Teamwork is a life-long skill, something that we all need as adults each day of our lives and a skill that really needs a lot of patience, good will, give and take and lots of humour too! The book, The Innovators, by Walter Isaacson, has its first chapter on teamwork – how innovations cannot take place without teamwork. In schools, we say that one of the skills needed by students is teamwork.

Students cannot pick up teamwork overnight. School is so different from home. Whether an only child or not, children have a really difficult time sharing their possessions and learning the give and take, no matter what it is. In a 1:1 iPad situation, we as educators, need to consciously bring in activities where cooperation and teamwork can be developed. Also, this is a tone that needs to be set early on in the school year, when teachers do many community building activities with the students.

This fifth grade teacher worked on a specific team building lesson. She brainstormed with her students what team building means.

Teacher pointing to her Teambuilding chart

Teacher pointing to her Teambuilding chart

She even added a heart and a hi-five!

The students then worked on their activity.

This activity was one involving these plastic cups and a bottle. You could pick any activity.

9-4-15 - 1

9-4-15 - 2                      9-4-15 - 3

9-4-15 - 4         Once the activity was completed, the students responded to a discussion on Schoology. This was done on the iPads. Not only did every student get a role to play, each student got a voice through the Schoology discussion, as well as digital etiquette in practice during the usage.

I also want to add that various teachers teach teamwork in different ways. This was an example from today.

Also, to remind everyone, given that these students are in their second year of 1:1 iPad implementation, they were able to get onto Schoology and respond appropriately to their assignments and discussions from almost the first week of school. They are also way more aware of poor choices they made the previous year with respect to digital etiquette. They have learned through their mistakes and wouldn’t we much rather they fail a few times in elementary school and learn through those failures than move seamlessly?


2 thoughts on “Teamwork

  1. Hi Smita,

    Congrats on your site and documenting your 1:1 experience. I am working as a technology integration teacher advisor working with three elementary schools that are 1:1 with IPads. I was teaching 5th grade last year in one of these schools. Learning team work is key in any collaboration. We did teamwork activities with our Robotics Club. I really liked the way you blurred the faces in the pictures. What program or app did you use? Tell me more about Schoology. I think our school district is subscribing but, we don’t have access to it yet.


    • Smita Kolhatkar says:

      Thank you for reading through and responding, Joe. Congratulations on implementing 1:1 in three elementary schools.
      All I do is import the photos into iPhoto on my Mac, use the retouch feature in edit photo and blur them out.
      Schoology is our district-supported K-12 LMS. It is both web based and an app. We have the enterprise version. So IT does automate many processes regarding setup. Happy to talk/demo/show more/put you in touch with the Schoology personnel. Where are you based?


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