This Tuesday I was the presenter of a webinar where I would share how I set up a collaboration project within SMART amp™ in real time. Due to the fact that it was test week I was unable to do this during my lesson and use my students for this webinar. So I did prepare something else, but good enough to fit the topic of the day. SEE Emil Waldhauser from the Czech Republic was kind enough to help me out with the new setup of my webinar. We were going to show how to set up a collaboration in real time.
The topic of this webinar is not new to me, because I've done a few at SEE summits, Google summits, at the advanced teacher academy in Surinam and am doing one next weekend at the university of Madrid. One could say I'm an expert, I think I just have a lot of experience with setting up (global) collaboration projects with the use of SMART amp™ and am more than happy to share that experience.
I use SMART amp™ in my SMART Collaborative Classroom and have recently it been using in my exams class with the geographical topic of the building of a new landing strip of the airport Schiphol. They needed to emphasize with the different point of views from third parties involved. The needed to think of pros and cons about this idea. This is quite easy for me as a geograph teacher, because loads of things that happen around us could be used in a way like this: refugees from Syria, environmental issues, asylums for refugees in our own town, drilling for oil in the Arctic etc. Especially political issues matter and an easy to transform into good lessons.
When working together make sure that you as a teacher remark the students with the basic principle that collaborating with each other is based on equality. Especially when collaborating with students from other countries make sure that students have these two things in mind: reciprocity & equivalence.
There are a few ways on how to set up in real time a collaboration project with SMART amp™ in your classroom.
- For students within gafe domain (in your class or between classes within same gafe domain).
- With externals
1. Students and/or teachers from other gafe domain
2. Students and/or teachers without gafe domain, yet added to yours by adding them to your gafe domain.
Make sure that technology works for you, since you're using education technology in your collaboration project. So all(!) students or classes need to have gafe accounts and access to SMART amp™. Students need to have access to devices and either a wifi or WLAN connection. Best to create the workspace in advance and clarify the goals for your students.
Then on top of all preparations is the pedagogy. This is really important. Whether you have this big idea or topic that you want students to work on and collaborate with each other you could do two things:
- Either let students decide which way the learning is going. They will have wild ideas and they just go as they please. This wil have some pros and cons of course:
Pro: learning how to work within amp and explore it's possibilities.
Con: does it aim for your goals?
- Or prepare good questions ahead and share with students what the goals are that you as a teacher are aiming for with the class. Clarify all that's needed to have a successful collaboration project.
The topic that I used for the webinar was: cultural heritage.
During this collaboration lesson I would let students take pictures of things and have them describe what cultural things they are proud of and ar willing to share with others - ie. the world.
1. From a student perspective you as a teacher are able to determine what they think is their cultural heritage,
2. Learning from others about their cultural heritage from their point of view will (hopefully) bring more understanding amongst each other instead bigotry behaviour,
3. When showing and sharing with others I believe that it will definitely bring the quality of the shared work to a higher level, due to the fact that others instead of just the teacher are watching as well.
Good luck with your project!