Facilitating Collaboration

A week ago, a member of my PLN messaged me with an invitation to join him on his podcast Flipped Learning, which is part of the Flipped Learning Network on the EdReach Network. I first met Troy Cockrum at a Flipped Learning Conference that the Office of eLearning sponsored not long after I took my position as eLearning Development Specialist. Over the last two school years, I’ve gotten to know Troy and his work through our Twitter conversations on #INeLearn. I was to be a part of the 73rd episode, which tells you that Troy and his co-host Joan Brown know what they are doing. They’ve had some truly interesting guests on the show and I encourage you to check out the Flipped Learning Podcast archives (no longer listed).

Troy and Joan put this newbie to ease with an off-air Hangout prior to going live. Unfortunately a wave a panic hit when we officially started, so I suggest just skimming over :20-:60 where I awkwardly introduce myself and get to the real interest of the podcast-our conversation on collaboration. While my collaborative work exists at a broad level, Troy is a classroom teacher and Joan is a school technology specialist. Listening to these two share their recent classroom collaboration experiences reminded me what matters most about the work we all do. I encourage you to visit http://edreach.us/podcast/flipped-learning-73-teacher-collaboration/ and add your comments to the discussion there (sorry, the podcast has been removed from its host site). Do you have a favorite collaborative tool? What skills do you see as being essential to collaborative learning? As an educator how has your ability to collaborate with colleagues changed with access to technology?

There were two books mentioned in the podcast and I thought they would be worth mentioning here as well.  I brought up Teaching the iGeneration: 5 Easy Ways to Introduce Essential Skills With Web 2.0 Tools by Ferriter and Garry. When I was a district level tech integration specialist, I facilitated a book study focused around developing digital citizens. The book served as a catalyst for great dialogue and it provided super resources available in the link above. Joan shared Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk that Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understandings by Zwiers and Crawford. The link has some interesting background in addition to the aspects Joan mentions in the podcast. I like that the author includes the action research around the topic.

When all was said and done, I realized that I could have/should have shared a LiveBinder that I started a few years ago when I was a building eLearning coach. Since the podcast, I’ve gone in and refreshed it; adding to the tools Joan and Troy mention in the podcast.


I thought I’d also add the archive of a recent #INeLearn chat on the topic: How can we facilitate teacher co-creation of digital curriculum, lessons and assessments?  There are several collaborative tools mentioned in the chat.

On a final note, I will be texting all family members the next time I do anything “On Air” to avoid panic calls when they can’t reach me on the cell. Normally the house phone never rings.