Collaborative Education

Integration requires collaboration. Collaboration is simply the act of working together. Educational collaborations result in renewed perspective, elevated interest, and great opportunities for Integrated Academics! Teachers interested in collaboration have a tendency to seek out others in the same subject area to find fresh ideas. This is more of an extension, or an enhancement of what they do. Why not search for fresh perspectives from those involved in an entirely different academic area?

An integrated collaboration will allow teacher and students to explore the focal area from entirely different perspectives. For example, a visual artist, or an architect might explore geometry from more of a "design" point of view. One example of geometry in architecture can be found here. How does a math expert perceive music? Should we teach the history of math during world history class? Let's collaborate and explore the answers!

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Types of Collaboration In K - 12 Schools

One on One Collaboration

This type of collaboration appears in a variety of formats. Instructors with a specific talent or skill are approached to share with another educator or another class. Educator to educator results in the sharing of knowledge, skill training, or resource sharing. Collaborations such as these are especially effective because they take little time, and are usually focused and concise. They take place face-to-face, through e-mail, phone conversations, or in educator information forums on wikis or other dedicated websites. One on one collaborations may also be student-to-teacher issues. These collaborations are usually intra-school communications, but may be extended as inter-school (even inter-district) to secure advice from a collaborator with expertise in areas needed.

- Assistance with a computer or software issue

- loan or borrow books, equipment, or audio-visual resources

- answering a quick question

Class Trading

Teachers with complimentary expertise trade classes to cross-share knowledge with entire classes. At first this type of collaboration seems as if it would be limited due to scheduling conflicts. Some of these schedule issues can be overcome if the instructors involved consider assigned duty periods and preparation periods as part of the mix.
- fine arts teacher trades with history class to discuss music or art of the era; history teacher relates information to music or art students about major historical events of the era.

- English teacher trades with
business teacher to discuss concise language for advertising slogans; business teacher discusses consumer analysis of language used in advertising.

With a little brainstorming, the possibilities of this type of collaboration are limitless; possibly even extending beyond the curriculum to hobbies and extra-curricular activities!

Guest Instructors

People from the community or nearby universities are invited to fill a void in expertise. These guest "experts" are generally very anxious to have an opportunity to share their talents. This is also an excellent way to build networks which are of great value to teachers and students. Contacts throughout the community are very valuable in education!

When this type of a collaboration is used, the parameters of the information to be shared should be directly related to the course content; it is very easy to lose control over guest instructors and speakers. The visitors should be fully aware of the relationship of their presentation to the curriculum. Your goals for their visit should be clearly discussed to keep them on task and on subject.
- college student visits to demonstrate makeup technique to a drama or stagecraft class.

- local orchestra members are invited to conduct workshops with student musicians.

- business people discuss real-world situations with a class.

- political figures discuss the inner-workings of local, county, or state government.

A Teacher's Guide to Videoconferencing

How to Plan, Produce, Present,
Manage, and Assess a
Distance Learning Class
Susan Mason and Mike Davis
edited by
Gary Graves and Kirk deFord

CILC Distance Learning Checklist pdf link

This links to a pdf file with some great tips!

Linking For Learning Videoconferencing Resource List

Includes some great links! Nice resource!