How Teachers Can Benefit From Virtual Learning Communities

This past spring CTQ hosted a blogging roundtable focused on the value of VLCs. We asked the question: how do (or how might) VLCs impact our profession? You can read the full post, a synthesis of this roundtable (with lots of links to individual blog posts) in this EdWeek column.

Are you a 21st century teacher or a teacher working in the 21st century?

The difference may sound semantic, but I believe the distinction is crucial. In a teaching and learning era where we have more tools to connect us to our students and each other than ever before, are we taking advantage of these opportunities to collaborate? Or are we watching our students collaborate digitally at warp speed and wondering — is it possible (or necessary) to “catch up?”   

Part of the challenge of teaching in the 21st century is that many (most?) of us received 20th century educations. We connected to others through face to face study groups and relied heavily on in-class discussions. We worked largely in isolation outside of school, or in face-to-face collaboration during the school day. Only in the last decade or two, have we increasingly relied on virtual collaboration as a way to connect, collaborate, and improve our individual and collective practice.

This is why virtual learning communities (or VLCs) matter. Our students already know and understand that connection and collaboration can take many different forms. Are we learning from and practicing the lessons they are teaching us?

This past spring CTQ hosted a blogging roundtable focused on the value of VLCs. We asked the question: how do (or how might) VLCs impact our profession? You can read the full post, a synthesis of this roundtable (with lots of links to individual blog posts) in this EdWeek column.

We hope you will share your own VLC stories with us here in the Collaboratory. Happy connecting!

 

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