Live Blogging (and Live streaming) Cooperative Learning Workshop

HEre are my notes from today from the cooperative learning in service today. Dr. Sheperd is great.

MaryFriend Sheperd -
Cooperative Learning
4 Things we'll learn with cooperative learning:

1 - Models for cooperative learning - 5 most popular ways to use them in the classroom
2 - How do you grade and assess with cooperative learning (Demonstrating and assessing)
3- How you put students in groups - you must be in control of the groups
4- Team Building activities - Teach students how to work in cooperative groups or they will fail

Some teachers do a lot in cooperative groups. One learning strategy that should combine with all of the other strategies. Have many choices of instructional strategies of which this is one.

She divided us up -- we have a color and a playing card for each of us. List the names and the groups.

We did a cooperative learning activity using shapes - 5 team members and an observer. It was great because we learned the following: you can do a cooperative learning activity quietly (no one could talk), the importance of team versus individual work space. The skills of various team members -- cooperative learning using visual spatial builds respect for students who are probably not good at the other things in the classroom. It builds different respect as leaders on different tasks. That is important.

Cooperative Learning -- Change of paradigms
Obstacle: People feel like they will lose control of their classroom.

Change of Paradigms
Industrial Revolution
Information Age
Single Parent & 2 working parents
Foot & Horse
Auto and Trains
Autos & Plans & Computers

Business / Work
Family Businesses
Top-down bureaucracies
collaborative teamwork
Oral, limited books
Books, TV, Videos, Written word
Digital Hyper kids, Internet

Toefler, Third Wave 1990 & PowerShift 1990 - Mary Friend Summarized the thinking from these books (something a good trainer will do.)

The Third Wave
Future Shock said the problem of the 21st century is that people will have two many choices -- "Overchoice" -- with so much overchoice they will start being stressed outthat we don't know what will happen to their learning modalities.

A teacher said "The internet stresses me out -- I type something in and get 1,493,000 choices."

And so, our job is to teach students how to make choices in dealing with this world so that they won't be stressed out. Our importance is to teach choices. Schools in the agrarian age -- what did they do in school -- every school in America read the same history book, same math book, and the same Bible.

(I wish I was recording this or ustreaming it -- I need to get her permission before I do it, however. I wonder how seminar speakers will feel when people start streaming them live. Another paradigm shift.)

Summers free - agrarian age -- kids needed to work in the fields. Our school calendar comes from that period of time. (NOte: I live in an agrarian community -- for us, we really need summer vacation -- our kids still work on the farm.)

So to the Industrial Revolution -- standardization was the key there. Families could move away -- nuclear families b/c people move away from their families. The break down of the family -- we can now live any where in the world. Then we started having top down bureaucracies (and we still do-- aurgh!) Assembly lines. routine tasks. (I think of I love lucy and the chocolate conveyer belt!) To create students who could do rote routine tasks -- sit still, listen, memorize, and I'll tell you what to do -- read, write, speak,and listen. The problem with this today is that our world has shifted from industrial age to the information age in every industry except education.

Break down of the family -- children now not living with any parents. 2 working parents -- we move around the world with computers now. We're seeing a whole new corporate structure of collaborative teamwork -- not top down -- eliminating middle management. (Has education followed suit? -- Eliminate middle management and connect teachers in collaborative teamwork) -- have students teach adults.

"I've probably learned more in the last 3 years than in the last 30 -- it is mind boggling," says Dr.Sheperd. I agree.

Every research study of businesses that comes out says, "I want people who can be part of a team. Give me someone who can compromise and understands how to work and I'll work with them."

1) Get laptops for teachers 2) Get laptop labs -- "You're doing a disservice to your kids if you don't teach using technology."

Cooperative groups of 4.

List of information of what the world was like in 1907. 100 years a go between agrarian age and moving into the industrial revolution. This is the cooperative learning. 7 groups of 4. Two tasks. 1) Break down into groups -- in your group -- look at this and decide what other 3 topics might we as a clss discuss if we wanted to do a report on the changes in america from 1907 to 2007 -- to explain what is happening in our world -- -- we have four: family, transportation, business/work, education -- come up with 3 more categories -- as a group determine the 7 things and then we'll move onto part two.

