Discovery Education will host another annual virtual conference for educators later this month, featuring live presentations from various educators and administrators around the country. Fall VirtCon, as it's known to distinguish it from a spring counterpart, will take place on Oct. 24.
A new resource aims to share tips on how to establish a collaborative environment in classrooms, and it also provides relevant and engaging lessons, organized by subject matter and grade level.
Available for download at http://news.mimio.com/collaborate-to-the-core-2015-pr
at no charge, the 36-page guide includes “7 Tips to Your Collaborative Classroom Makeover,” which discusses how teachers can arrange their classroom to promote more collaborative learning.
There are lessons in math, language arts, science, and social studies for three grade ranges encompassing the K-12 spectrum. All lessons meet the Common Core State Standards, include tips, and can be used with or without educational technology.
“Research shows that collaborative learning develops higher-level thinking and that students who work together understand and retain information better than students who work on their own,” said Stevan Vigneaux, director of product management at Mimio. “Equally important is the development of social and interpersonal skills that blossom with cooperative learning. The lessons in our new guide bring a new dimension to learning that encourages discussion, cooperation, open-mindedness, a variety of viewpoints, higher-order thinking skills, and debate – all elements that help students learn how to collaborate with others and thus become better educated individuals, ready for the work world.”
One example of the collaborative lessons within the guide is a social studies lesson for grades three to five, called “Who Can Vote?” In the lesson, the teacher uses an interactive whiteboard or printed handouts to display a scrambled list of characteristics that describe voters and non-voters within the United States (the guide provides sample content). Students are divided into groups, each of which will use a mobile device with the MimioMobile app or a copy of the handout. Each group sorts the characteristics into voters and non-voters. They can use the app along with the MimioStudio Collaborate feature to let the whole class view their results, or one student from each group can present their findings.