What is the first thing you think of when you think of collaborative writing? Probably wikis. But, it won’t just happen by building a wiki. Wiki is a tool. Collaborative writing is a process. Not a patchwork quilt, but a seamless comforter.
This requires positive interdependence for:
Goal – what are you trying to achieve?
Role – what will your role be in the process?
Environment – the wiki itself
Task – schedule the goal
Identity – personalize your wiki
Work in small groups (3 is ideal), have frequent assessment, view the history of the wiki to see who is doing what, ask random questions.
Consider: what social skills are they learning? What is the group process? The teacher should go in and make evaluative comments to let the kids know you are watching the process.
Recent research indicates:
Asynchronous writing results in richer collaboration (Mabrito, 2006)
Online collaborative writing produces higher quality writing than face-to-face collaboration (Passig and Schwartz, 2007). Why? Students may be more likely to post anonymously online.
Monitor progress and give feedback on the wiki itelf
Most important: the final document must be valuable to others. Read Jon’s blog on the subject here.
Collaboration does not equal cooperative learning.
What can Google docs do for you? Don’t attach a document to an email, where it will live on too many computers. Sharing the documents saves the email glut. Scott predicts if we talk more to teachers about this, within two years 80% of our schools will go Google Docs. There must be trust
His school uses Gaggle, which filters education apps. Students email is archived for nine months.
See Scott’s at: Tinyurl.com/cn7fus
Read Scott’s blogs here.
Where are kids collaborating? Facebook. Example, Facebook changed their policies, users rebelled, so Facebook offered an “election” on their policies. Two hundred million people on Facebook, and Facebook said if more than 7000 users say we need to vote on this, we will vote on it. This made FB the fourth largest democracy. This is a huge collaborative philosophy. School must recognize the value of this.
How can we do this? Through Ning (example = Classroom 2.0). Your Ning is your own social network and your own url. (See Henry’s Ning list here). Plan lessons, post materials, edit the lessons – this becomes the common plan time. Give people time to play.
What does it take to collaborate well?