Sing, C. et al (2011) suggest the process of collaborative learning and creating active lifelong learner’s work hand in hand with the advantages of collaborative learning seemingly outweighing the disadvantages. These advantages are evident on two fronts, both cognitive and social and include (a) enhancing cognitive function (b) enhancing knowledge through building collective understanding (c) sharing the cognitive load when engaging in complex problems (d) developing higher thinking skills by interacting with more capable peers and encouraging more inquisitive thought (e) acquisition of skills required for 21st Century Learning including managing personal emotions and those of the group.
Similarly the use of social interaction through Web2.0 tools supports and enhances collaborative learning. I am considering using a blog in my series of lessons. This blog is through the closed environment created via a virtual classroom available only to students in Queensland through the Learning Place. The children in my class are in Year Three and many of them have not used a blog before. It is the perfect introduction to an environment which allows them share knowledge, jointly construct knew knowledge and comment on the thoughts of their peers through their blog posts, ultimately motivating learning through building a deeper understanding and communication as suggested by Poling (2005). The idea of being a ‘good digital citizen’ can be explored and reinforced at the same time. Students will be encourage to support and question the ideas of their peers, giving suggestions and encouragement, facilitating co-construction of knowledge across time and space (Sing et al. 2011, p22).
Sing, C., Wei-Ying, L., Hyo-Jeong, S., Mun, C. (2011) Advancing Collaborative Learning with ICT: conception, cases and design. Ministry of Education Singapore.
Poling, C. (2005). Blog on, building communication and collaboration among staff and students. Learning and leading with technology.2(6). ISTE. Retrieved form http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ697316.pdf