Guide offers collaborative learning insight

By Laura Devaney
October 7th, 2015

Mimio’s new guide, Collaborate to the Core! 2, is a follow-up to its 2013 instructional resource

mimio-collaborativeA new resource aims to share tips on how to establish a collaborative environment in classrooms, and it also provides relevant and engaging lessons, organized by subject matter and grade level.

Available for download at
at no charge, the 36-page guide includes “7 Tips to Your Collaborative Classroom Makeover,” which discusses how teachers can arrange their classroom to promote more collaborative learning.

There are lessons in math, language arts, science, and social studies for three grade ranges encompassing the K-12 spectrum. All lessons meet the Common Core State Standards, include tips, and can be used with or without educational technology.

“Research shows that collaborative learning develops higher-level thinking and that students who work together understand and retain information better than students who work on their own,” said Stevan Vigneaux, director of product management at Mimio. “Equally important is the development of social and interpersonal skills that blossom with cooperative learning. The lessons in our new guide bring a new dimension to learning that encourages discussion, cooperation, open-mindedness, a variety of viewpoints, higher-order thinking skills, and debate – all elements that help students learn how to collaborate with others and thus become better educated individuals, ready for the work world.”

One example of the collaborative lessons within the guide is a social studies lesson for grades three to five, called “Who Can Vote?” In the lesson, the teacher uses an interactive whiteboard or printed handouts to display a scrambled list of characteristics that describe voters and non-voters within the United States (the guide provides sample content). Students are divided into groups, each of which will use a mobile device with the MimioMobile app or a copy of the handout. Each group sorts the characteristics into voters and non-voters. They can use the app along with the MimioStudio Collaborate feature to let the whole class view their results, or one student from each group can present their findings.

According to Vigneaux, “As educators work to incorporate this new teaching and learning model, educational technologies can streamline the process as well as enhance students’ interest and engagement. However, we made sure to include non-technological alternatives for every lesson in the guide because we want to also help teachers who have little or no access to interactive technologies. Collaborative learning is the ‘new normal’ in K-12 pedagogy, and it’s too important to students’ success to risk leaving anyone behind.”

For more free lessons and activities centered on collaborative learning, educators can visit

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Devaney is the Director of News for eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura