Is collaboration part of your working and learning DNA? Get people working together. See the culture change

Who would have thought this would work…

I’m going to segment Star Wars into 15 sec parts
Ask the world to recreate the scenes with their own creative flair.
Then put it back together as a movie.

That is what Casey Pugh did in 2009 because he wanted to use the internet as a tool for crowdsourcing content. (Watch it here.)

Collaboration is one of the essential skills that young people need to succeed in life.

“Collaboration in business today is more of a survival trait than a buzzword”

There was a tipping point in the mid-2000s when the internet made the leap from ‘push’  to ‘push’ with increasingly more ‘pull’.  In generation one we accessed information that was pushed out by those who had the specific knowledge and technological means to create content.

A shift happened. There weren’t any significant changes in the actual technology, but in how we engaged with it. Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the internet had always intended the web to be:

“a collaborative medium, a place where we [could] all meet and read and write”

The internet now enables us all to contribute in meaningful, helpful, purposeful, fun and frivolous ways.

Wide ranging crowdsourcing and collaboration on a smaller scale, draws on the skills, expertise and knowledge of a range of contributors and can provide richer and more creative solutions to problems, and even highly entertaining outcomes like Star Wars Uncut. Wikipedia, where I found the Tim Berner-Lee quote, is a helpful example of crowdsourcing. Considering that it is a free online resource with information populated by ‘us’, it is considered fairly reliable.

Collaboration matters because the world’s problems are now more complex than they have ever been before.

Why provide opportunities to collaborate?

  • Enable strategic focus on the elements of the creative process
  • Bring fresh eyes
  • Draw upon a broad knowledge base
  • Facilitate a culture that encourages communication sharing and exchanging thoughts and ideas
  • Build connection around a common cause

“The world of the future will not be served by the organisation of the past.”

The soft skills, including collaboration, are essential for future success. Ideally collaboration becomes the culture and a way of working, it isn’t just another outcome of the curriculum.

We can’t expect educators to change the way they teach unless we change the way they learn.

To make this happen we need rethink professional development experiences so that educators embrace new ways – through modelling and providing regular opportunities for ‘doing’.  Make the projects:

Relational – There is connection and respect for one another. Groups that have worked through the processes of forming, storming, norming and performing.

Authentic – There is meaning to the activity. People are passionate about solving real problems.

Future-focused – The purpose and outcomes make a difference. They provide unique opportunities for creativity and innovation.

Personalised – we each bring our unique contribution and there are opportunities for different personalities and learning styles to have expression

Creative – Tap into the unique contribution that each person brings to the process.

Look at the professional learning you, or your staff are experiencing. Are they learning in new ways that will impact their practice and make a difference to their students?


Quote sources:

“Collaboration in business today is more of a survival trait than a buzzword”

“The world of the future will not be served by the organisation of the past.”

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: