Updated: Jun 22, 2021
Online collaboration may be necessary for planning and evaluating instruction, school practices, and teamwork through Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), grade-level teams, and other groups of educators who meet on a regular basis.
Here are 5 strategies to help you to be effective, efficient, productive, and have fun!
1) Create an agenda before your meeting and share it with the team
This will keep you on track, on time, and on target.
Begin with CELEBRATIONS (personal, professional)
Set a realistic time frame for completing discussions
Start with priority items
Stay on task
Clarify follow up items (who will do what and when)
Plan the agenda for the next meeting
Process the meeting: what worked and what can we improve?
2) Establish roles and rotate among team members
Establishing roles and rotating responsibilities helps set clear expectations for the meeting and ensure the weight doesn’t fall to only one or two people. Here are some examples of roles for online meetings.
Facilitator: Who ensures the meeting starts/ends on time and keeps the conversation flowing?
Recorder: Who will take notes or record the meeting on the meeting software?
Timekeeper: Who will make sure we keep to the designated time for each agenda item?
Technology Support: Who will help when someone’s sound or video doesn’t work?
3) Streamline your process
The more you streamline the meeting process the more likely they will be productive. Try these suggestions for practicing a good meeting flow.
Send out the agenda before the meeting
Check technology before the meeting starts
Set norms for how you will meet
Check for team consensus before making decisions
Encourage members who are not participating to contribute
Stay positive and solution-oriented
Make your next agenda at the end of the meeting
Send out meeting notes with the link for the next meeting ASAP
4) Make use of MCIE’s collaboration tools
MCIE’s Collaborative Teams Guide will provide your team with an overview of best practices for team operations
This Collaborative Teams Checklist can be used to identify your team’s strengths and areas for improvement
Once your team is established, you can use these meeting note templates to record your discussion and decisions
As your team goes forward, it is a good idea to use a Collaborative Meeting Checklist once or twice a year to see if you’ve still got all of the important pieces in place
5) Try some alternatives to video conferencing
There are free versions for these tools for team use in addition to Zoom, Google or Teams platform.
Use Padlet for sharing files online, keeping meeting notes, lesson plans, and other documents
Use Planbook for lessons, schedules, and sharing with your team
Trello can help you to manage projects and assignments
You can use Edmodo with your class as well as with your collaborating team members
Use Flock for instant communication and collaboration
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
This post was originally written by MCIE Staff.