PD Discussion: Collaboration and Plugged Classroom


There are times when I have the students work with the person next to them or I’ll divide the classroom into groups to work together and problem solve. Sometimes I even allow them to pick their own groups. I’ve learned that all of these can be effective as well as ineffective - it all depends on what the specific topic is.


Hey Anne,
A double-roster is when you teach to classes at the same time during the same period. I teach Computer Science Principles and Exploring Computer Science during the same period at the same time. Quite the challenge but I have made it work…


Using different roles in a plugged classroom is important to manage collaboration. By having students switch between the driver and the passenger, it gives them a chance to see something done and then they get a chance to perform the action as well the next time around. The driver role is more like a teacher role where the passenger is more like a learner role.

This is a good model for pairs of students because if one student feels like they understand a concept more than the other they can help the other student and then the next time around if they are struggling, the other student can take over and help.

Students can bounce off ideas quickly and get instant feedback from one another so they can move forward in the class and lesson.


During the previous phase, a lot of the students roamed the room and assisted one another, which was encouraging because it showed a lot of them took pride in their work. I would love to have the same thing happen during Phase 4 but it is not something you want to force upon them. Luckily, the lessons seem easy to integrate into group projects, and each student can easily share and compare their work with neighbors. I feel it may encourage students to aim higher when they see the capabilities of certain students.


I use the pari-share in my computer classroom. This takes place as the students are starting to work on the lessons. I also have the ability to show the entire class a students work not only on the overhead, but also on every student’s monitor in the class. These endourage the students to try to outdo each other which increases their involvement in the lessons.


I have the benefit of teaching a good mix of students. I have several who are complete geeks (like me!) and already know most of the stuff I’m teaching. I leverage this knowledge by doing some strategic grouping. Google Classroom is great: not too overloaded with “features” like Edmodo or MBC, and extremely collaborative. We usually take a day at the beginning of a semester on how two create documents that are automatically attached to an assigment, and how to add partners or group members to a document so all can work on it at the same time. I also have students add me so I can make suggestions during their work progress.


I do a lot of “each one teach one” in my classroom–it helps the students gel better with each other and there aren’t as many “cliks” within the students when they are receiving help from different students at random times.


Question: What are some specific examples of teaching strategies or class activities you do in your class to create a culture of collaboration among your students as they are working on the computers?.

Because Scratch especially is something new that none of my students have ever worked with, I would have them in pairs and make sure that I have pairs next to each other so that way I have 4 students sharing information and not just 2.


When programming, students depend heavily on one another since it is like learning to not only write in a foreign language but also problem solve using a foreign language. Just this week, one of the students said to me, “teaching him made solidified my understanding.” Later he told another student, “show him, it will help you understand it better if you teach someone else.” This student said today, “I am really good at this!” A student who has already completed the course is serving as a peer helper. He has really helped 3 struggling students. The 3 students were all smiles today as they were able to write and debug code with very little assistance due to this peer’s help over the past couple of weeks. The conversation between students is on topic 99.99% of the time as they are truly collaborating and working as a team. I am training the peer helper to guide the students rather than give them the answers. This has been a true learning experience for him as well.


To create a culture of collaboration I like the idea of students completing projects in assigned groups. I would like them to be able to pair up or at least help each other, especially on concepts that are new to the entire class. I also like the idea of using Google drive, Edmodo, and other online communication tools.


Great idea. Nevertheless, I strongly suggest the following: Try managing collaboration in a plugged classroom by having students assign and rotate their roles. It was noticed a previous ECS teacher is using this same technique. Therefore, this encourages equity in the classroom as well. This is afforded by allowing each student to have an equal opportunity in learning and practicing the skills learned.


When new concepts are introduced students are directed to ComputerHope.com website to better understand the concepts, after reading the term/concept provided, they are asked to post at least 3 new terms/concepts learned and explained each. Once each student have posted, they then are asked to read the various posts and choose at least 2 students to reply and further explain a concept.

On projects, students are given roles to complete various tasks in a project. Each students in each group must review their task with the group; and each student privates evaluates members of their group to force complete collaboration among ALL in group.


My school uses Kagan Structures, which are cooperative group structures. These strategies work really well when unplugged because they give each member in the group a responsibility to participate in the activity. It holds them accountable and makes each group member and equal participant in the activity.


I usually walk around and observe as students are working. I then ask students who are “getting it” to assist students who are struggling. Most of the time student volunteer themselves to help other students. This works very well, the students love it and it helps me to be able to provide assistance all students.


I use gallery walks when students are working on a project. Students are allowed to share with their classmates the techniques they used in a project and students are allowed to vote on projects. In addition, I walk the classroom and encourage the leaders to share their knowledge with the students in their sections.


Within my class I tend to use A&B partners, A meaning Amazing and B meaning Brilliant. From time to time I’ll even have the A’s stand up and define the meaning and then I’ll have the B’s stand up and define the meaning and then they will both stand up and that is when I proceed to say that together they are Amazing & Brilliant.


I would facilitate and encourage peer tutoring for this project.


I like most teacher roam the classroom, however, I have those advance students who completes the assigned task with ease. Those students also are roaming helping and answering questions, that creates a collaborative environment among the other students. I also have my most creative students share their assignment from the overhead projector. That also creates collaboration and discussion in the class.


From the first week I built in frequent discussion, debate, and collaboration. The students usually do it now without my asking.


My students are always grouped in pairs or or teams. I have them change seats after every completed assignment. Allowing students to move to a different seat makes them learn how to collaborate with different types of students. Also, being in groups allows those who are shy to participate without necessarily speaking in the front of the classroom during presentations