Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom


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TB Lesson 2 - Collaborative learning platform

The hand and washing machine serve the same function; most people substitute the washing machine for their hands to make the process more efficient. In the school setting, students use word processing programs to draft academic writing, as opposed to pencil and paper. These are both technology integration at the substitution level. The augmentation stage occurs when technology contributes to a change in the learning environment to improve the functionality of the learning experience. Allowing students to save their documents automatically to the cloud, as opposed to manually saving them, is an example of augmentation.

The functionality of saving work has changed. The modification stage leads to the integration of technology that causes a significant change in the learning environment and allows educators to redesign learning tasks in new and meaningful ways.


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This is the first step of using technology to alter learning tasks and experiences. Imagine that a history assignment called for students to create a timeline of the last century, highlighting one major event each decade. Normally, students would present their work using a piece of paper and pencil by drawing the timeline and writing the events on the paper, or using a computer to type their timeline. An example of modifying this task with technology could include requiring students to create a virtual timeline using a multimedia application such as Timetoast.

This task would also require them to embed a brief summary of the event in the timeline, which could be assessed by clicking the title as well as a function for peers to comment via the Internet. The redefinition stage occurs when technology redefines learning and results in innovative teaching and learning environments that would not have been possible without the integration of technology. Learning activities at this level use multiple technology tools including the ability to work on projects and documents simultaneously with peers, collaborating with people around the world, and creating digital and tangible projects infused with technology.

Regardless of the SAMR level, the use of technology should be purposeful and enhance learning. Do not use technology because it is there. No matter how innovative technology may be, if it is not positively influencing learning goals, then it should not be used Johnson, We mention many different tools and apps within our examples of technology integration, but the tool or app is not what determines the level of function; it is how this tool or app is used Green, If someone chooses not to use the features of a particular app or tool, then the level of integration would remain at a basic level Green, For this reason, many of our suggestions can be used with a variety of tools and at a variety of SAMR levels.

Integrate technology into a wide range of subject areas and grade levels for all types of technology set-ups.

TB Lesson 2 - Collaborative learning platform - Microsoft in Education

Identify ways students can think critically, communicate with one another, collaborate as teams, and be creative with the use of technology. Provide suggestions of technology ideas along the SAMR ladder beyond substitution. Develop a toolkit of media and virtual website resources. All rights reserved. No part of this publication—including the drawings, graphs, illustrations, or chapters, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles—may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from ASCD.

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Subscribe to ASCD Express , our free e-mail newsletter, to have practical, actionable strategies and information delivered to your e-mail inbox twice a month. A learning and teaching focus on the skills of creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration is essential to prepare students for their futures. Here, I want to explore the role that communication and collaboration has in developing future learners. All of us communicate and collaborate every day, both professionally and personally, yet defining these key components of effective learning and teaching can be quite challenging.

Communication and collaboration are intrinsic parts of what we do every day in schools — and yet the breadth of their meaning is hard to pin down. The key issue is not so much our understanding of bands of classification, rather how we employ these to have a positive impact on the quality of learning and teaching in our schools.

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Collaborative learning, by its very nature, requires effective communication for it to take place. Can communication exist without collaboration? Can collaboration exist with communication?

21st Century Skills: Collaboration – Communication

We might respond to these two questions by saying that for either to be an effective learning tool each must work hand-in-hand with the other. Critical thinking and problem-solving provide opportunities for students to ignite higher order thinking, like analysis, evaluation, or synthesis through judgements or decisions based upon evidence, arguments, claims or beliefs.


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  5. While problem-based learning grounded in finding both conventional and creative solutions to unfamiliar problems can be a powerful way to incorporate team-work and collaboration into any lesson. Creativity and innovation includes both thinking creatively and working creatively with others to tie in adaptability, leadership, and team-work. Building in opportunities for students to practise idea-generation techniques, such as brainstorming or brainwriting, mind-mapping, storyboarding, or visualisation, will bolster their abilities to create and innovate, while at the same time promote communication, collaboration, and critical thinking and problem-solving.

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    Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment. Toggle navigation. Home Best Practice Article. Written by: Steve Burnage Published: 23 May Image: Adobe Stock Comment on this article. Steve Burnage looks at how schools can develop skills in communication and collaboration, including across the curriculum Increasingly, learning and innovation skills are being recognised as the skills that separate students who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work environments in the 21st century, and those who are not.

    Communication and collaboration All of us communicate and collaborate every day, both professionally and personally, yet defining these key components of effective learning and teaching can be quite challenging. Communication covers a range of forms which can be broadly categorised into three groups: Verbal communication, in which you listen to a person to understand their meaning.

    Written communication, in which you read their meaning. Non-verbal communication, in which you observe a person and infer meaning. Collaboration, likewise, is a broad term; the components of which lie in several topologies: The key issue is not so much our understanding of bands of classification, rather how we employ these to have a positive impact on the quality of learning and teaching in our schools.

    Ten collaborative learning tips Establish group goals: Effective collaborative learning needs group goals, as well as individual accountability. This keeps the group on task and establishes a clear learning outcome. Keep groups mid-sized: Small groups of three or less lack enough diversity and may not allow divergent thinking to occur. A moderate size group of four or five is ideal. Build trust and promote open communication: Successful interpersonal communication must exist in teams.

    Building trust is essential. Deal with emotional issues that arise immediately and any interpersonal problems before moving on. Open communication is key. For larger tasks, create group roles: The more challenging a task, the clearer individual roles, responsibilities and accountabilities need to be. Snowballing — start off like a think, pair, share activity but, after pairing move on to groups of four, eight and then 16 before opening up discussion to the whole class.

    Elephant on the bus — a development of six thinking hats where learners are encouraged to think from a variety of creative perspectives to solve a problem and then share their ideas with the whole group. There are plenty of other strategies to be found online.

    Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom
    Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom
    Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom
    Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom
    Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom
    Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom
    Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom
    Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom Communication and Collaboration Apps for the 21st Century Classroom

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