Often times the first thing we think about when someone says the word "collaboration" is a group project or meeting. It sometimes carries a negative connotation due to the fact that most of us were at some point in our lives, a part of a group that had as its mission, to plan, decide and act on a task. Miriam-Webster says it means to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor. Some of those groups may have resulted in a "not-so-good" experience.
Another definition given says, "To cooperate with an agency or instrumentality with which one is not immediately connected." Here's where I want to discuss "collaboration." Even though you may be a part of a school's classroom, a church or civic group, or even a member of a community, you are not necessarily immediately connected. Some synonyms for collaborate are: band (together), cooperate, concert, concur, conjoin, conspire, join, league, and team-up) and unite. Some related words are: affiliate, ally, associate, combine, hang together, and interface.
Our young people see examples on television of how NOT to collaborate...at least not in a productive manner, as they tune into all of the
"Reality Shows" that are shown in prime time.
So how can we collaborate if we are not immediately connected? The Internet. Most of America is already connected via Face Book, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, and Blogs…to mention a few.
But there are lots of sites where you can collaborate with other professionals online. The bottom line is this…Collaboration is something that adults must teach and model in our classrooms and at home. We are responsible for teaching our young people how to be good digital citizens, how to properly use “Social Media” and demonstrate appropriate collaboration.
Here are just a few sites that are good for you to explore that are collaborative by design:
Google Docs www.google.com
Wiki Spaces www.wikispaces.com
Type With Me www.typewithme.com