Collaborate and Educate

Collaboration can be the key to student engagement and success

In the workplace of the future, collaboration is going to have a big part to play. More and more work will become multi-disciplined and therefore will involve working collaboratively with people who have skills in different fields. According to the National Careers Service1, employees are looking for – and lacking- candidates with skills such as decision making, flexibility, and problem-solving; all skills which can be developed and nurtured through collaborative learning. It seems that currently, schools just aren’t preparing their students with these sought after collaboration skills. Of a number of teachers surveyed –

  • 95% said that the ability to collaborate is important and second only to problem-solving skills2
  • 91% believe that educators need to formally learn how to foster collaborative skills2
  • 87% believe that learning how to collaborate should be included in the curriculum2

 

Collaborative learning is a method of active learning. Active learning is proven to increase student retention – after two weeks, the human brain tends to remember just 10-50% of passive learning, but 70-90% of active learning such as collaboration3. Collaboration is an educational approach to teaching and learning that involves groups of students working together to solve a problem or complete a task. There are over 50 benefits of collaborative learning which can be split into 4 main categories; social, psychological, academic, and assessment3. Some of the key benefits of using collaborative learning in the classroom are:

  • Builds confidence – helps students to become more comfortable speaking within a group, reducing any anxiety and developing their communication and leadership skills.
  • Increases their self-esteem – allows students to recognise and value their own contributions and position within the team.
  • Experience diversity – enables students to work in a group with others of mixed abilities and backgrounds, allowing them to learn from each other.
  • Develops higher-level thinking – the ability to understand and reflect a wide range of perspectives based on culture or personality differences will help students to develop a higher level of thinking.
  • Encourages a positive learning environment – challenges students to work together to achieve a common goal, praise each other’s ideas and compete against other groups, developing a more motivated and positive atmosphere.
  • Prepares students for the modern workplace – helps students to gain the relevant skills needed in order to work with colleagues of all backgrounds and abilities, and become a successful member of a modern workforce.

 

Technology is a key component of collaborative learning

79% of teachers surveyed agreed that digital tools encourage greater collaboration among students.4

In order to create a collaborative learning environment, you need to have the right equipment in place. First of all, you need to ensure that you have enough space! Working collaboratively might mean that you have to shift the classroom around a bit and have a more flexible working space. Rather than all the desks facing the teacher at the front, you might need to have groups of desks, with enough space for the teacher to walk around the full class. Devices such as touch screen, ruggedised laptops and tablets, and interactive e-boards, enable educators and students to connect with each other and contribute to group work simultaneously. In order to create this collaborative culture, you’ll also need to have a strong infrastructure in place to support it. Whether your devices are school owned, or you run a BYOD scheme, they’ll all need to be able to connect to the internet in a fast and secure manner.

Learn more – https://www.businessdirect.bt.com/other-pages/education/collaborate

 

Microsoft Office 365 Education

Allow your students to co-author and work together easily and in real time.
Microsoft Office 365 Education provides you with the tools you need to create a modern classroom environment, focusing on boosting productivity and enabling collaboration:
• Bring your students together in one collaborative space with OneNote
• Manage all conversations, content, and apps together in one digital hub with Microsoft Teams
• Challenge your students to work together on one collaborative platform, building 21st-century skills with Minecraft Education Edition

Learn more – https://www.businessdirect.bt.com/other-pages/education/collaborate/#microsoft

 

Cisco Meraki for education

Enable collaboration within your classrooms with a robust and reliable networking solution.
Whether your students are using school owned devices, or you run a bring your own device (BYOD) programme, it’s critical to have a reliable and scalable network. Cisco Meraki’s cloud networking solution is ideal for schools, colleges and universities alike. You can manage your entire network from one intuitive dashboard, providing performance and flexibility without the cost and complexity of traditional solutions.

Attend a Meraki webinar and receive a free access point or switch!5

Learn more – https://www.businessdirect.bt.com/other-pages/education/collaborate/#cisco-meraki

 

Cisco Spark Board

Incorporate the most common tools for collaboration in one touch-based, all-in-one device.
The Cisco Spark Board is a 3-in-1 collaboration device which allows you to present and share work with your class, use as a digital whiteboard, and communicate with partner schools or guest lecturers from around the world via video conferencing. Your students can draw directly onto the touchscreen using their fingers or the pen to create collaborative pieces of work.
Contact us for pricing

Learn more – https://www.businessdirect.bt.com/other-pages/education/collaborate/#smart-board

 

I hope you found this article useful, and if you want to learn more about collaboration in the classroom, please visit our Collaborate and Educate web page, or contact us.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your IT Specialist or one of our education team – 0870 429 3020, btbd.publicsector@bt.com

 

Things you need to know

  1.  Source – ResourcED – https://resourced.classflow.co.uk/collaborative-learning-students/
  2.  Findings are taken from a SMART sponsored study by Wainhouse Research that was conducted in May-June 2014. The study involved 1,030 teachers, administrators, parents and students in the UK and North America, as well as 22 educational practitioners.
  3. Source – Cone of Learning created by Edgar Dale (1969)
  4.  Findings are taken from a Pew Research Center study that was conducted from March-April 2012. The study involved 2,462 Advanced Placement and National Writing teachers.
  5. 1 access point per school. Will be sent to qualifying IT professionals from UK-based schools only. Webinar must be attended in full. To attend a webinar, please visit https://meraki.cisco.com/webinars?1RPgwjA. For full terms and conditions, visit www.meraki.com/freeap

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