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Synchronous collaborative learning via shared screens and conferencing

Description: Sharing a screen and mouse control, allows children in isolation to actively collaborate and co-construct products online, as e.g. Timbuktu, apple remote desktop, adobe connect... (see Any conference system that allows screen sharing and remote controlling would work similarly.
Notes: These examples of (general) software are just tools for reaching the aim of supporting education of children in isolation; they have to be used in combination with other (consumer) software and with specific lesson plans that organise the communication and collaboration e.g. for language learning a word processor that permit to create a story; an ebook reader to jointly read, annotate the content and even “act” the story (“play” roles while reading aloud); music learning with a music composing programme; mathematics learning with a shared whiteboard or shared exercise book, etc. Still other tools used within such system include puzzle games, movie maker software, hypermedia story creation, power point presentation, etc.... Synchronous communication creates immediate interactive settings with a high level of positive reciprocal interaction. The suggested tools allow almost any collaborative learning technique, but show the typical problems associated with synchronous communication with children with medical needs (e.g. privacy and intimacy issues while showing themselves online; time planning as all involved children must be online at the same time; etc). Some remarks: the use of the video camera showing the participants’ images is not really needed for most of these activities; on the contrary, it can even be distracting, as the focus of attention should remain on the shared computer screen. The use of a high-speed internet connection and of headphones with microphone is highly recommended. Ambient microphones are discouraged especially in hospital settings were they could pick up other conversations. Additional training of teachers and students will be needed on the use of the software.
Key Educational Factors:
  • creating relationship
  • constructing knowledge
  • taking up new roles
  • metacognition
  • respecting individividualities
  • software
Educational Settings:
  • hospital school
  • home education
  • mainstream school
Target group:
  • teacher/assistant
  • learner elem. sch.
  • learner sec. sch.
Located in: Tools