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Collaboration Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

building kitThe following post was written by  Lisa Fink in partnership with NCTE members who volunteered to attend and reflect upon events for Connected Educators Month. 

Collaboration that leads to powerful professional learning and increased capacity to address educational challenges is more likely to succeed when certain organizational conditions are in place, conditions that are often determined by policies made outside the local context.

The National Center for Literacy Education (NCLE) has organized a series of webinars on models of interorganizational collaboration for improving education during CEM:

Each episode in the series features a model and/or conceptual framework that is yielding promising results and examples of its implementation. Here’s one interesting quote from the Networked Learning Communities session:

“Collaborations are not just about exchanging existing knowledge, but also about creating new.”

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) put together a webinar about the role librarians can play when collaborating with students to create new knowledge through capstone projects. Curation team member Gloria Mitchell observed that “benefits to the school include increasing students’ independence as learners, helping students to become experts in a topic that matters to them, and giving students a way to apply the knowledge they have acquired in their schooling, putting their formal education to real-world use.” The AASL website contains an executive summary of the findings.

This idea of empowered learning also ran through a session called The Digital Leap Charge that Melanie Koss covered. She reflects:

“Digital learning occurs in an ecosystem, it comes from a need to empower learners and educators, to learn skills for success in the workplace and society. The goal is to empower them to become lifelong learners, to learn innovative thinking, and to be considered tech-savvy.

Special thanks to curation team members Gloria Mitchell and Melanie Koss for their contributions to this piece.