The Type of Collaborative Experiences that Our Students Require

Over the past few weeks I have been working with David Sinclair from Taipei American School on a presentation that we will be giving at the EARCOS Administrator’s Conference in Manila. The presentation it titled, Leadership for 1:1 Laptop Initiatives. Google DocsDuring this time we have been using Google Docs to share information, ideas, links to sites and blogs, and photos. On several occasions we have skype_logoskyped to talk through ideas and we are using PreziPrezi as our presentation tool. All of these provide us with access to real time changes 24/7.

OK, so none of this sounds that earth shattering these days, but there was a moment the other night when I realized that this is so COOL. I was out sitting on my deck working on the presentation with my mini laptop, listening to the sounds of crickets chirping and the waves rolling onto the sand. In the middle of my work David skypes me to discuss the presentation. We are both reviewing our notes and the presentation online and making changes as we go. Meanwhile, my wife, who is helping us with the presentation design, is in another room on another mini editing the presentation. All three of us were collaborating and we weren’t even in the same room. David was even thousands of miles away. When we were talking he said, “what’s that noise?” so I told him about the crickets and the waves. Not a bad location to get some work done.

In today’s world there is no reason why our students should not have these experiences frequently. Our job as educators is to create the opportunities for them to collaborate with students and/or experts from around the world. Aside from the cost for the machines and access to the internet, the rest of the tools are free.

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