Two, four, six… and sometimes even more; there are a number of collaboration screens we see being placed in classrooms around IU campuses. And classrooms with these screens have become a more common occurrence in recent years. How can these collaboration screens best be utilized?
Often, I think that’s the right question asked from the wrong direction. Rather than thinking about what we can do with them, think about an aspect of your class you want to improve that collaboration screens could possibly enhance.
One way I have seen the collaboration screens enhance a class has been with group work. Many instructors try group work with classes only to find that some students are disengaged in the process because they cannot see the product the team is working on, i.e. only one person controlling the computer and the only screen is facing that one person. By assigning groups to utilize the collaboration screens, every student can see the same product at the same time. This helps members of the group to stay focused on the task as well as enhances group discussion.
In some classrooms we find there are less screens than there are groups of students. Utilizing the collaboration screens for group work can still happen with some advanced planning. Often times there are several parts to the group work; consider if all the parts need to be happen at a collaboration screen. Could some groups start on part of the work, for example at whiteboards or on paper, while other groups start at the collaboration screens? Then half way through the allotted time, or the next class session, switch. Or perhaps all the groups start away from the screens at a planning phase where students are, for example completing calculations. The groups would only then move to the screens to verify or confirm their calculations. This method is best when the group time at the screen can be finished quickly, provided the group has used their planning time well.
Sometimes thinking through these changes can be easier when present in the classroom space. The Mosaic team offers in-classroom consultations to help you with adjustments to your class that utilize the tools and features your classroom offers. You can also find additional resources for your classroom at mosaic.iu.edu/resources and by following us on twitter and instagram.