Cooperative groups -- it is important to face each other. Only give a group one piece of paper for the group. One set of resources to the group so that they have to work together. If you give each person copy -- they each do it by themselves. Each group one piece of paper.

Have to select the seven things we'd research if we had a two week project. Choose 1, 2, 3 topics -- and we get to pick. You're likely to get one of our top three choices.

Rules in cooperative learning
1) You don't take a majority vote to decide that
WE have to agree on the topics we choose. Don't do majority vote -- come to a consensus.

For long term projects -- always give them a rubric -- you can give responsibilities for each person -- (diamond, spade, club, heart) -- divides them up. Each member has an assignment on this topic -- what is required in cooperative learning is that everyone contributions to the final product. (That is the beauty of wikis and Google docs.)

Grade A student who gets a zero on group work b/c they did everything -- they will begin to listen and to respect each other. We cannot have bulldozers in our classrooms and in group projects.

What does this model do? What does this do?
It is called Co-op Co-op -- You chose a topic -- already teaching in the classroom. content that you believe is important -- a topic with many components. Find a way to introduce the topic -- she chose to give a seven minute lecture... she believes lectures are acceptable but they should never be more than 10 minutes long b/c students are incapable of listening for longer than ten minutes.

Reading with a purpose. She can take the list and decide to choose the topics -- give students some choice. As a teacher with cooperative learning you have an immense amount of control. You control the content by the topics you give them. As a teacher, when you assign topics to your group.

Then in four person groups -- each group gets an assignment. You can decide -- here is how I want you to demonstrate learning in your group -- this is how we can demonstrate and this is what I want it to be. PowerPoint song and dance. As a teacher, you get to decide what it is you are going to assess as the activity. On Friday, what do I want turned in to me?

1) Choose a topic 2) Divide class into cooperative groups, 3) Assign each group one task -- when you bring it together as a whole, everyone is exposed to learning from the other groups -- every group becomes an expert in their own topic. The teacher always learns the most. Of course! Each group becomes an expert -- what happens with this kind of approach is that you're buildling a framework for understanding a topic with your content. Her goal is understanding how the school moved from the industrial to the information age.

What does the research say about cooperative learning -- I looked up a great article from Caret, my favorite site for educational research -

Here is what Caret says in its summary about cooperative learning (emphasis mine):

"Student motivation is enhanced in projects that require online collaboration. Student motivation is enhanced through online collaborative research that includes online communication with peers and experts in other states and countries, evaluation of evidence and sharing of information, and the use of standards based curricula that are integrated with scientific visualization tools. Project GLOBE has engaged K-12 students from schools in 34 countries in gathering data about their local environments. Students in the GLOBE classrooms demonstrate higher knowledge and skill levels on assessments of environmental science methods and interpretation of data than do their peers who have not participated in the program (Means et al., 1997).Cooperative learning with computers is effective for students with intellectual disabilities. Cooperative learning is based on the concept of interdependence -- students' learning from and depending on one another in a positive way. In one project, for example, a group of students with intellectual disabilities taught university students how to use computer software (word processing and LOGO turtle graphics). The university students developed some new materials using the software, and asked their former teachers to help them test the programs (Ryba & Anderson, 1990).

Cooperative learning environments aid in many aspects of problem solving. (Johnson & Johnson, 1996), as cited by (Bracewell et al., 1998), examined the use of computer technology in support of cooperative learning environments. Relative to traditional individualistic learning approaches, the use of computer technology to facilitate cooperative learning environments resulted in "(a) higher quantity of daily achievement, (b) higher quality of daily achievement, (c) greater mastery of factual information, (d) greater ability to apply one's factual knowledge in test questions requiring application of facts, (e) greater ability to use factual information to answer problem-solving questions, and (f) greater success in problem-solving." -- She is showing them delicious for sharing bookmarks.

Cooperative Learning is a cornerstone of the flat classroom project. It is vital.
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