ISTE Standard 2-Student Collaboration

This week we focused on ISTE standard 2, which states, “Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.” I decided to focus on portion D of this standard. Part D says that student’s will, “Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.” To me standard two pushes students to use technology as an avenue for a different type of student collaboration that may enhance a collaborative experience. I focused in on portion D because in younger grades the main source of collaboration stems from problem solving and explaining their thinking.

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Our class trigger question was, “How can students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others?” This made me think about the more specific question of, “How can I find a resource that is easy enough for students use without parent help and wouldn’t worry parents as students interact and collaborate during a learning task?” I began my exploration by reading Megan Cicconi’s article, “Vygotsky meets technology: A reinvention of collaboration in the early childhood mathematics classroom.” This article shared Vygostky’s theory about student interaction and the benefits of using online interaction. She states Vygotsky’s research and findings when it comes to online participation as well as points out the three main benefits. These benefits are, “First, they found that the virtual world allows students to complete tasks that would other-wise be improbable due to realistic constraints, including money and time…The second benefit that Antonacci et al. (2008) identified is the virtual world’s persistence and constant accessibility, which increases social interactions and therefore provides more opportunities for collaborative learning…The third benefit of utilizing virtual worlds for collaborative learning that Antonacci et al. (2008) discovered focuses on the adaptive and emergent nature of virtual worlds.”All of these benefits are not only specifically found in online collaborative learning, but are indeed met by this process!

Cicconi’s reading led me to my resource of Voki and helped me answer my question for the week. I was worried about having students be monitored while being online/ having parents feel secure as their students work collaboratively. Cicconi’s article made it clear that there are many resources that are available that teachers can manipulate depending on what to do, who can see it, and how students may and may not interact. She states that teachers may control, “student-initiated publishing and sharing, utilizing privacy controls and creating pairs, small groups, or whole group activities based on objectives and projects, and allowing students to interact through teacher-selected social network sites.” This affirmed my question of how to keep online collaboration within a safe environment. After that question was answered I was pointed to a resource by the name of Voki. This is a website that allows students to make an avatar and share their ideas through that avenue. Students can retell a story, challenge other students with word problems, and so much more. This site is student friendly and that student can only access each avatar, but the work can be shared with their classmates and teacher.

Overall I think that Voki as a resource, along with many others, could be teacher monitored and could provide the collaboration that standard two talks about. Technological collaboration could open up communication in a whole different way for students and if monitored and kept in a safe environment, I believe all students could flourish using digital media.


Resource: Voki


Class Article: Cicconi, M. (2013). Vygotsky meets technology: A reinvention of collaboration in the early childhood mathematics classroom. Early Childhood Education Journal, 42(1), 57–65.


Introduction to Teaching Evaluation

Over the course of this Summer I had the opportunity to take Introduction to Teaching. This class focused on the many different aspects of the world of education. The information ranged from the history of education to the details and specifics of certification. Our class journeyed through the information as a group and provided ample opportunity for group work and collaboration. I believe that this class was able to exemplify the program standard of 8.1

8.1 Example of Proficient – Relationships with colleagues are characterized by mutual support and cooperation

To me this means that when given opportunities for interaction all individuals acted as team players as well as a support system. The reasoning for this standard is in hopes to create an environment that is supportive and caring. In addition to creating a place in which people want to be, this standard also gives students great examples of what it looks like to be in a cooperative group setting. This class utilized this standard because of the collaborative group work that we participated in. Whether it was in person or over different media sources, we were asked to share, interact, and act as a support system for one and another. . You can see here that we were involved in several group discussions during the quarter these are examples of some of my own entries and you can see that there are comments under each one.

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This is an example of 8.1 because to get the grades we wanted we had to each participate and give our group members something to build off of. This opportunity of group discussion became really cool as we entered into our face-to-face classroom sessions because the people we had been working with over discussion boards soon came to life, and became not only my colleagues but my friends. I learned a ton from this group work and have learned that it is ok to be the first to initiate a conversation or to bring up questions. These are both great ways to create some really great conversation. I also learned that when given group activities it is so crucial to have the expectation of full group involvement be communicated in the beginning of the discussion, as well as laying other ground rules.

This skill of building supportive work relationships is going to prove to be very important in my future as an educator and is also something that I would also love to implement in my classroom. As an educator I will be working with a team, and for a teaching team to succeed support must be given by every member. From a students perspective I found that hearing from others opened my eyes to topics that I would have never thought about otherwise. I would love to have weekly discussion groups and provide a space where students feel like their ideas are being supported and heard by their peers. This will give students a foundation in standard 8.1, and will be able to use later in their lives. A specific change that I would make would be to not have these discussions online because of the grade level I am going to be teaching. A specific change I would like to make within my own acts of colleague collaborative work would to be able to be that first person to bring up a topic. My goals achieve this entail writing down my questions before hand, as well as getting to know my colleagues a little better on a personal level. These relationships will show my colleagues that I do care about their opinions and hold their information to be important.

Learners In Context Meta Reflection

While enrolled in EDU 6132 we had the opportunity to work on multiple group projects. These projects gave us the ability to collaborate, critique, and connect with our colleagues. I believe that my greatest take aways from this class spurred from my group project work and have really opened my eyes to what can be accomplished when people work together. The program standard that I believe fits this kind of take away would be 8.2.

8.2 Growing and Developing Professionally: Teacher welcomes feedback from colleagues when made by supervisors or when opportunities arise through professional collaboration.

To me this standard means to welcome critique and collaboration in all that you do, in hopes to improve what was already great making it even better! Within this class we had the opportunity to complete the Theory to Practice Project, which entailed groups to gather all of the information that we had learned within the class and put it into presentation form. There were multiple phases to this project. Each phase would have us complete it by ourselves. and then join in group collaboration to create a final for the phase. This is an example of one of these phases with my individual work alongside our final.

Sydney’s Phase 3

Group Page Phase3

As you can see the final project is much different from what I had done individually, and without a doubt is much improved. This evidence shows that when minds are put together great things can come from it. From this experience I have found that if each member of a team is heard, as well as open to others ideas, something amazing can achieved. This is a copy of what we created for our project!

Password: P@ssw0rd

When I entered into this class and I saw that there were going to be multiple group projects, I was hesitant to agree that this tactic would enhance my individual learning; but boy was I wrong. Through this project I not only learned so much from the minds of Pressley, McCormick, and Medina, but have also learned so much from my team. Group work may take a little longer and may also require a little bit more patience, but the final product reveals its ultimate pay off. When teaching I would love to give my students the opportunity for group work. I want students to see the benefits that it can have on their learning. I believe that students should not only practice this form of learning, but also understand why group work is so important. In the future one thing that I will have definitely do in my classroom is make sure that all groups members are actively participating. Participation was not a problem in my group but when talking to others in the class some were frustrated with lack of communication. So in hopes to change this before starting group work I will put great importance on communication and equal share.