Using technology to unlock the potential of collaboration
Collaboration is essential for schools to be successful. It leverages individuals’ ideas, skills, experiences, and opinions. Technology can unlock the potential of collaboration to build capacity within teams and help individuals connect to the bigger picture, say Kustave Heino, Elementary Deputy Principal at Stamford American International School, Singapore and Phuong Pham, Director of Admissions at International School Saigon Pearl in Vietnam.
As two people who had never met, living in different countries and time zones, we were able to use a variety of tools to successfully plan and create a joint presentation for CogCog 2021, a professional learning event for colleagues in Asia. From introductions and decision making to feedback and questions, we were able to work together despite the distance involved.
The ability to connect remotely has been a growing trend in recent years, but the Covid-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst for people globally to increasingly rely on these technologies.
The pandemic has had a huge effect on the work environment worldwide and schools have been no exception. With minimal face-to-face interactions came the need to adapt to new ways of working and to employ a wide range of digital platforms and channels. So how do we use technology to unlock the potential of collaboration in our schools?
We are all using technology on a daily basis, but are we using it effectively? Here we would like to explore a couple of questions that could be considered when creating a collaborative group and choosing a tool – or tools – to help facilitate collaboration:
What do we need the technology to do?
Being clear on what you need tools will help you make better decisions around the use of different technologies.
Focus on your goal first, not the technology. Consider the timeline and how individuals will access the technology.
Are we letting technology work for us?
Are the tools we’re using assisting us to do some of the heavy lifting and helping us to work more efficiently?
Collaboration relies on connecting the right people with a focus on particular content. Communication technologies have helped us survive in challenging times. However, the value of these technologies isn’t limited to remote collaboration. They can add value by helping to facilitate communication and maximise work flows.
To help us unlock this potential we need to first reflect on how we work as teams. Establishing team agreements adds clarity and establishes a shared understanding on how teams communicate. Once you know your people and have agreed upon ways of working, clarify your goals so that you know which tools you will need. Get to know those tools and understand how they add value and their limitations.
Be intentional and reflect on how you can leverage that technology.