index.jpg virtual-workplace-1_std.original.jpg Collaboration.jpg

If you'd like to follow along with our PowerPoint presentation, you can open it here:

New Literacies and Online Collaborative Inquiry

"We are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist, using technologies that haven't been invented yet, in order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet." ~ Karl Fisch, Educator

While we may not be able to envision all of the potential jobs and careers that our students will pursue, we can assume that successfully navigating their future workplaces will require a significant degree of collaboration. As new technologies continue to emerge, an increasing amount of that collaboration will take place in online or virtual environments. It is therefore our job as educators to ensure that students leave our classrooms with the knowledge, skills, and confidence necessary to work together using online resources to engage effectively in the inquiry process - seeking out, analyzing, and sharing information for the purpose of accomplishing a specified task or solving a problem.

The task of teaching a new generation of learners to participate appropriately and meaningfully in online collaborative inquiry tasks begins with teaching them to understand and embody what it means to be a good digital citizen. This requires getting students to recognize and think critically about the concept of Web Identity - the online presence and the digital footprint we each create in cyberspace. In effect, critically considering our web identity is, on the one hand, a strategy for managing how others perceive us, but more importantly, it is a means of advancing and promoting our professional goals as teacher leaders striving to prepare students for the classroom and the workplace of the future.

In this session, we will begin by considering what our students' future working environments might look like and the skills needed to succeed in those workplaces. We will then discuss the importance of having a critical perspective on Web Identity and good digital citizenship. Finally, we will look at several options and tools for using online collaborative inquiry in the classroom in order to help students interact online in purposeful and professional ways.

The Workplace of the Future

“We don’t care where and how you get your work done. We care that you get your work done.” ~ Dan Pelino, IBM Health Care / Life Sciences

  • Discussion: What will it mean to be "on the job?"

  • Report out your table's ideas on chart paper.

Digital Citizenship and Web Identity

Digital Citizenship: Using Technology Appropriately


Could this ever happen to you?

What is your digital footprint?

Search for your digital footprint.

Did you learn anything about yourself?
How might others perceive your online presence and digital footprint? How do you feel about those perceptions?

Article: Positive Digital Footprints by William Ferriter

How can you begin to build your footprint?

Online Collaborative Inquiry in the Borderless 24/7 Classroom

A New Generation of Learners

What is collaboration? What does it look like?
  • Post your answer on Wallwisher (limit of 160 characters, so be concise!). Click on the link for your day's session below.
  • If you refresh the page, you will be able to see others' posts.

What is Online Collaborative Inquiry?
  • Work with your tablemates to create a definition using online resources (dictionaries, Google search, etc.).
  • Click on the link for your day's session below to post your group's definition to our Wiki discussion page.

The Classroom of the Future (i.e., September 2011)

Article: The Way of the Wiki: Building Online Creativity and Cooperation by Grace Rubenstein

Activity: Online Collaborative Inquiry using Wikis
  1. Review the Criteria for Successful Online Collaborative Inquiry to see the guidelines for participation in this discussion.
  2. Using information from the Goomoodleikiog video and the Rubenstein article, respond to the Classroom of the Futurediscussion prompt on our Wiki discussion page. Your response should be in paragraph form and follow the criteria outlined above. Click the link for your day's session below.
  3. Respond to two of your fellow participants' posts. Your responses should be in paragraph form and follow the criteria outlined above.

Activity: Online Collaborative Inquiry and the New MA Curriculum Framework for ELA & Literacy
  1. Your table group will be assigned a strand of the College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards. Copies of the anchor standards are available in PDF and Microsoft Word formats below.
  2. Read over your group's standards with your tablemates.
  3. Drawing on your own teaching experience and using what you have learned from the resources and activities in this session, work together to answer the following question: How can teachers use tools and resources for online collaborative inquiry to address specific anchor standards?
  4. Click on the link for your day's session below to post your group's answer to a Google doc. Your group's answer can be in any form (e.g., paragraph, table, bullets, etc.) as long as it includes specific anchor standards and specific tools and resources that could be used to address them.

MA Curriculum Framework for ELA & Literacy College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards
PDF version
Microsoft Word version

Check out your work!

Click on the link for your day's session below to see all of your work.

December 14 Follow-up Session

Examples of Online Collaborative Inquiry Projects

Additional Reading & Resources

The Impact of Digital Footprints:

Social-networking sites viewed by admissions officers

Twitter gets you fired in 140 characters or less

How to Lose Your Job on Your Own Time

Google+ causes us to question who owns our digital identity

Online Collaborative Inquiry in the Classroom:

Examples of uses of wikis in K-12 classrooms

3 Challenges to Wiki Use in Instruction

Goomoodleikiog 4 Students (video)

Example Rubric for Online Discussion

Organizations for Connecting Classrooms:


Global School Net

Required Reading:

Lee, J. K., & Young, C. A. (2010). Building wikis and blogs: Pre-service teacher experiences with web-based collaborative technologies in an interdisciplinary methods course. THEN: The Journal About Technology, Humanities, Education and Narrative. Retrieved from: .

Zawilinski, L. (2010). HOT Blogging: A Framework for Blogging to Promote Higher Order Thinking. To appear in: Reading Teacher..
Download for personal use only.

Evertt-Cacopardo, H. (under review) Classrooms Without Borders: How Online Collaboration Can Connect Adolescents to Literacy and Learning Around the World.