Last week we examined the platforms one should consider in learning. This week we take a look at collaboration tools that will allow you to engage with colleagues, instructors, or tutors to help you improve your language skills.
Unlike individual learning, collaborative learning capitalizes on the skills, experience, and resources of each participant. Each person becomes accountable to the group for the attainment of a particular goal.
The advantages to using this method of learning can be summed up in the following:
- Collaborative learning can unite students in the group committed to each other’s success.
- In certain cultures, where it is impolite to question authority, collaborative learning can offer the advantage of open discussion and discovery from one’s peers resulting in improved end results.
- There is more flexibility in learning techniques as agreed upon by group consensus.
Learning anything new can result in frustration and even failure unless you get to put the new learning into practice immediately. This is where collaboration can be a boon. By pooling your resources with other individuals you can speed up the process of learning and application.
For that, there are a number of resources available. I mentioned Skype and Google Hangout in Part I of this series. Both tools are used by Adapt2me. With these tools, it is not only possible to do one-on-one meetings, but also group meetings.
These applications address geographical challenges, time differentials, and even language barriers. In the latter case, enunciation and pronunciation can be dealt with easily by writing the mispronounced word or name and using the dictionary link, thus facilitating and expediting the learning process to a second language.
LiveBinder can be used to track and share lessons. Being able to organise resources in a digital binder will help track progression and achievement of targeted goals.
Voicethread is used to collaborate and employs several tools – text, drawings, multi-media, videos – to convey or enhance your communication.
Or create a Google site to track progress, store and share information with a closed community. Thus a community of like minded individuals can not only learn from each other but help each other to improve.
Facebook is also a great way to connect to others with the same interests. If you are interested in learning about a particular topic, chances are there is a group already created in Facebook where you can view, discuss, learn, and share more information about that topic.
Adapt2me has their custom application to connect you to tutors who can help you acquire the skill of a second language. There are mobile applications to connect, practice, track, test your progress, and discuss your achievements on Discussion Boards. It is self-paced, allowing you to advance at your own speed.
Whatever platform you choose to help you learn, the goal should always be about the end result. Choosing the right tool to get you to your learning goal is equally as important and should not be taken lightly.