PD Discussion: Collaboration and Plugged Classroom


We constantly switch groups. Students have to work with others. By now, the working relationships are really solid, even among those students who tend to shy away from group work.


Interesting idea. It seems it puts the ownership of moving the whole class forward and building community on students themselves. I think I will try this too!


I have a unique challenge because my course is double rostered. The biggest detriment is my ability to monitor students participation. This forces me to constantly remind them that there learning is on them. If they put the effort into the class they will get a lot out of it. Surprisingly this has worked and I have seen a lot of buy in from my students.


Students are seated in pods of 4, students have access to an online collaboration space with OneNote, students are encouraged to help others when finished.


Students write in their journals, share with their elbow partner, and then share with another elbow partner pair. Also, students with stronger programming skills are assigned a group of 3-4 students to mentor.


Periodically I will use a program that randomly puts them into groups…since we have been doing this for 1/2 of the school year now, I feel like they have all done well working together and they have all done their part to complete the projects. I will continue to periodically mix them up, but I feel like at this point allowing them the trust of working with others they know they are comfortable with and work well with…I give them that freedom to choose. I observe and we do gallery walks, so I know everyone is contributing and there isn’t a lack of contribution. The students have all built a trust among each other and aren’t afraid to say something when someone isn’t doing their part!


Our school has a Learning Management System created by Desire 2 Learn. I utilize the discussion board feature quite often to facilitate gallery walks online.
The students upload a link to each of their projects and are asked to view at least 3 of their peers’ projects. Students receive a daily classwork grade for giving quality, thought provoking feedback to 3 of their peers. It is very easy to scroll down each discussion board to grade; there is also an option to see the discussion stats for quick “completion” grading.
I have been pleasantly surprised to see the level of respectful, yet honest feedback the students give one another.


Proximity is huge. I also like to use gallery walks, elbow partner critiquing, and my favorite is to create a competition and the students do a gallery walk to vote on their favorite design. I always encourage the students to “ask 3 before me” so they learn to collaborate and communicate with each other.


I am using Padlet to do online gallery walks but I also utilize elbow partners, small and whole group discussions, random share-outs in class, and the comment and discussion features in Google Classroom.


I always encourage students to help each other to figure things out and not always rely solely on me for help. Many students have some knowledge of the topics and are able to help their peers.


Google Classroom, GChat, or Google Drive allow students to collaborate from their own work-spaces. Also allowing an environment that is similar to the work place by encouraging students to get up at speak to one another. In the “real world” that is how things get done.


During the scratch unit I plan to use a “Driver and Navigator” setup for some of my lessons. The driver does what the navigator says while working on scratch and completing projects. It is a good way to force collaboration without making it seem like its forced.


This is a very effective strategy for teaching programming.


I like the “three then me” idea from the article. This encourages equity during discussions. I also have my students reference and build upon what other students have said during collaboration. This makes them really listen to and process what others have contributed before moving the discussion in a new direction.


After teaching the ECS curriculum I can see why collaboration is so important. They challenge each other to find new ways, alternate ways and come up with amazing products together.


I actually stay away from Google drive in some cases because it is collaborative but limited and forces you into a paradigm. Nonetheless it can be helpful with certain group projects and tasks. I think Diver and Navigator is always helpful in a plugged environment, as long as students have the opportunity to switch places.


I have to really work at this because of my classroom arrangement. But it has become better as the year has progressed. The students have learned to work as a team regardless of the odd arrangement.


Even in a plugged classroom, unplug. Most schools block a lot of the messenger options. Other is get techies involved and ask them what they would suggest.


On some programming days, I write “I can help with (feature being learned)” on the board. Students can add their names when they have mastered the feature and are comfortable helping others. This has encouraged students to help each other. My first semester students did that well. I hope it works as well this semester!

All of our freshmen complete a short unit on teaming. It includes managing team conflict, leadership styles, etc. I’m sure that has helped as well.


Curious: what do you mean by double-rostered?