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Designing Collaborative Spaces for Schools – Part 1

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The term collaboration is almost always subconsciously associated with businesses, but its truly a universal tool that the mobile internet has enabled at almost every level and in almost every sphere of our lives. We collaborate as individuals in innumerable ways and then look for opportunities to apply this our work — making things happen faster, easier and just better.

In this detailed article, THEJOURNAL talks about guidelines for creating thoughtfully designed learning environments which can help students work together more effectively.

Some of the key insights from the article are:

“…collaborative spaces must allow members to work independently or with one another. Cooperative learning spaces may contract when the group comes together to discuss the project and then expand as individuals separate from one another to work on their specific tasks.”

“To better facilitate a variety of collaborative social groupings, a combination of information technologies can be used to create more than one focal point in the classroom. This may be achieved by allowing learners to work independently with tablets and in small groupings with tablets and LCD screens.”

“Vygotsky’s theory of the zone of proximal development says that learners can acquire knowledge more rapidly when working with others who are more expert in a given task. His theory acknowledges that learners are transformed by their transactions with social and physical environments.”

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Key questions educators should ask themselves: 

Some fundamental questions the article recommends that educators should ask themselves, before embarking on a project to enable collaboration in schools and colleges, are as follows:

Why create collaborative spaces?

What spaces are appropriate for collaborative activities?

What forms do these collaborative spaces take?

Can these spaces be created apart from the social matrix of the environment?

Are these spaces the same in all learning environments, or are they culturally and contextually defined?

How is information technology integrated into these spaces?

Are these spaces sustainable over time?

To read the complete article, follow this link.

For more on how your learning institution can create effective collaboration spaces, contact Actis at 022-30808080 or email us at [email protected]

(Content and image credits: www.thejournal.com)

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