Replied to The power of sharing digitally

We live in an amazingly connected world, and sharing digitally allows us to collaborate and learn from each other. It’s collaboration on a global scale… and you will never fully know the potential of your sharing, unless you are willing to put your thoughts and ideas ‘out there’.

David, this example reminds me of the serendipitous story associated with Adrian Camm’s ‘Permission to Innovate‘ card.
Liked when trust is lost

Breaking down barriers to knowledge flow should be of prime importance for anyone in a leadership position. Leadership is helping make the network smarter. Networks in which knowledge is more visible and flows faster are able to learn faster and better. The example of this epidemic should hit executives in the gut and get them to seriously reexamine every single control mechanism that stifles the flow of knowledge or fails to foster trust among workers.

Replied to Caution: Collaboration & Competition (andreastringer.blogspot.com)

Here are some wonderings…
To increase the level of professionalism, could we increase all teachers award salary?
If teachers become instructional leaders, why not simply decrease their teaching load? 
If we want to create a collaborative and authentic partnership approach to professional learning, we need to have a balance of power.
If we want teachers to develop professionally and instructional specialists are the answer, we must be careful that they are not used as performance managers.

Great reflection Andrea. Building collaborative teams is hard enough, adding competition into the mix never helps in creating the culture required.

I remember having a ‘build it and they will come‘ approach to collaboration. However, my experience since is that there are many nuances to creating a collaborative environment.

🗒️ Ideas

James Somers discusses the notion of ‘Collaborative Circles’ and ideas focusing on the work on coders Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat:

After years of sharing their working lives, duos sometimes develop a private language, the way twins do. They imitate each other’s clothing and habits. A sense of humor osmoses from one to the other. Apportioning credit between them becomes impossible. But partnerships of this intensity are unusual in software development. Although developers sometimes talk about “pair programming”—two programmers sharing a single computer, one “driving” and the other “navigating”—they usually conceive of such partnerships in terms of redundancy, as though the pair were co-pilots on the same flight. Jeff and Sanjay, by contrast, sometimes seem to be two halves of a single mind. Some of their best-known papers have as many as a dozen co-authors. Still, Bill Coughran, one of their managers, recalled, “They were so prolific and so effective working as a pair that we often built teams around them.”source

Bookmarked How To Make The Most Of Trello By Syncing Cards Across Multiple Boards by an author (blog.trello.com)

The Unito Power-Up operates under the assumption that no Trello board should be an island. Collaboration works better when it crosses the boundaries of boards, and even tools. That’s why Unito is a great way to sync (connect) information between Trello boards, letting your cards exist in more than one place at the same time.

I really like the look of this power-up to sync cards across different boards. It addresses one of my biggest frustrations with Trello.
Replied to Knowing Me, Knowing You. (andreastringer.blogspot.com)

If we accept that Collaboration is complex, why do we assume all teachers will collaborate because research says it is effective?

I really like your point about subtly enforced collaboration. It can be so easy to say ‘let’s all collaborate’. The problem I have found is that unless people see where they fit in with it or benefit then it can really flop. I have written about this more here.

Originally published on Read Write Collect

Bookmarked Blog Case Study: Student Run Newspaper (The Edublogger)

A student run newspaper is one type of blog that can offer many advantages for students. This post showcases an impressive newspaper run by the students at Zurich International School in Switzerland (ZIS).

The Lion’s Journal is another example of a collaborative production to add to the many faces of blogging.
Bookmarked Professional learning and collaboration: Where have they Gonski and where are we going? (the édu flâneuse)

As teachers are asked to increasingly use data, be aware of research, collaborate, and engage in ongoing professional learning, workload remains an issue. Collaboration and professional learning take time. Professional learning, in particular, often happens in teachers’ own time, and using their own funds. Time and resourcing are important considerations influencing to what extent teachers are able to collaborate and participate in effective professional learning.

Deborah Netolicky reflects upon the need for time and collaboration called out in the recent Gonski review. I have been a part of the introduction of Disciplined Collaboration in my previous school, as well as the development of collaborative presentations for conferences. I think that this comes back to the challenge of funding associated with such endeavors. Even if various administrative tasks are taken from teachers, they need to be done by somebody and that is still a cost.
Replied to Teaching’s far from a 9-to-3:30 job: Here’s what our day really entails – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) by Daniel Steele (mobile.abc.net.au)

What has been a surprise over the past 10 years is how hard it can be to convince people of the power in collaborating to support and build up one another up in schools and staffrooms.

I think that this is a useful and important message, yet what I feel is missing is collaboration. I wonder what story could be told to capture the power of working together?
Bookmarked 3 Ways To Model Collaboration and Partnership in Schools and Classrooms (Getting Smart)

Collaboration is a great term, but I actually prefer the word partnering. Collaboration sounds like working with others while partnering sounds like a long-term investment in a relationship that is mutually beneficial to all.

Michael Niehoff reflects on collaboration (or partnering), arguing that the challenge is to walk the walk. He breaks this down into three areas – collegiate, community and digital – providing suggestions for each. This includes team teaching, engaging with community organisations and writing in a collaborative blog. I have touched on some of these ideas before and feel that collaborating with Steve Brophy was one of the richest professional experiences I have had. However, I am mindful that collaboration is not always a given. There are often systemic structural elements that can impede and disrupt.
Liked Björk on Creativity as an Ongoing Experiment (thecreativeindependent.com)

I think the best connections or collaborations are when you don’t assume anything and there’s no projection and there’s no pressure and people are not forced up against the wall and like, “This is what we’re doing.” The few moments where we’ve found each other in that sort of situation, something was not right. I think where collaboration works best is when you drop all that and you just really start from scratch and you really try to make something that’s different than what you’ve done before, and you try to find a coordinate, which you wouldn’t have found on your own or with somebody different. That’s when it’s fertile.

via Oliver Quinlan

Collaboration Should Be Natural

Gary Stager wonders about all the hype surrounding Google Docs and it’s collaborative edge. In discussing his decades of experience, he suggests that writing is selfish and that collaboration should not be forced. Instead, he argues that for collaboration to work it needs to be natural.

Cooperation and collaboration are natural processes. Such skills are useful when the creative process benefits from interdependence. The best collaboration mirrors democracy when individual talents, knowledge, or experiences are contributed to produce something larger than the sum of its parts.

Work with your friends. Work with people you trust. Work with people who have different skills or expertise. If that doesn’t produce the result you desire, you will find others to collaborate with. That is how you learn to collaborate. You may teach it, but the students will not stay taught.

Honestly, I could not care less about whom my students (kids or adults) choose to work with. The only reason to assign group size is scarcity of materials (we have to share). Even in those largely avoidable scenarios, it hardly matters if group size varies a bit. The main consideration is inactivity by some members when a group is too large.

Collaboration is both selfish and selfless. You give of yourself by sharing your talent and expertise, but the collaboration should benefit you as well.Source

This is a useful provocation in thinking about technology and 21st century learning.