6. Encourage Collaboration
Collaboration is one of the most crucial skills that children can learn in school, and it’s one that is universally teachable. All subjects can include a team or group-working element, allowing pupils to discuss topics and solve problems together, helping them to become more confident and rounded people.
By working in a team in huddle spaces, pupils can combine their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. For example, some pupils may be more able to get their heads around theoretical concepts, but less confident in public speaking, whereas others might need support with the content, but are happy to stand up and present to the rest of the class. Bringing these pupils together will help them to draw upon the confidence of their peers, and this also means that students of all abilities will benefit from the outcomes of the lesson.
So how can we leverage this with technology? Software like Google Docs means that groups of pupils can work on the same document from different devices, which can then be presented to the rest of the class. This opens the door for some fantastic, unguided research projects, where pupils can delve into a topic that really interests them.
Students can also work on tablets linked to the front-of-classroom display. For example, you can brainstorm ideas on a topic, and students can use their tablets to send information and feedback up to the digital whiteboard. This can also be done anonymously to support those children who might be worried about speaking up or fear that they might be incorrect. For the teacher, this increases classroom engagement, as well as retrieving answers from multiple students at once in a more streamlined process.
There are additional technologies that allow for collaborative workflows. For example, the enhancements present in touchscreen technology and flat panel displays now mean that multiple pupils can work on one board simultaneously. Multi-touch technology means that pupils can either all interact with the same content, or even work individually on their own area of the screen, without disruption.