I just listened to Collaboration Fluency: Creating a Learning Environment for the Digital Age Classroom by Lee Crockett with 21st Century Fluency Project. You can find the session from the ISTE Conference at http://www.isteconference.org/ISTE/2011/program/search_results_deta...=
I was very disappointed by this session. Crocket opens claiming that in the past he and his partners have focused on the challenges, explaining that in the 21st Century we are facing a different kind of student. In this session he claims “We are trying to move past the talk … and explain how you do that, how do you teach that.” He mocks the field of education claiming that no field ignores their own research more than teachers, indeed, it is “Ironic that we are over a decade into the 21st century and we are still trying to define what 21st century skills are.” He suggests that he will present the process of integrating these skills into the classroom. I felt let down because I didn’t see where he did that for collaboration. I felt this lecture was just more talk about collaboration, exactly what Crocket said he wanted to avoid.
In his discussion of what he believes 21st Century skills are, Crocket dismisses teachers who present ‘Ya, buts…’. I however was left with a large ‘ya, but’ at the end of this session: Ya, but you didn’t move past the talk, you didn’t give any examples of how to engender collaboration amongst students.
In the hours long lecture Crocket uses only four minutes (from 32-36) to present the 5 E’s of collaboration which compose the process of collaboration fluency. Establish the group, the roles and responsibilities, the norms, and the group contract. Envision what the groups goals are. Engineer how the group is going to reach its goal, and how the goals will be evaluated. Execution of the plan. Examine the process and determine if the goal was achieved and how the process could be improved.
This seems to be a reasonable process, but without the examples of how it is done it is little more than more talk.