Toolkits for collaboration
As a school leader you will be responsible for the learning of your staff within your professional learning community. This site is structured around collaborative facilitation tools that you can use with staff (and students).
This page presents a short introduction to some of the many facilitation tools that are available on the world wide web.
This is an excellent and exhaustive collection of protocols and activities to use to facilitate collaborative learning both in the staffroom and classroom. There is so much here you will need to spend a little time sorting out what you wish to use. However, this resource is rich and well worth the effort spent getting to know it.
The National School Reform Faculty (NSRF) Protocols and Activities from A-Z can be found by clicking HERE.
The School Reform Initiative
- Investigating Teaching, Learning and Assessment
- Examining Data
- Exploring Professional Dilemmas
- Focusing On Students
- Learning From Texts
- Emphasizing Equity & Excellence
- Extending Practice
- Observing One Another
Mind Tools is a site that contains think pieces on more than 1,000 skills, techniques and tools that you can use as facilitators of adult learning. They are organized according to the following headings:
- Leadership skills
- Team management
- Strategy tools
- Problem solving
- Decision making
- Project management
- Time management
- Stress management
- Communication skills
- Creativity tools
- Learning skills
- Career skills
Knowledge Sharing describes itself as "a living knowledge repository about knowledge sharing" because it is an online sharing tool which participants can add tools to.
The toolkit has three main pieces. Two "libraries" one for methods and one for tools that can be used for knowledge sharing, and a set of perspectives and guidance that can help you choose tools and methods for your needs and contexts.
Methods are processes to be used with groups and individuals. Often these are facilitated processes.They include: action learning sets, after action review, appreciative inquiry, communities of practice, critical incident review, DeBonos six thinking hats, dot voting, five Whys, ice breakers, jigsaw, knowledge expeditions, market place, peer coaching, round robin, study visits, world café.
Tools are websites or software that can be used to support personal and group knowledge sharing. Often tools are used with methods. They include: blogs, collaborative workspaces, discussion forums, intranets, online collaboration platforms, photo sharing, podcasting, webcasts, wikis.
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
The OHCHR Share, Learn, Innovate toolkit has a combination of tools and on line technologies. It provides instructional sheets on 21 knowledge sharing methods and 11 technologies. Each instructional sheet contains links to external resources than can be accessed to learn more about each tool.
Methods include: self-assessment, after action review, appreciative inquiry, communities of practice, envisioning the future, fish bowl, knowledge café, sociometrics, and swot analysis.
Technologies include: blogs, discussion forums, mind mapping, online surveys, and podcasting, screen casting, wikis.
Business Balls provides a bank of tools and materials on:
- Business management
- Human resources
- Leadership & Management
- Personal Development
National College for School Leadership (NCSL)
NCSL is now an agency of the UK government. This toolkit provides a good understanding of how to plan for adult learning as well as 25 tools to facilitate that learning. The tools include: appreciative inquiry, brainstorming, categorizing, critical incident review, diamond nine, force-field analysis, prioritization matrix, think-feel-say-do, think pieces and world café.
Tools hero contains management theories in the form of think pieces. Their site contains think pieces on:
- Problem solving
- Project management
- Quality management
The University of British Columbia
The University of British Colombia has collated a rich range of techniques which they describe as being useful during the phases of the strategic design process. However, their application could be much wider in the hands of school administrators and teachers.
Game Storming is a toolbox used by innovative companies (e.g. in Silicon Valley). These tools help develop collaboration. There are games for: