If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know I am keen on collaboration. Now I want to highlight how collaboration has helped me develop professionally!
1. Blogging together
I have recently started to blog collaboratively with a colleague of mine and another PYP teacher at a different school. Blogging with someone from my own school, who also teaches my class, is amazing. Time is limited at school, but by blogging about our work, we know what is going on when the other is not around. Blogging with another PYP teacher helps to add a different perspective to everything and is also reminds me that our teaching is so connected through concepts, and the essential elements of the PYP, even when our central ideas differ.
When I started using Twitter, I didn’t realize the impact it would have on me one day. It is probably the most effective collaboration and communication tool around at the moment (for me). My PLN (Personal learning network) is a constant provocation and stimulant. I find out about new tools, great blog posts and events through all the amazing people in my PLN. Add to that the scheduled discussions #edchat and #elemchat, where educators with a passion some together for an hour from all over the world, and share their views and engage in dialogue.
3. Virtual Worlds
I attend the Virtual Worlds Educators Workshop run by Spiral and Chimera (their avatar names). I am a novice on so many levels when it comes to virtual worlds, but the potential is amazing. Recently we visit the University of Nottingham’s chemistry lab. The fact that people from all over could work together in this virtual lab, is mind-blowing! I would like to take this further one day and develop something based on primary education or international education. It is definitely a great tool for collaboration as well.
4. Social Networks/Ning
I have to admit that I use them very little for professional collaboration, apart from PYP Threads, which is a place for PYP educators to … collaborate and share. The IB has recently launched its own social network, the IBVC (Virtual Community) and even though I currently can’t access it, I was fortunate to be able to beta test it. Virtual communities allow us to reach beyond our schools and regions, and to collaborate with like-minded people from all over. The implications are huge, interest groups can form and thrive, without the limitations of budgets, time and geography. Communities of practice go beyond the workplace, which is great!
5. Go out together
Of course, you can do so much online, but don’t forget to socialize as well. Going out with your colleagues, friends and like-minded people is a great way to strengthen any relationship, professionally and personally.