Teaching Communication and Collaboration in Student Centered Environments

1.Revist the definitions of  the 4 Cs highlighting Communication and Collaboration  portion of the Introduction the Four Cs video

2. Video Principals, teachers in CCS who implement effective student Collaboration

What are learning skills?

The 21st century learning skills are often called the 4 C’s: critical thinking, creative thinking, communicating, and collaborating. These skills help students learn, and so they are vital to success in school and beyond.


             Collaborating in Student Centered Environments

Collaborating is working together with others to achieve a common goal. In this age of social media and crowd sourcing, collaboration is more important than ever. Here are some of the basic abilities needed to collaborate.

  • Allocating resources and responsibilities ensures that all members of a team can work optimally.
  • Brainstorming ideas in a group involves rapidly suggesting and writing down ideas without pausing to critique them.
  • Decision-making requires sorting through the many options provided to the group and arriving at a single option to move forward.
  • Delegating means assigning duties to members of the group and expecting them to fulfill their parts of the task.
  • Evaluating the products, processes, and members of the group provides a clear sense of what is working well and what improvements could be made.
  • Goal setting requires the group to analyze the situation, decide what outcome is desired, and clearly state an achievable objective.
  • Leading a group means creating an environment in which all members can contribute according to their abilities.
  • Managing time involves matching up a list of tasks to a schedule and tracking the progress toward goals.
  • Resolving conflicts occurs from using one of the following strategies: asserting, cooperating, compromising, competing, or deferring.
  • Team building means cooperatively working over time to achieve a common goal.

Inquire teaches how to work with others, from collaborating online to solving problems.

                                                           Reflective Question

What would teaching these skills look and sound like in the student centered ditgal age classroom?


Communicating is the process of transferring a thought from one mind to others and, in return, receiving thoughts back. Communicating allows minds to tune to each other, thinking together. Here are some of the basic abilities required for communicating:

  • Analyzing the situation means thinking about the subject, purpose, sender, receiver, medium, and context of a message.
  • Choosing a medium involves deciding the most appropriate way to deliver a message, ranging from a face-to-face chat to a 400-page report.
  • Evaluating messages means deciding whether they are correct, complete, reliable, authoritative, and up-to-date.
  • Following conventions means communicating using the expected norms for the medium chosen.
  • Listening actively requires carefully paying attention, taking notes, asking questions, and otherwise engaging in the ideas being communicated.
  • Reading is decoding written words and images in order to understand what their originator is trying to communicate.
  • Speaking involves using spoken words, tone of voice, body language, gestures, facial expressions, and visual aids in order to convey ideas.
  • Turn taking means effectively switching from receiving ideas to providing ideas, back and forth between those in the communication situation.
  • Using technology requires understanding the abilities and limitations of any technological communication, from phone calls to e-mails to instant messages.
  • Writing involves encoding messages into words, sentences, and paragraphs for the purpose of communicating to a person who is removed by distance, time, or both.

                                                        Reflective Question

How has the ditgal age impacted communication in the student centered classroom?

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