13 January 2012

Time, Priorities and Boards for Collaboration

Now that a new year has started and I am in between semesters, in between projects and hopes that may unfold throughout 2012, I have been thinking about what matters most to teachers. Yes, recognition by peers and management may matter; appropriate salaries for the work and efforts a teacher dedicates to their profession is also relevant. However, for me, what has become most precious is time - time to focus on energizing and motivating lessons, time to collaborate with colleagues and time to reflect on all the changes that daily sweep us up in a non-stop stream of information overload. 

Good recently published an infographic displaying what teachers most need appreciate to support their lives and careers,  and it came as no surprise to me that supportive leadership, a collegial work environment and time ranked highly as priorities. 

Educational Leadership is a complex issue and one that I have referred to elsewhere in small bytes. Contributing to a collegial work environment is essential and one that all members of an institution should strive for on a daily basis - after all, in my places one spends more time at work than with friends and family. Contributing to a healthy and pleasant work environment is the first step towards positive collaboration, setting  an excellent example to students too,  who also need to learn about collaboration at different levels with different types of people. It is all part of the learning experience at educational institutions and one that learners take with them later into their own working environments. 

So where does that leave me in regard to collaboration and online learning?

Among the many platforms of communication and collaboration, I'd like to highlight 4 boards of interactive, real time collaboration for both teachers and learners. 

IDroo  is an educational multi-user whiteboard; free to download and to use with Skype, features include:

* instant collaboration

* unlimited participants

* tools for maths tutoring

* drawing & writing ideas

* using images to express one's ideas

Scribblar is a similar tool, with features that include :

* online training/tutoring

* revising artwork and images

* creative brainstorming

* chat and audio

DabbleBoard is yet another whiteboard which provides collaboration and includes Almost Meet for web-conferencing. 

Edistorm is my last suggestion for today. You can use Edistorm on any browser, your iPad, iPhone and SMART board. 

The days when a teacher was given a textbook and a classroom are long gone. Today, more than ever, teachers need support to succeed in motivating a digital generation; a generation which faces more future uncertainties and fast-paced changes in the working world.

Education is not only about classrooms, setting assignments and plowing through assessments - education is also about collaborating with colleagues.

Education is about creating learning opportunities for all participating members of an institution and beyond the gates of that institution.

Education is about creating things with others.

How do see collaboration beyond borders?

What do you think are priorities for teachers today?


  1. Joining, sharing, tweeting and you know you are awesome!

  2. Hi DJ,

    Thank you for your kind words; if what I find interesting can be of use to others, that is really great! We all learn with one another :-)