In our daily practice, we often have to switch back and forth between the words collaborative and social. We see collaborative learning as those active moments of learning together in groups versus social learning as ongoing learning in an organization through ‘social’ connections.
In general we prefer the word collaboration or perhaps even cooperation above social as we find that the social media connotation sometime scares people away, though social learning is so much more than exchanging information through Facebook and Twitter.
Since we went live with LearningStone, training providers have been adding groups of people collaborating on courses on a national and international level. The social… eh… collaborative aspect that is supported by LearningStone is more important than just sharing personal knowledge. We see people collaborating on mutual learning goals that have been prepared by a trainer or creating learning moments for others by actively asking questions. Trainees work on group assignments, share experiences or simply exchange practicalities so that the (expensive but important) face-to-face learning time can be as efficient as possible. It is obviously not just the instructor who shares his or her knowledge. A teacher can even be a bottleneck for learning if he or she doesn’t stimulate learning.
Quotes & resources
If you’re interested in the background of collaborative learning, here are some interesting quotes and resources, but before you take off, remember one thing: Collaboration through technology provides great opportunities for learning, but at LearningStone we always stress that professional development also requires face to face learning as people need to leave their workspace and be inspired by other people.
Collaboration is the act of joining together to make possible that which cannot be accomplished alone. http://www.wikihow.com/Collaborate
Collaborative learning teams are said to attain higher level thinking and preserve information longer than students working individually.
Technology makes collaborative learning easier. Collaboration had the same results via technology as in person, increased learning opportunities.
Collaborative learning can be viewed as the gradual construction and accumulation of increasingly refined and complex cognitive and linguistic artefacts. This takes place primarily in collaborative interaction.
Collaborative learning is a situation in which two or more people learn or attempt to learn something together. Unlike individual learning, people engaged in collaborative learning capitalize on one another’s resources and skills (asking one another for information, evaluating one another’s ideas, monitoring one another’s work, etc.). More specifically, collaborative learning is based on the model that knowledge can be created within a population where members actively interact by sharing experiences and take on asymmetry roles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_learning
Facilitating Collaborative Learning: 20 Things You Need to Know From the Pros. Best practices for collaborative learning in our classroom
Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age
Attention blindness is the fundamental structuring principle of the brain, and I believe that it presents us with a tremendous opportunity. …. It’s not easy to acknowledge that everything we’ve learned about how to pay attention means that we’ve been missing everything else. …. Collaboration by difference respects and rewards different forms and levels of expertise, perspective, culture, age, ability, and insight, treating difference not as a deficit but as a point of distinction.
Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL)
CSCL is a relatively new educational paradigm within collaborative learning which uses technology in a learning environment to help mediate and support group interactions in a collaborative learning context.
CSCL is a pedagogical approach wherein learning takes place via social interaction using a computer or through the Internet. This kind of learning is characterized by the sharing and construction of knowledge among participants using technology as their primary means of communication or as a common resource. CSCL can be implemented in online and classroom learning environments and can take place synchronously or asynchronously.
Michiel Klønhammer and Sjoerd Boersma
LearningStone is an online learning and collaboration platform for groups. Try it out for free (for ever free!): www.learningstone.com