Heads together: collaborative brainstorming between students and children

When it comes to achieving big ideas, two heads are better than one. Why stop at two, what about five, ten, or even a hundred? Newly Qualified Teacher Alex Gingell has aimed for a big idea with his primary class; raising the funds for an entire class set of iPads. It is going to take a lot of ideas to find the perfect one, so his class enlisted over 100 trainee teachers to help them brainstorm.
This morning Alex’s class Skyped in to a lecture theatre full of third year BEd students at Plymouth University. They presented their idea to the soon to be Primary school teachers, telling them about their experiences using iPads for learning and their aim to raise the money for enough to enable them to achieve one to one mobile learning. The students were then invited them to join them in a collaborative brainstorming session. The children took to their laptops and fired up Lino.it, a web based tool which allows large numbers of people to share ideas on ‘Post It’-like sticky notes.
As the children added their ideas, students logged in with their laptops and began contributing, with those without laptops texting their answers using their mobiles to a twitter like rolling display using textwall.
Hundreds of ideas were collected, from sponsored events to viral videos, with many of these ideas started by the children and developed by the students and visa versa. It was interesting how many of these ideas involved sponsorship or charity, and had we had more time I would have challenged the assumption that we should be concentrating on expecting people to give this money. I wonder whether to generate that kind of money we need think bigger and look at creating something of real value- think less charity and more business…
Hopefully these ideas will get the children off to a great start with their money making, but there was of course an ulterior motive running parallel; getting trainee teachers involved in a technology enabled collaboration session across the country.
Rather than hearing a lecture about the impact of collaborative communication backed up with statistics and references, our students got to experience such a thing; backed up by the excitement and smiles of the children they were working with. Real, ambitious projects, and real, ambitious pedagogy; if we want them to bring these things to children we have to involve students in them now…
The ideas generated (Click here for the full wall):
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