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Posts tagged ‘collarborative learning’

Educational achievement is lifted through collaboration

Learning space

A Research Report The Shared work of learning: Lifting educational achievement through collaboration, http://www.mitchellinstitute.org.au/reports/the-shared-work-of-learning/

written by Tom Bentley and Ciannon Cazaly  was  published by the Mitchell Institute. The Mitchell Institute is an independent thinktank that works to improve the connection between evidence and public policy reform.

The report defines collaboration as “the sharing of effort, knowledge and resources in the pursuit of shared goals – is created through a wide range of flexible, trust-based relationships.”

Using a case study methodology a number of high impact schools featured in this research who:

  • actively seek connections and resources that create value for students;
  • develop ‘local learning systems’ to translate connections and resources into concrete actions; and
  • apply a consistent rationale, focused on student learning, to choose and priorities collaborative projects and relationships

The researchers define seven key features of collaboration for learning which explain the positive impact of collaboration.

  1. Shared purpose: The strength of commitment to student learning is a distinguishing feature in case study schools.
  2. Combining longevity and energy in staffing: All case study schools showed a distinctive combination of long-serving senior teachers with younger, newer staff.
  3. Collaborative leadership: Schools displayed sustained leadership commitment to growing collaboration in ways that further a coherent direction for schools and communities.
  4. Community trust, professional trust: All sites invested significant time in building trust and social capital among both professionals and their wider communities.
  5. Drawing on external expertise: All the case study schools reached out to find and draw on specialist knowledge to build up the skills and effectiveness of their own teams.
  6. Permeable boundaries: Schools maintained clear structures and routines that were also open to wider ideas, people and contributions.
  7. Co-evolution of wellbeing and attainment: All case study schools work to create a positive long term relationship between wellbeing and attainment.

There are many technologies which can assist in increasing the capabilities of schools to collaborate.

At the student level, for instance it is possible for teachers to use project based learning and collaborative learning projects to engage students. Using Google docs, social networking tools and learning management systems students can collaborate to solve problems. They can also use gaming technologies such as Minecraft.

In a classroom context teachers can share their desk tops for collaboration using tools such as Prowise Connect which enables teachers to share their screens with any BYOD student device.

Using video conferencing teachers can also  break down the walls  or  create  permeable  boundaries  drawing on  external  expertise by accessing  for instance cultural institutions such as the Sydney Opera House, the Australian Museum, Questacon , the Australian Centre for Moving Image and the Great Barrier Reef.

At the teacher level using social networking tools like Twitter teachers can create a PLN (professional learning network) where they can collaborate with educational academics and influencers nationally and globally. At the school level, using IRIS Connect the 21st century professional development system teachers can video their practice, and share the video with peers to improve student achievement.

Teachers can build a community of professional trust. Experienced teachers can mentor inexperienced teachers with IRIS Connect as the videos of practice can be shared and observed. Experienced teachers can also provide in -ear coaching. A shared library of best practices can be created as an evidence based for teachers to use to improve student achievement.


Arrive has arrived!


ELECTROBOARD Solutions is proud to introduce a new collaboration system to Australia. Arrive FacePoint provides a complete collaboration platform enabling educators to:

  • Collaborate using Polycom RealPresence, Cisco WebEx, Citrix GoToMeeting, BlueJeans, Zoom, Skype etc.
  • Access cloud based content storage like Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive
  • Join a Lync meeting, share a Lync whiteboard and email your notes to all participants
  • Use Outlook to book your meeting room via your calendar
  • Share wireless content including built-in AirPlay for Apple devices. (All content can be displayed within in a Lync conference).

Simply put, currently when you video conference with another school or content provider they need to have video conference equipment. With Arrive it will be possible for you to connect with a school for instance which only has Skype. Your class will have the enhanced experience because you will be able to use your VC cameras and microphones and not be crowded around a laptop screen.

This means that in the morning, a teacher could share the interactive whiteboard lesson, camera and audio to a remote student over WebEx or Skype. Then after lunch, the same class could participate in a virtual museum excursion using their video conference equipment. All on the same system!

No need for complex technical set ups and delays starting your meeting – simply use Arrive! Arrive FacePoint is a video conferencing (VC) codec, in-room PC, multi-platform collaboration device and control system for your audio visual equipment all rolled into one. It is completely customisable to your environment and it is centrally managed via the Edgeless Media Server. To find out more about Arrive contact your ELECTROBOARD Education Consultant.

OECD Report “Trends Shaping Education 2013”


This  publication from the OECD, Trends Shaping Education 2013 provides an ”overview of key economic, social and technological trends and raises pertinent questions about their potential impact for education”.

 The section on technology is divided into areas which report on “Universal Access”, the “Exponential Use of the Internet”, the “World in Your Pocket” focussing on the expansion of mobile phones, a “Digital Society”  which examines social networking whilst “Local Diversity” looks at the increasing diversity of cultures using the internet . It also considers the transformation of the internet through the use of Apps and cloud computing and finishes looking at the implications of cyber-safety for educators.

Each chapter then poses questions for education.

Critically it points to a trend across the world to the increase of computers in the work place and also in schools. However it asks whether “schools are adequately preparing students with the techniques and skills needed to take advantage of these opportunities that ICT offer”.

It states that “teachers’ use of ICT often lags behind the technical skills required by the students by the time they enter the workforce”  and asks “how can education ensure that students develop these skills and how might teachers be better prepared for this? “

The report recognises that technological development is continuing at a rapid pace and questions whether education can keep pace with this development and asks the question “what are the benefits and costs of student learning through technology”.

In its section, the Exponential Use of the Internet, the report asks whether educators can “develop their students’ critical capacity to use and contribute to the wealth of information that the internet affords”. And whether “the search and find mentality of students actually alters cognition including the way we store and retrieve information and how this might influence how we teach in the classroom?”

Like other advocates around the world in acknowledging the rise of “app development”, the report asks the question “is it important for students to learn the programming skills to develop their own apps?”

In examining mobility and cloud computing it asks “how can education utilise these advances to enrich student learning environments” and ”how can educational apps improve learning in the classroom and extend it beyond?”

The ELECTROBOARD Solutions Training Academy builds teacher capacity to utilise technology in the classroom, particularly the integration of SMART Boards, Apple iPads and video conferencing.

Creating student learning environments that allow for collaboration across settings and countries is a key strategy for our Collaborative Learning Projects. Such projects enable students co create content and share information through safe interactions beyond the classroom.

Our Training Academy provides teachers with webinars on the use of educational apps that align to curriculum and our IRIS Connect 21st professional development system utilises the cloud to store videos of practice for teacher reflection.

For more information about all these services  designed to “help teachers be better prepared” go to:



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