Enthusiasm and collaboration is infectious
My Most Important Theory is collaboration. It is impossible to overstate the positive impact that teacher cross-pollination can have on the educational environment of a school. There has been a lot of focus on the importance of this idea in recent years (Musanti & Pence, 2010). Musanti & Pence (2010) point out that knowledge is produced largely by means of social interactions. This being the case, the interactions of teachers regarding questions and discoveries in the arena of educational technology can only act as a catalyst for even deeper understanding in the classroom.
Parnell (2011) reinforces the point by disclosing that we grow as educators by means of collaboration with colleagues. The resulting professional growth, then allows teachers to better help students attain deeper understanding, thus building upon the affective and cognitive experience of the learner.
When a small group of teachers try out a new technology tool and dream out loud about possible classroom applications, both the teacher and the team benefit. The teacher gets to air-out the possible outcomes, both good and bad, while refining the concept prior to presenting the tool to students. The team benefits from the enthusiasm of having a colleague instruct them on a great new idea while building the possibility of spreading the use of the tool to their classroom as well.
Collaboration can help all involved see new horizons and new approaches to material and tools (Grossman & Arnold, 2011). Collaboration in educational technology is one of the rare cases in which “Hey, Y’all! Watch this!” can and will end well.
Grossman, E. & Arnold, D., (2011) A Habit of Collaboration: Using Technology While Building Professional Relationships during Teacher International Journal of Instructional Media, 38, (4). P 311+
Musanti, S., Pence, L., (2010) Collaboration and Teacher Development: Unpacking Resistance, Constructing Knowledge, and Navigating Identities. Teacher Education Quarterly. 37.(1) P 73
Parnell, W., (2011) Teacher Collaboration Experiences: Finding the Extraordinary in the Everyday Moments Early Childhood Research & Practice, 13, (2).