Co-learning…hard work!


Co-learners: the Timechecker, the Taskmaster, the Writer, the Reporter.

Collaboration, co-operation and co-learning are crossing my digital-tracks a lot at the moment, in both my interaction with Howard Rheingold and with my participation in European Schoolnet’s, Future Classroom Scenarios (Module Three).

Rheingold is promoting his upcoming course “Toward a Literacy of Cooperation: Introduction to Cooperation Theory” (here), while the Future Classroom Scenarios module was examining an Innovation Maturity Model (here) where Level Five (the highest) describes the student as “a co-designer of the learning journey.”

The latter is quite a challenge – the Future Classroom Scenario requires a high level of technological agility that plays away in the background with a motivated and willing learner in the foreground.

Rheingold spells out what he expects from a co-learner “I’ve created the structure within which we will co-learn — but making sense of it is up to all of us. So don’t expect to passively enjoy lectures and read texts. Students and instructor will collaborate through video and chat, asynchronous forums, personal learning blogs, wikis for self-organizing assignments, and mindmaps for trying to get an overview. 

Sometimes there is a view that technology in the educational process will make things easier – that may be true with some aspects of research.

The reality is however, that critical-thinking and creativity in a milieu of collaboration and co-learning requires dedication, time and a willingness to share and perhaps more importantly to understand the importance of the sharing, in the co-design of learning.

Image: Screengrab from The Interactive Classroom 2 Italy on Vimeo here.


  1. Donal O' Mahony

    Thank you Miriam. I agree with you about changing pupils mindsets – we need practices and policies in schools that challenge the students, preferably in collaborative groups with the “device” as a resource rather than an end in itself…

  2. Miriam

    I agree, we need to collaborate and co learn to survive teaching nowadays and meet both students and our needs. To avoid duplication of work and making the same mistakes. We have to change students mindset that computers = games to computers can be used to enhance learning. Thanks for your help so far..