Managing Group Work with Supporting Technology

 

Managing Group Work with Supporting Technology 



 

Introduction to Group Work

 

 

Group work is a key component of public education. It builds social skills and teaches students to work in a community to ultimately achieve greater goals. Still, there can be strong resistance from students to work in groups and the effectiveness of assessment and equal work distribution can be a challenge.

As we move into the twenty first century of education, group work’s importance has not changed. It is still incredibly important, but now there are new ways to implement group work in and outside of the classroom. Technology in many forms can allow educators to connect students in a wider spectrum and complete projects and other learning in a larger way.

The following information is meant to demonstrate the best way to manage both group work and technology in the classroom. Information includes managing stress a student might face through group work, selecting the dynamics of different groups, and finally how to support these groups with projects online. With the guidelines, etiquette, and examples provided, teachers will be able to utilize the tools of technology to their maximum potential.

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Technology Within the Core Curriculum

Listed at the link above are the different Core Content Standards for Ohio. This entire informative site will demonstrate uses of technology in the classroom and how each of these specific standards can be met according to Ohio’s requirements.

 

 Stress Management in Groups

Listed at the link above is research based around stress that occurs in groups, and how to manage it using technology.

 

 Structure of Classroom Groups

At the link above, research around dynamics of group forming, which cannot be forgotten even when technology is involved, is included.

 

Supporting Technology-Based Group Projects

The above link includes guidelines to keep in mind when using technology to faciliate group work.

 

How to Get the Technology Needed for Classroom Groups

Now that the ins and outs of technology-supported group work have been discussed, the following link has information regarding grants and foundations that provide educators with access and funds to receive the kinds of technology that faciliate learning and technology management.

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 Conclusion:  Now What?

 

 There are still many different ways to use technology in a group work setting, but this was at least an introduction to the concept and ways to go about getting the technology to support the ideas.  Use of technology and communicating online in a professional manner continue to be important aspects of the business world and collaboration at this level is a good step for preparation.  Below are some examples of a project teachers can use as well as etiquette and guidelines for students operating in an online capacity.  

Online Project Example:  WebQuest

A WebQuest is a project that can fall under many different varities.  The main area of focus for such a project requires students to give real world applications and data to their thesis or purpose.  This data is collected using resources from the web.  WebQuests follow the constructivist model of learning and teach through hands-on experiences.  Group work can be assigned in such a project because all members can take on different roles in the project.

Further information on WebQuests can be found at the following informative website:

http://webquest.org/  

 The following link leads to an example of a in practice WebQuest on the English class topic of Orwell's Animal Farm:

sites.google.com/a/miamioh.edu/animal-farm-webquest/

  

When working online, students of all ages need reminding about appropriate conduct.  The following links talk about cyberbullying, which can be a downfall of using technology in group work, and online etiquette.

Cyberbullying Awareness

 

Online Etiquette