A couple of days ago on Weblogg-ed
, Will Richardson posted regarding an interview with researcher Tom Austin that appeared in Fast Company
. The topic was the collaborative abilities of teenagers. Richardson highlighted one quotation:
"Look at teenagers today. They're teamagers. They work on projects as a group and think nothing of
doing it that way. I expect to see that kind of thing percolate through the enterprise as an unstoppable
force over the next two decades."
In one of those strokes of fortuitous timing, I just had been reviewing feedback from students who had completed an extensive project on a wiki in their AP Biology class. Their comments revealed that their main difficulty in working on the wiki had to do with collaborating properly and effectively—issues I’ve always seen in group work, no matter what the mechanism. I believe Garner is somewhat idealizing how teens work collaboratively. (And perhaps people in general, but that’s another discussion.)
At the same time, no doubt teaching kids to play together in the sandbox should be a basic lesson learned at all levels. In this world of wikinomics, marked by a spiral of collaborative innovation, the lesson is even more crucial.
So how do you do it really effectively? I’m looking for thoughts and concrete plans.