Board Member, Naace
Education technologies are offering the potential to springboard student collaboration like never before.
The use of technology to foster collaborative working is a relatively new development in pedagogy and one that is yet to be fully explored. However, the shift to remote learning brought about by the pandemic, coupled with a need to boost student engagement, has resulted in notable strides in exploring online collaboration.
The traditional teaching model of an educator standing at the front of a class talking to students is quickly changing as more educators tap into the power of online collaborative learning. Access to new education technologies and software has enabled educators to broaden the way subjects are taught to students.
Utilising prior knowledge
In the most part, students are incredibly technology literate. From MineCraft, to YouTube and TikTok, young people successfully collaborate and learn from each other every day using technology. These skills are usually self-taught or acquired through shared learning via peers. By harnessing this sharing of knowledge and replicating it through edtech in the classroom, collaborative learning can make a big impact on student outcomes.
Access to new education technologies and software has enabled educators to broaden the way subjects are taught to students.
For students with low digital confidence and literacy, it is worth investing time to build their skills so that all students feel empowered to successfully collaborate with their peers. This was difficult to achieve remotely at the height of the pandemic but the return to the classroom will continue to provide opportunities to develop students skills and improve learning.
Students who would usually ‘tune out’ in lessons that fail to capture their interest can have their curiosity sparked by the use of technology to engage them in the subject matter at hand. It’s also worth capitalising on the natural curiosity of students who like to see and react to contributions from others. Such insights can be revealing and encourage constructive conversations that allow students to demonstrate their knowledge.
The future of collaboration
A large amount of collaborative work that takes place in the classroom is currently between students who know each other. As technologies and subsequent teaching methods develop, we are likely to witness bridging of knowledge across classes and schools nationally and overseas. Online collaboration has the power to simulate what real collaboration looks like out of school settings and reshape education.