9 ways collaborative learning benefits teachers and students

While technologies can feel like a hurdle at times, there is also much that can be gained by leveraging collaborative learning.

Editor’s note: This story of cooperative learning originally appeared on the CoSN blog and is republished here with permission.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for many years, but the introduction of ChatGPT in November 2022 has sparked many discussions about how this technology can impact education – both how students learn and how teachers teach.

While new and emerging technologies can sometimes seem like an obstacle, there is also much to be gained by incorporating them into our curriculum. And these benefits are even greater when educators and students learn together, especially as we move toward new technology enablers such as AI applications and tools.

The impact of technology on teachers

Individuals who struggled with the use of technology argued that incorporating too much technology was one reason for teacher burnout. The use and implementation of technology has been challenging in the classroom, but AI technologies, such as ChatGPT, have made it even more controversial. Fear of technology plays a large role in the hesitancy to adopt technology in the classroom. This can be due to a combination of many reasons: fear of change, lack of training, efficiency of technology, pace of learning and new technology trends, to name a few. To overcome these obstacles, cooperation and communication are key.

How technology affects student learning

Today’s school-aged students are growing up with technology and are often comfortable using it. If we want to create learning environments where students can thrive, we must foster learning environments where students can learn effectively. This does not mean that teachers need to be experts in the use of all technologies, but teachers should be willing to incorporate technology into their daily delivery of the curriculum. Fear of technology affects the teacher’s thinking, perhaps thinking that many students are more knowledgeable about technology. Most of the time this is not true. Students may know how to use some technologies, but not all. If teacher and student cooperate and start learning technology together, it would be beneficial for both teachers and students.

Mutual benefits of learning technology…together

Collaborative learning with students can provide several advantages for teachers and students to support the overall learning process. Some of the advantages can be:

Enhanced learning: Many educational technologies are available including online courses, simulations, virtual reality and gamification. This would not only allow students to improve their learning, but also teachers to incorporate new teaching methods to help students in different learning environments.

Student-centered learning: Incorporating technology allows learning to be more student-centered than teacher-centered. Student-teacher collaboration promotes effective understanding of various concepts.

Effective assessment: Digital tools make it easier for teachers to create and grade assignments, quizzes and exams. It also provides opportunities to increase constructive feedback to students and teachers to modify and adapt different teaching strategies for students.

Accessibility: Using the Internet allows students and teachers to quickly and efficiently access and research information to support self-improvement. Access to academic websites, online libraries and other educational resources puts knowledge at their fingertips.

Flexibility: Learning and teaching with technology provides flexibility because it can take place anywhere. This will promote independent learning among students and curriculum resources can be accessed at any time.

Commitment: Gamification tools will make learning more fun and engaging for students. These tools can enable teachers to create dynamic and engaging lessons to motivate students.

Modern skills: Today’s modern workforce requires digital literacy skills. The use of technology will not only prepare students for this environment, but will enable them to be proficient in the use of various software, analysis tools and digital communication.

Decisions based on data: Educational technology will enable us to collect data and generate individual student reports. Teachers can use this information to provide additional support to students who may be struggling.

Lifelong learning: Students and teachers are encouraged to adopt new technologies together, which promotes the adaptation of new tools and a commitment to continuous improvement. It also allows students to exchange ideas with other individuals around the world to enrich their learning experiences.

Synchronized forward movement

Successful integration of technology into the curriculum is not possible without thorough planning and ongoing support. Technology should not take over every teaching method, but there should be a balance between the use of educational technology and traditional teaching methods to support a variety of educational opportunities for students. Collaborative learning will promote collaboration and communication between teachers and students, which is imperative as we incorporate generative artificial intelligence and new technologies into the classroom.

Connected: Leveraging the K-12 Generative Artificial Intelligence Readiness Checklist: A Guide for District Leadership

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