This week's #FLedchat on Twitter sought to look at the differences between collaboration and sharing. The conversation that ensued was a case in point - participants pooled ideas and came to common conclusions about the subjects in the most respectful and engaging manner.
Apart from reminding myself that collaboration always conjugates its verbs in the first person plural, it sparked some reflection as to whether I am in fact collaborating with the vast number of educators I have met thanks to Twitter chats, Voxer groups, Skype meets and Google Hangouts or just sharing ideas.
Sharing has its value -let that not be forgotten- but not always does sharing lead to collaboration, the ideal situation, as far as I see it.
Why spend time talking to other educators (who could be the colleague in the next room or the teacher in another region or country) if not to create something fantastic out of the experience? This should be "fantastic" for all those involved -mutual effort, mutual benefit.
Collaboration, then is sharing to discover the talents and abilities of others, NOT to showcase what I already know (or think I already know). In short, it synthesizes Kagan's principles of cooperative learning - the PIES framework.
What does collaboration look like? No one answer can put it in words, but these are what struck me most:
How have you collaborated lately or what are your plans for collaboration with another teacher? Share your story in the Comments.