2.4: Collaborator

Educators dedicate time to collaborate with both colleagues and students to improve practice, discover and share resources and ideas, and solve problems. Educators:

a. Dedicate planning time to collaborate with colleagues to create authentic learning experiences that leverage technology.
b. Collaborate and co-learn with students to discover and use new digital resources and diagnose and troubleshoot technology issues.
c. Use collaborative tools to expand students’ authentic, real-world learning experiences by engaging virtually with experts, teams and students, locally and globally.
d. Demonstrate cultural competency when communicating with students, parents and colleagues and interact with them as co-collaborators in student learning.

Participating in collaboration is one of the most important aspects of being a part of a team. I would have to say that collaborating with my colleagues, whether in the DEL program, teachers at my school, or my immediate team members, is one of the best parts of being an educator. In the DEL program, my fellow grad-students constantly were sharing new digital resources and helped me to understand how to critically review those resources so that we would be able to engage and expand students’ learning experiences.

When I began teaching and learning about digital education, my idea of collaboration really amounted to preparing a presentation of sorts of the things I was doing and then regurgitating that information in a meeting to other staff members, ending with “are there any questions?”. I now see that there is so much more to collaboration.

In comparison to my weak understanding of collaboration at the beginning of my journey to now, one way that my grade level team started to hone in on dedicating planning time to specifically collaborate on creating “authentic learning experiences that leverage technology” is by being intentional about our time together with norms and agendas. We would include intentional times to discuss what we were doing but above all time to dive into learning experiences and talk through all of our thoughts regarding the topics and inquire about intentions of resources. This was HUGE for us once COVID hit and our weekly face-to-face planning was thrown online. Read more about these times and my findings in my post: Using Flipgrid for Collaboration in a Time of Remote Learning.