Communication and collaboration are not the same thing. There are many tools that allow educators and administrators to talk to each other, but to take advantage of edtech’s promise, they should also be able to use collaboration tools to work together on the same projects.
In her presentation, “Collaboration Near and Far in Digital Professional Learning Communities,” Geri Gillespy, administrator of digital integration at West Ada School District in ID, talked about how to get the most out of online collaboration tools.
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First, school and district administrators should be clear on why they want to adopt collaboration tools. How will the tool enhance classroom learning and provide an advantage for teachers, students, and staff? For instance, at Gillespy’s school, they use the tool for new teacher and staff member orientation, providing them with training throughout their first year. New tech tools shouldn’t be a distraction or something that will take up more of a teacher’s precious time without actual benefits.