Thursday, November 12, 2015

Collaboration with

At North Richland Middle School, Gina Bergman has her students use a collaboration tool called Students are given an assignment and asked to work on in small groups. As the groups work to complete the assignment, they can ask other group members, use their text books, or their devices connected to the TodaysMeet session. If a student does not have their own smart phone, they simply buddy up with someone that does. Today’s Meet is like a private chat room where students can ask questions of the entire class and other students can provide guidance or answers. Mrs. Bergman keeps the list of questions and answers live on the screen in her room. She can also go into Today’s Meet and answer questions herself or provide hints. Because Mrs. Bergman allows the students to use pseudo names, they feel less self-conscious about asking questions. Other students like being able to help someone else in class. Students feel like they not only have the help of their small group members but also the entire class. Mrs. Bergman moves around the room encouraging students to use their critical thinking skills to find new ways to locate the information they need. The lesson today was about research skills but these middle schoolers were learning so much more. They were learning how to collaborate with each other in a respectful way. Certainly a skill that translates well beyond the walls of NRMS. Great Job!

Kudos to Gina who took a giant leap of faith in implementing this virtual chat room and venturing into bring your own device all at once! Due to the success of Today’s Meet, Mrs. Bergman is already planning on adding new technology tools in the near future. She is looking at tools for presentations which will allow her students voice and choice. It should be a fun year to be a part of learning in her class.

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