A couple of days ago I’ve heard a teacher talking about an “all A’s” hardworking student who demands from himself high standards but works independently and cannot collaborate with others. The teacher said that would he be an employer and the student a potential worker he wouldn’t hire him. I think about this strong statement whether we educators ourselves model collaboration.
we consider civic and personal competencies as critical as academic accomplishments (Crew 2010). And when a student cannot work in a team, we, educators, consider it a great limitation. After all, students learn the content in order to allude to it, to communicate, apply and collaborate. Students need to develop skills in sharing knowledge Do we practice a side-by-side way of teaching for a success?” Do we collaborate? Why is collaboration so important?
Shawn Callahan – a speaker on collaboration at a number of conferences. All these purposes of collaboration prove it as a very important skill and we need not only teach our students to work in groups but model this kind of work ourselves.
Subject specialists and librarians put their efforts together to provide authentic learning environment to practice skills as in information literacy as well as in their subjects.
A Spanish teacher approaches a school librarian. Diane wants to create a unit on Spanish culture and she wants her students practice their research skills together with their Spanish grammar and vocabulary, writing and speaking. Topics will slightly vary depending on the level of Spanish students learn. Spanish 2 will write a research project on the Notable Hispanics of All Times.
Over the next few days Diane and I collaborate on the project. Students will choose a notable person in Hispanic culture and learn about his or her influence and achievements in his/her field. As a result, they will create an outline on their personal page in the wiki.(wikispaces), write an essay in Spanish, and create a visual presentation. To practice their oral skills, the students will make a presentation in VoiceThread and later will comment on presentations of their classmates
This unit provides a great opportunity for collaborative teaching. All four AASL standards are reflected in this project: 1. Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge; 2. Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge; 3. Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society, and 4. Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.
Five Cs: COMMUNICATIONCommunicate in Languages Other Than English CULTURESGain Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures CONNECTIONSConnect with Other Disciplines and Acquire Information COMPARISONSDevelop Insight into the Nature of Language and Culture COMMUNITIESParticipate in Multilingual Communities at Home & Around the World
This very standards librarians work on when collaborate with subject teachers on research projects. They know that even though most students rely on the Internet and just ‘Google’ for facts, they need to be very selective when choosing sites for their projects.
Students come to the library to work on their research project. As the students begin their research, we see and assist students in dealing with information. First, we require that sources of different formats are used, including printed materials and scholarly articles in digital format (online databases). I have a great opportunity to lead students to the library online catalog and remind them how to use it, how to locate books on shelves. Also, they have a chance to learn more about school databases they wouldn’t use if the teachers wouldn’t make it a requirement.
1. I set up wikispaces as a platform for the project. We chose this site for a variety of reasons. First, we will have all projects in one place, and wikispaces thus serves as a portfolio for the project. Second, student are able to see the work of their peers and be involved in an evaluation of it. Third, students are able to present their projects for global collaborations. 2. As the students locate information, they need to evaluate it and draw conclusions about what they find. They identify facts and details, recognize similarities and differences in the information, and start to narrow down the topic and formulate the research questions. Each of these activities is classified as a skill of AASL Standard 2. Students demonstrate their process by note taking on their wiki page.
The Librarian monitors preparations and rehearsals for performance while teacher is involved in assessing students’ written and oral performances. After the information is found and Bibliography is comprised, students start working on their visual presentations. They can choose a tool they like to present the project in class. Prezi, iMovie, Glogster, 280 slide, animoto – name them all! This process also demonstrates the application of standards (AASL – Standard 2 – apply knowledge to new situations and create new knowledge) and Standard 3 – share knowledge; NETS – Standards 1 and 6 – creativity and innovation and technology operations and concepts) - as the students practice the critical skills by choosing appropriate materials for their slides, writing process to develop the text for their presentations, develop the visual literacy skills needed to create effective presentations, and technology tools in learning new digital gadgets and mixing formats.
