Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is not a new concept but it is often used ineffectively. Putting students in groups does not assure cooperation or learning. Groups must be defined and governed to promote positive interdependence and interaction as well as individual and collective accountability. Interpersonal, small group and group processing skills are also critical. Effective groups take time to establish. Structure and clear guidelines are fundamental elements of successful learning groups.

Multimedia presentations are a wonderful way to communicate group findings. Teachers should guide the process by assigning clear roles for creating and sharing productions. Tools include the traditional products such as Word and PowerPoint but it is time to consider other options. Podcasts, webquests and online collaboration can increase the options for learning and sharing. Shared bookmark sites and online communities can facilitate collaboration and expand group resources. Let's harness the power of the web to support and promote collaborative success.

What new approaches will help your students be productive group members? Join us in an exploration of 21st Century tools that can promote cooperative learning skills that will help our students excel in a global community.

Let's rethink the possibilities.

Based on content found in: Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement written by Robert Marzano, Debra Pickering, and Jane Pollock Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works written by Howard Pilter, Elizabeth R. Hubbell, Matt Kuhn and Kim Malenoski

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