Digitally-supported collaboration: An exploration of teachers' and students' understandings and practice.
Mangino, L. (2018). Digitally-supported collaboration: An exploration of teachers’ and students’ understandings and practice. (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11722
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11722
Education is evolving over time. The use of digital technology in our schools continues to grow and develop at a rapid pace, supported by the introduction of ultra-fast broadband and the availability of mobile technology. There is change occurring in the teaching and learning environments in our schools, walls are coming down between classrooms and teachers are increasingly being expected to work in co-teaching situations. An expectation is being set that educators need to equip students with the 21st century skills necessary to be successful in today’s world, one of the key skills being the ability to collaborate with others. This study draws together the key ideas introduced above - that is, developing knowledge of collaborative, digitally-supported innovative learning environments (ILEs). A collective case study approach was used to investigate the understandings teachers and students in three primary schools have about collaboration, and how this was reflected in practice. This interpretive study also explored the nature of digitally mediated interactions occurring in these learning environments including teacher-to-teacher, teacher-to-student, and student-to-student, to gain a better understanding of any role digital technology might play in collaborative teaching and learning within these spaces. Data was collected through observations, interviews, and the collecting of artifacts. These data were then analysed thematically. The findings suggest that building trusting relationships is essential to collaboration but can take time to establish. Teachers and students need to have a shared understanding of what collaboration is and their role within this. Clarity of purpose is fundamental to effective digitally-supported collaboration, teachers and students need to know why they are collaborating, how digital technology could support their collaborative needs, and how they can best make use of their physical environment.
The University of Waikato
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