Why Can’t Kids Get Collaborative Writing?

“Collaborative production is a more involved form of cooperation, as it increases the tension between individual and group goals. The litmus test for collaborative production is simple: no one person can take credit for what gets created, and the project could not come into being without the participation of many.”

Clay Shirky  Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations

Drawn by Beatrice in Korea about what FCP means to her.
  • They aren't getting it if they sign their name. 
  • They aren't getting it if they write in something else and paste the “finished” product onto the wiki. 

Wikipedia is an example. That is what we're trying to get them ready for! We work together. Mapping the human genome was collaborative.

Why do they have to sign their name? Why do they think that it won't be fair? Don't they realize we can see their contributions in a granular way? Collaborative is a new thing and we've got to do better than this.

But we're teaching it because they don't know how. This is hard teaching but when it is taught it is understood for a lifetime.

I'm seeing kids signing their names already on our Flat Classroom project — the userid renders this unneeded.

Some have copied from Diigo onto the page. Again, not the point.

Collaborative writing is such a struggle to teach because perhaps it goes against the grain of everything we're trying to do.

Thus the topic of my second book to be published next year. If collaborative writing is your thing, maybe you should submit a case study.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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