may be done off-line; the Web would be used only for the partners to plan and report on their activities. Collaborative leaning activities...can facilitate motivation, social learning, metacognition, equity, and achievement. For on-site learniers the Web can enhance the usual methods fo meeting and collaborating. For distance learners the Web may be essential for collaborative activities" (Alessi, 2001).

WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY ABOUT COLLABORATIVE LEARNING WITH TECHNOLOGY?

As more and more people use computers to complete their work and solve problems in the workplace, computing education is emphasized for students of all levels and disciplines in Taiwan. However, the computing education in Taiwan can hardly be recognized as effective and satisfactory. Many inappropriate examples that lack context are used in teaching and textbooks that may result in employees with low competence and insufficient ability for collaborative working. Students who grow up in this learning context usually lack the ability to seek information and solve problems by themselves. In this regard, the author redesigned a course and adopted online collaborative learning with initiation to establish the essential knowledge for students’ collaboration in the initial stage of a course. (Tsai, 2009)

Technological tools challenge teachers' pedagogical activities. The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education should help teachers integrate new pedagogical methods into their work. (Hämäläinen, 2009)

WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF COLLABORATIVE LEARNING TOOLS?

Google docs is one example of a collaborative learning tool.





Wikis are another way to organize multiple documents in one place for multiple students to use collaboratively.




HELPFUL RESOURCES ABOUT COLLABORATIVE LEARNING TOOLS

/WIKI TIPS
Google for Educators

RESOURCES

Alessi, S. M., & Trollip, S. R. (2001). Multimedia for learning. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
YouTube - Teachers and Principals Talk about Google Docs. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2010, from http://www.youtube.com /watch?v=TYPjJK6LZdMYouTube - Using Wikis in the Classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2010, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pR5yogCmkA
Hämäläinen, R. (2009). Teachers' instructional planning for computer-supported collaborative learning: Macro-scripts as a pedagogical method to facilitate collaborative learning. Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
Tsai, C. (2009). Do students need teacher’s initiation in online collaborative learning? Department of Information Management, Ming Chuan University, Taiwan. Retrieved February 20, 2010.