I can’t believe I’m writing this blog post. I’m a huge supporter of collaboration in the classroom and in education in general. Then on Friday, my step-dad forwarded me a blog post that really made me think. The big question was, “are two heads really better than one?”
Yesterday, Pearson Canada brought 50 educators together, I think somewhat in the hopes that collaboration would make a difference. Pearson was very up front with their reason for the meeting: they wanted to know what publishers could do to “socialize.” Throughout the day, people contributed to this Google site for the Ontario Social Media Symposium #ontsm. There were also hours worth of discussions in person at the event and online through Twitter. It was almost a bit overwhelming to follow everything.
As I participated both online and in person in the discussions, I realized the real power of what was shared in the Monday Morning Memo article.
And that was what was amazing about yesterday. People were not just sitting there nodding their heads in agreement with everything that was said. They were questioning others, wondering about new possibilities, and challenging current trends. We all signed group norms at the beginning of the session, and everyone adhered to these norms, but “discussion and debate” still evolved throughout the session.
Then back to the topic of collaboration, at the end of the day, the 50 of us did not come up with a finalized list of suggestions, but instead, a messy conversation full of lots of ideas. Interestingly enough though, it’s through this messy conversation and lots of reflection, that many individuals have started to clarify ideas through their own blog posts. Maybe it’s through this continued conversation and these blog posts that changes will happen.
So was it the collaboration that mattered, or was it what individuals took from these collaborative opportunities that made (or will make) a difference? How can this learning impact on how we view collaboration in the classroom? How should this learning impact on how we have educators and administrators collaborate?