Collaboration Model Lesson with Web 2.0 Tools

Silva, Katherine


Cooke, M. & Cassidy, C. (2011). Generation linked. Teacher Librarian, 38(5), 27-30. Retrieved from http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk//launch.aspx?eid=5ea63201-7ba8-4e7c-9914-33ae98b034c3


CO

Summary:

This article describes the successful collaboration between the media specialist and middle school language arts teacher.  Together they developed a project using Web 2.0 tools which prompted student excitement about learning, fuller participation in an online discussion, and improved student writing scores.  


The project’s essential question was “Who Owns History?” and was inspired by a History Channel special on Dr. Zahi Hawass, the Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.  The two collaborators used two Web 2.0 tools to structure and support their lessons: SCAN and Livebinder. SCAN is an online learning tool which promotes critical thinking, considering different points of view, and collaborative decision making.  The media specialist also found non-fiction articles of varying levels of ability to support the different learners in the classroom.  In the children’s self-reflections, students described a high interest in the lesson.  They enjoyed the SCAN online site because they felt their “voice was important and would be read and considered by every other student” (p. 29). TregoED, the creators of SCAN, have created templates designed to help students discuss an issue from multiple (four) points of view.  Teachers or librarians can insert text to describe each point of view and allow students to select “who” they want to be for the discussion.  Students can type their responses to the issue, and also click to see how their classmates in their roles responded.  Teachers have access and editing privileges throughout.  

Here are the resources used:

SCAN: http://tregoed.org/teachers/about-scan.html

LiveBinder: http://livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit/63928




Evaluation:

This collaborative lesson sounds like a great idea, and it would not take much to make this interdisciplinary by bringing in Social Studies and Science.  I appreciated that the authors shared that they conducted their collaboration virtually as well, utilizing email, Skype and voice messages, and Google Docs. I have heard of LiveBinder, but I have never explored the program.  It definitely looks like a great tool that a librarian could use to support and integrate with the classroom.  SCAN also looks like an exciting interactive tool.  I was only able to test out the program a little.  I registered for the free site, and that is the main drawback I see with this tool.  It is a subscription model at either $45 for one year for an individual teacher or $500 per year for a school site license.  Given that you may use the tool only a limited number of times a year (to prevent decreasing student interest), teachers and librarians would need to weigh that against the cost.


Overall, this was a great sample lesson that could be adapted to many different issues, topics, and classes.  Although the SCAN site is paid, it does offer some unique tools for aiding in developing point of view, critical thinking, writing skills, and participation.

CO-Collaboration Strategies

CO-Collaboration Tools
IL-Critical Thinking

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