Although you may feel alone sometimes, you are not alone in the world. You actually depend upon and interact with many other people. Those people may be your parents. They may be your friends. They may be your teachers. They may even be the bus driver or the store clerk or the police person. They could even be the electrical worker that keeps the electricity working or the phone company worker who keeps your cell phone service connecting. All of these people are actually working in cooperation with each other to make the world a good place to live. Collaboration means working together for a common end. Sometimes we collaborate for strength in numbers. Often groups gather together to discover or undertake a new journey or expedition. We often join together to accomplish something. We can connect with others who share the same interests as we do. Sometimes we connect with others to bring diverse expertise and thinking together to solve complex problems. Other times we might create a trans disciplinary group of people to all contribute their talents and expertise to creating something new. There are many reasons to organize people. When people collaborate they contribute to creating a common idea, language or goal. Collaboration is key to working together!
Activity 1 opening partner collaboration
One of the first ways to collaborate is to find a partner. A partner might be chosen for you or you might choose someone that you would like to work with. You might choose someone who is already a friend or someone you have always wanted to know more. One of the first steps to collaboration is being honest and open to the other person. Being open means that you are respectful, attentive and curious about the other person. You might start by asking questions to find about the other person's background. You might explore the other persons' interests and activities. When two people decide to work together, they cooperate or share responsibilities. They communicate ideas with each other and share information openly. Partners collaborate on projects, in business, as roommates, and in relationships and marriage. Often working with another person is more fun than working alone. Every partnership depends upon the framework the two people. That framework might include a time frame, a definition of the work to be done together, individual contributions, and shared responsibilities. Successful partnerships agree upon who is to do what! Using wordle with a partner, make a word poster about partnership and why it is important.
Expand your collaboration vocabulary!
Activity 2 team collaboration
For the purposes of this journey, a team is made up of at least three, or more, people. Key to teaming is truly empowering every player to contribute their best to the end goal. Whether it is research or a project or activism, more people usually can produce more work and results than individuals working in isolation. People working together can motivate each other and energize the effort. Some of the most successful companies in the world are formed by classmates who are very different from each other and who combine their differences to work together more strongly. For example, an architectural team might include someone who likes to talk with people, someone who is good at math, and someone who is interested in how materials go together. One of the successes in teaming is that you learn from other people’s appreciation and support what you are actually good at doing. Form a team of at least three people. Work together to create a social change agenda in your school. This could be a new club, or it could be a campaign, or something else you imagine would improve your school. Create a storyboard for your club or campaign. Work together on the graphics, storyline and characters in the Graphic Novel. Perhaps they can be you and your team members!
Now you are a team player!
Activity 3 Classroom Collaboration
The larger the group, the more warm up, get involved and sharing strategies you will need. Icebreakers are way to bring a larger group of people together. They can be as quick and as simple as making hats, playing a shape game, story telephoning, picture picking, etc. These short activities get people focused and ‘warmed up’ to participate. They establish a friendly atmosphere in which people are engaged and comfortable and open and from which to begin more serious work. Classroom campaigns often deal with penny drives, food drives, used clothing drives to support communities in need. Collaborate with your classmates on a mission. Get permission form the teacher to launch the mission. Brainstorm what needs to be done and delegate responsibilities to smaller teams and partners. Establish a calendar and make a to do list.
Create your campaign poster!
Activity 4 community collaboration
Communities have wonderful ways of supporting individual members.
Activity 5 global collaboration
- Video A Big Project
- Video Encyclopedia of Life
- Citizen Powered Change
- Collective Action ToolKit
- Playing Out
- 9 Facts Every Creative Needs to Know about Collaborative Teams
- Communication and Collaboration SHMOOP
- Civic Art Works: Get Involved!
- Partners in Place
- Design Ignites Change
- Better Together Frog Collective Action Toolkit
- The Partnering Initiaitive
- The Partnering Toolkits Series
- Video Peter Merry Meshworks
- Strategic Design Scenarios
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