When one plus one means
When One plus One Means
Presentation at NESA Conference,
Collaboration to set a problem
• “Getting people to the table” to set a
• Reaching agreement on what to do -
• Ensuring that the solution is carried out
• Building long term relationships
Librarians as Leaders in
• Librarians role-model collaboration and
take a lead on collaborative projects
because they see how standards of the
Century Learner run through all the
• They have a passion to equip students
with information literacy skills.
Subject Teacher and Librarian
• Educating staff and students to become
better users of information has become
the library media specialist’s goal.
• The requirement to teach students to be
able to apply their skills to curricular
areas, real-world situations, and further
investigations (Standard 2.1.3) inspire
librarians to promote collaboration with
Librarians Build Professional
• Librarians can be involved in instructional
planning by building a professional
collection of materials
– Library Catalog – List of professional
• Authentic assessment involves learning in
depth, and students need to use library
• Librarian provides access to these
materials and develops the collection
based of student needs.
Reaching an Agreement - Planning
the Unit together
• Identify goals – what the final product will
• Share responsibilities – who is doing
• Set up assessments – how the students’
work will be evaluated?
• How we as teachers will grow
Goals of the Project
• Students will practice their ability and skills to use
Spanish language in written and oral forms.
• They will apply their research skills: how to understand,
find, evaluate, and use information, as well as to create
their own documents and share them in a variety of
forms, including digital.
• They will put into practice their basic knowledge of
technology tools and the application of these tools, such
as safe use of social networking, copyright and
• The students will collaborate virtually with other students
from a Spanish speaking school
AASL and NETS
Focus on inquiry process
Importance of thinking skills
Planned approach to gathering,
evaluating, and using
Use information to create new
knowledge, solve problems,
and for personal expression
Respect diversity and varying
Ethical use of information
Similarities NETS (ISTE)
Emphasis on reading
Focus on self-
Reflection on process
and thinking skills
Wikispaces.com as a platform
Information Literacy Skills
• When taking notes, the students refresh their
memory on citing sources. They can use
easybib.com site or refer to the Citing sources
library web page. The students continue working
with their information. They organize it on their
wiki page and begin to decide what information
is useful for their project and what is not. These
activities provide evidence that the students are
learning the skills necessary to effectively draw
conclusions and apply their knowledge.
Technology and Content
• Kids are excited about new technology but
creating tech products with colorful effects
is not enough, they have to create new
products with a sense. Tools like prezi and
glogster are perfect for combining content
• Inquiry or problem-based learning and not
technology should be the decisive factor.
• Final step of the project is
Voice Thread Presentations and
comments shared with Spanish classes in
Spain or NESA schools
Examples of VoiceThread
• Michelle -
• Udai –
• Hanna -
Assessment of Students’ Works
– Global Communication
• The major accomplishment of this unit, most
likely a direct result of participation by the school
library media specialist as a partner of the
instructional design, was the success of the
Spanish 2 students. These students, whose
Spanish skills were not high for reading
authentic texts in Spanish stretched their abilities
and worked on their vocabulary and practices
Grammar to make their presentations appealing
• Because topics for the research projects were
their favorite persons from Spanish history or
modern culture, the students were fully involved
into the project.
• The students achieved the goals of the project
(Spanish language skills, research, and
• Besides, the teacher observed a changed in
attitude toward the work during the class
• Students are looking forward to collaborating
globally with other Spanish speaking students
from NESA schools or in Spain.
• Callahan, Shawn - Anecdote: Putting stories to work -
• Crew 2010 – Crew, Rudy Four Competencies for a 21st-Century
Education and How to Implement Them. Multimedia & Intenernet @
Schools, September/October 2010, pp. 8 -10
• Porter 2010 – Porter, Bernajean Where’s the Beef? Learning &
Leading with Technology, September/October 2010, pp. 14 – 17.
• Williamson and Redish – ISTE’s Technology Facilitation and
• Turner and Riedling 2003 – Helping Teachers Teach, A School
Specialist’s Role, 2003.