Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sharing the Tools

After I collaborated with Brian Friedlander on a proposal to present at NECC 09, I thought how essential were the tools we used in the process. Brian is in New Jersey; I'm in Massachusetts. In the past, we might have called each other on the phone to make arrangements and then emailed a Word document back and forth until we were both satisfied with the end result. How many extra hours would this process have taken? Or, conversely, we might never have thought of the idea to collaborate because it was impossible.

Instead, we used Skype and CrossLoop. Brian shared his desktop with me, we simultaneously edited the online proposal form on the NECC website and we were done in an hour.

We both remarked how well the process worked for us. We successfully and quickly created a joint three hour, hands-on BYOL proposal in one hour.

So what's the point? Are we telling our students about these collaborative tools or are we keeping them to ourselves? They facilitate our productivity, they can facilitate the productivity for our students as well. If you assign collaborative projects to your students, what is holding you back from telling them about ALL the tools at their disposal?

It's time to share the tools which promote collaboration and success. And isn't that one of the 21st century skills we are trying to instill in our students?

5 comments:

Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D said...

Karen:

You make a great point of sharing these tools with teachers so that they can share them with their students.
All the best
Brian

Mrinal said...

Karen - as I commented in Brian's post, thank you from all of us at CrossLoop for sharing and seeing what we see - Knowledge Transfer without friction!
Please feel free to email me if you or your readers have any questions

Rita said...

I absolutely agree that we as teachers need to provide our students with technology tools that will enable them to complete their assignments (many collaborative in my class) more quickly and efficiently. I try to do this with my students often.

Karen Janowski said...

Thank you all for stopping by. And Rita I'm thrilled to hear you are telling your students about these kinds of tools. Although we know our students are comfortable with technology, they don't know how to use the tech to promote their own learning.

Lisa Parisi said...

Karen, thank you for pointing out again that we must make these tools available to our students. Here it is October and already our students know they can grab a laptop and use different tools throughout the day. I also planned a NECC proposal online. Adina Sullivan (in California) and I (in New York) used Skype and Google Docs to complete our joint presentation. And ours, too, went quickly and smoothly. How I love having these tools available in and out of the classroom