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A Definition of Collaborative Learning in Attention of New Teachers

Posted Jan 22 2009 3:55pm
Last night we had the privilege of listening for the very first time to George Siemens and his concepts on Connectivism & Connective Knowledge. Hat tip to @ courosa for spreading word of the webcast (The Elluminate Recording for this Session).

Today, to complete our training, we've come across a great post about doing collaborative learning, but correctly. Connecting 2 the World post a exploration of what is the definition of Collaborative Learning to be differentiated from Work Groups. Does collaborative learning really work?

V Yonkers, Connecting 2 the World's editor, asses of the common mistake of get terms confused. New teachers, he writes, "they equate group work with collaborative learning. Vygotsky, in fact, did not take the teacher out of the equation but rather looked at learning as a social process. Many of my student teachers will put children in groups "to learn from each other."

A recommendation for teachers using collaborative learning, and the hardest one, "is to monitor multiple groups simultaneously, listening and speaking at the same time. It also takes a tremendous amount of management skill to ensure the groups stay on task." But the teacher ( or facilitator for this case) "needs to be able to identify common problems and address those problems either immediately or to create a lesson for the next class to follow them up.", concludes the lengthy post.

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