The final blog from Janelle focusing on communication. This week, she discusses the digital communication tools she uses that can help teachers.
I’ve spent the last two weeks focusing on communication and collaboration in and beyond the classroom walls. It’s no secret that technology plays an increasingly important role in how we collaborate. Non-verbal communication (email, texting etc.) can cause breakdowns in communication and collaboration because we miss the tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language that accompany the message when delivered verbally. With technology we are also able to collaborate and communicate, globally, making those skills even more important. Video conference tools like Google Hangouts/Meet, Zoom, and Skype give that person-to-person feel. Voxer is similar in that it allows for instant voice messages and a platform to share files via Dropbox. Slack gives you a platform to collaborate and communicate based on team and/or project, integrating seamlessly with Google Apps.
When the goal, objectives, and norms of a group task have been clearly determined, then using digital tools to accomplish each step becomes more seamless. The tools I mentioned above are great communication platforms. Adding to those, there are several tools that I like the most for collaborative work-spaces.
Nothing tops Google Apps in G Suite for collaborative purposes. OneDrive by Microsoft has tried to establish a foothold in the collaboration space, but it’s usually pretty glitchy, requiring frequent refreshes to see real-time changes. G Suite, on the other hand, it easy to share, easy to see, and provides total transparency among the group working together.
Some of my favourites for collaborating and communicating include:
Create impactful graphics, web pages and video stories in minutes with Spark’s free graphic design app.”
The right platforms, along with common norms give everyone a voice eliminating the few dominating voices in the group.
I can’t discuss the best tools, resources, and strategies for communicating and collaborating without talking about the importance of learning space design. Spaces need to be intentionally established to provide students and adults alike a space to easily collaborate and communicate (within and beyond the physical walls). You can read more about the importance of learning spaces in these articles, Collaborative Learning Spaces: Classrooms That Connect to the World by Jennifer Williams, Key Elements for Creating Collaborative Learning Spaces by Cynthia Merse
and in the book, The Space: A Guide for Educators, by Robert Dillon and Rebecca Hare
And if you still want more, check out the following links for ideas to increase communication and collaboration in your classroom.
Securus provide market-leading monitoring solutions to safeguard students on ALL devices both online and offline. We also offer a full monitoring service, where we carry out the monitoring on behalf of the school, freeing up valuable staff resources. From the smallest school to large MAT groups, Securus offers safeguarding protection for all!
Vivify partners with schools across the country to hire out their facilities outside of school hours to enable them to generate much needed revenue that can be invested back into their facilities, teachers, and student experience. Opening up school facilities for communities to get together can improve mental and physical wellbeing, boost confidence, tackle loneliness and help people feel more positive about life.
As European leaders of Time Management Solutions, Bodet offer Lockdown, Clock, Bell & PA Systems. Harmonys, our five-in-one IP/PoE Bell System, provides a unique customisable lockdown or panic alarm alert. Melodys, a Wireless Bell System, is useful where wiring can be difficult.
Robotical makes Marty the Robot - a walking, dancing coding robot that makes programming fun and engaging for learners as young as 5. Our robots come with a full Learning Platform that has complete teaching resources, to make lesson planning a breeze.
As a group, Fusion Education People Solutions provide innovative HR Services and Software (SAM, SAMpeople and FACE-Ed), developed specifically for the sector by education specialists. We are trusted by over 1000 schools and trusts across the UK.
Are you looking for solutions? Let us help fund them! Nexus Education is a community of over 11,000 schools that come together to share best practise, ideas and CPD via online channels and free to attend events. Nexus also offers funding to all school groups in the UK via nexus-education.com
Our website and ready-to-use resources bring to life the incredible stories of game changers from history – ordinary people who used their character strengths to help them achieve extraordinary things. Our site has been carefully designed to support learning and development on a whole-school basis, across the whole curriculum.
Speech Therapy support for schools and nurseries. We offer quality and bespoke services by prioritising training, assessment and effective therapy for children.