Have you ever wanted to find a partner for collaboration between classrooms? Is there more to finding a collaboration partner then just your grade level, or geographic location? These are a few of the questions and concerns that I explored when creating this website. The website is the product of a different type of research that focused on answering my questions through the design process. The result is a website that connects teachers for cross-classroom collaboration. The website drew heavily from the connectivism learning theory and has been informed by academic literature about collaboration, constructivism, and connectivity. The design process included feedback from a development panel of non-teaching and teaching members from different nations, continents, and perspectives. The design platform, Drupal, also greatly influenced the site. I often share that this site is Facebook for teachers, or e-Harmony.com for collaboration partnerships (a more intelligent way to find a collaboration partner).
What this site is:
This website is a virtual convener. It facilitates a ‘handshake’ between teachers interested in cross collaboration project. The comforts in connectivity, constructivism, and collaboration make this ‘handshake’ more intelligent. This virtual convener is based on connecting teachers using more than simply the grade level or location of classrooms.
What this site is not:
This site does not host tools for cross classroom collaboration projects. These tools change fast and are best left to specialists in these areas (e.g., classroom blogging, voice & video conferencing, and real time collaboration on documents, presentations, & spreadsheets). On this site you can find a collaboration partner to use these tools with!
What to do next?
Go to the TeachersConnecting.com.
1) Introduce Yourself:
Register then complete or update your ‘User Profile’ page to introduce yourself to others. Remember to keep updating your profile!
2) Find a Collaboration Partner:
Look for colleagues. Then click on their user name to view their profile, add them as a buddy, and send them a message. Begin a dialogue about how you might work together.
3) Add or Browse Projects:
Plan a cross classroom collaboration project with a person you found. Use the ‘Schedule a Project’ menu item to create a project and sign up for it.
Browse for projects in the calendar and sign up!
After the cross classroom collaboration rate the project and leave a comment that reflects on your experiences.