In my school we are doing a project with iEARN called Learning Circles. It is an awesome, time tested, way of helping several schools connect and focus on one shared project. I am supporting a teacher at my school who is taking part and so I am sort of in the middle of plans. Each week or two there is a task that we are supposed to each complete. For example, this week we have a class survey that we need to fill out and send to the Circle (there is one central email address that we all connect to). It is SO hard in my school to find time to fill out the survey or read what other classes are sending! There is just no time. There is no blame here, but I had this Aha moment today. The classes that are really participating on time are flexible. They fit in things like filling out the survey, reading about each other, mapping each other's locations in between math, reading, science, etc... They put as high a value on this type of collaboration and communication as they do on academic subjects.
Our district says that collaboration is a high priority and at the district level there is lots of talk about the importance of global connections. I wonder if anyone else has had the Aha moment about flexibility.