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This originally appeared in the Spring issue of SouthEast Education Network (SEEN) Magazine.

Ask management level professionals what is the most difficult part of their job and many will respond, “finding good help.” Arguably, the biggest complaint GenExers have about “workforce rookie” Millennials seems to be their lack of preparedness when entering the “real world” after school. There has been a lot of discussion about using collaborative learning in both K-12 and higher education classrooms to help close the skills-gap. At the forefront of these discussions has been the variety of instructional technologies designed to enhance collaborative classrooms and the modification of lecture-centered pedagogy. There are many technologies and resources available to teachers that support an active learning curriculum. While technology in itself is not collaborative, i.e. collaboration systems are only collaborative if students and instructors utilize them to that end, it can help facilitate and provide a conduit for collaborative, active and group learning.

Collaborative or active learning is a methodology that transforms that traditional lecture or teacher focused classroom into a student or learning centered room. Students work together to help each other understand content, solve problems or create projects and products with the instructor working as a moderator or facilitator. Collaborative spaces in education trickled down from corporate “flex/open workspaces.” They were designed based on the understanding that interactivity and collaboration in small groups produces stronger solutions that would have not been reached individually and encourages sharing of research for enhanced learning. Further, it encourages trust building, communication, practical learning/application, and acceptance and enhances problem-solving skills.

Creating a Foundation for the Prepared Future Worker….read more here

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