21st Century Classrooms—Collaborative Environment

Teaching PhilosophyEdutopia shared an article listing 10 Signs of a 21st Century Classroom. I’d like to discuss how I’m striving to incorporate these ideas in my classroom over the next 10 weeks. Like the article author, I’ll be addressing these ideas in no particular order, but in a different order than they’re listed in the article.

Collaboration is an important skill to master. Whether they realize it or not, students are constantly collaborating with their peers, particularly if they are already using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, texting, or e-mail. Putting a formal, educational spin on collaboration will help to ensure that these students can benefit from the deep levels of collaboration that exist in modern society.

While some students may prefer to work alone, there are levels of understanding and creativity that simply do not appear in solo work. Additionally, there are many instances where the moments of inspiration and revelation that occur during collaborative work can open the minds of an entire classroom to fully embrace a new concept in ways that the teacher could simply not imagine.

As I get to know my students better and continue to develop an understanding of their prior knowledge, I will continue to add opportunities for collaboration in the classroom. From thirty second discussions with “shoulder partners” to clarify reasoning in answering questions to long-term cooperation on research projects and explorations, I expect my students to work together and benefit from the opportunities they are given.

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