One of the six key skills outlined by the NCCA that students need to develop is the skill of working together. This skill helps learners develop good relationships and to appreciate the value of cooperating to reach both collective and personal goals. In this blog post I want to highlight some features of Web 2.0 that can help improve on this skill in the classroom. As we all know the internet and technology offers a wide range of opportunities for teaching and learning but often these apps and initiatives are 1 on 1. The student uses the web or a computer/iPad to work alone. So what is out there that promotes group work and student collaboration in the classroom? Today I will highlight three Web 2.0 initiatives that do just that. 1. Google Docs
Google Docs is a free Web-based application in which documents and spreadsheets can be created, edited and stored online. Files can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection and a Web browser. Google Docs for education can be downloaded for a whole school for free. Students are signed up to an email account and can access documents, slides, graphs and google drive. But how can this be used for collaboration? Google docs allows students to work on the same document or slide using the web. A student or teacher creates a doc and invites others to view or edit. This means students can create group presentations from different places and at the same promoting active participation in group work.
2. Schoology (skoo-luh-jee)
Schoology is an online management system that allows teachers to create and manage academic courses for students. It provides teachers with a method of managing lessons, engaging students, sharing content, and connecting with other educators. The site looks similar to the popular social networking site Facebook. Teachers are able to use schoology as a virtual school where they can monitor student attendance, progress, upload assignments, give feedback and begin discussions. Students are able to access class information, take tests, do assignments, upload files, participate in class discussions and stay organised with a school calendar. Like the social network Facebook students can post and comment on each others profiles. Students can share study tips, create projects together and create discussions on class content.
Wiggio is great for small groups. It is a free resource used by over 1.5 million people. It allows group members to share and edit files, manage a group calendar, poll your group, post links, set up meetings, chat online and send group messages or emails. Wiggio groups are private groups which you must be invited too. You can be a member of a number of groups for example: History project, Social club, Football team etc. This is a good time management and communication app for students which can promote team work.
This is only three of the many apps and websites available to promote the skill of working together. If you have any you would like to recommend please leave a comment or some feedback on the above. 🙂