A student’s success in today’s workforce requires knowledge of technology and the ability to collaborate effectively, but schools are often lagging in offering opportunities for students to work together in such a way that fosters positive interdependence and makes use of available technology. Teachers are doing students a disservice by limiting them to solitary tasks using only a pencil and paper. Instead, I will address: 1) the rationale behind collaborative writing, 2) solutions to common instructor hesitations or fears of assigning collaborative tasks, 3) important keys to planning such an assignment, and 4) the need for online services such as Google Docs and Moodle to help facilitate communication and the writing process
Further, the article will stress the ways online tools can promote critical thinking. Technology into the class curriculum allows students to be more receptive to course content, receive immediate feedback from peers through non-threatening online forums, have access to articles, audio streams, and pictures for examination and response, and are better-prepared for class discussions. Learning perspective-taking and broadening issue knowledge not only enriches online discussions, but also contributes to the development of a class community. Within this community, students share their writing and are willing to take greater risks with self-expression. In effect, writing becomes a much less isolating activity and more of a community project.
|Keywords:||Collaboration, Writing, Internet, Technology, E-Forums, Critical Thinking Skills, Community|
High School English Teacher, English Department, Moline High School, Moline, IL, USA