These are my notes from Tony Vincent‘s breakout session, “Collaboration in Hand with iPads” at the 2012 Mobile Learning Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 13, 2012. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. The official conference session description was:

Not only is collaboration an important life skill, but it can have a positive in?uence on student engagement and is an essential skill for the 21st century. Collaboration is also a powerful component in project-based learning. Web-based tools and apps for iPad can enable collaboration among students in the same classroom or among students anywhere in the world. Experience terri?c tools that can fuel productive collaboration through text, discussion, whiteboard spaces, mind mapping, and more.

All resources today are linked from

Collaboration is the act of working together for a common goal
– video of ants collaborating to bring a spider back to their home
– ants collaborating on a dead grasshopper
– fire ants during an Amazon flood collaborating

Ants create a lifeboat in the Amazon jungle – BBC wildlife

I’m a fan of Phil Schlechty’s work, “Working on the Work”
– mentions factors which affect engagement, including Affiliation
– collaboration plays a big role there

“Powerful Learning” by Linda Darling Hammond is also great
– super chapter on collaboration
– “Studies have shown that groups outperform individuals on learning tasks, and further that individuals who work in groups do better on later individual assignments as well.” (quotation from the book)

21C identifies the 4C’s
– Critical thinking and problem solving
– Communication
– Creativity and innovation
– Collaboration

Sometimes collaboration gets left out
– this isn’t the easiest thing to teach
– lots of skills are required and important
– crucial role in project based learning

“mastering collaboration requires the ability to

– “be helpful and make necessary compromises to accomplish a common goal”
– takes constant modeling and practice: these are ‘people skills’

Skills include:
– active listening
– respect
– manners
– positive attitude
– being focused
– having social awareness

We are going to use Edmodo today
– I setup a group for us and we’ll contribute ideas
– here’s a 1 minute video about Edmodo

Modeling is key
– role playing
– fuel your role playing with apps with something like Puppet Pals
– discussion: talking about teamwork

“what could go wrong?”
– we’ll use a collaborative drawing board

Today we’ll use
– app invitation links expire after a few minutes

Our group created an AudioBoo for our assignment!

Other apps to use: GroupBoard website

SyncSpace app

Popplet app: has free and $5 version, can invite people to work with you on the same mind map

together everyone achieves more!

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