The vast and fast-growing world of Education Technology, or EdTech, is one with many players and components. Technology companies, service providers, educators, and learners all provide and participate in EdTech solutions, and the collaborative approach in teaching as a whole. This unison in efforts and services is what provides a solid end product that ends up benefiting everyone involved.
But the beauty and benefit of EdTech go beyond the advanced technology, accessibility, or even modernistic approach to learning. The perk of EdTech learning is that it provides complimentary, or even extra, methods of learning to students and teachers alike. There is no doubt that the learning methods through EdTech provide a social approach that equals that of traditional education methods, and at times elevates it to a whole new level.
The most prominent practices would be collaborative learning and cooperative learning. Not to be confused with each other, collaborative and cooperative learning are two forms of peer-to-peer learning where students and peers meet to study together to enhance the knowledge of one another. This method of learning has become one of the more popular EdTech solutions, and the rise of the Peer Square platform proves they are two of the e-learning best practices. But what differentiates collaborative learning from cooperative learning? And what form of peer-to-peer learning services does Peer Square provide?
What Is Cooperative Learning?
Cooperative learning is when students are either working or studying together, often in small groups, on an assigned activity or task. Each member of the group is often individually accountable for the work that they contribute. However, the final product or work of the group as a whole is also assessed.
Cooperative learning relies on interdependence within the team. The reliance of the group members on each other is what helps pave the way towards success in the assigned work task. This cooperative approach differs from the collaborative approach in teaching where students are all required to each contribute their input towards the assigned task. Studying together and working with each other is the purpose of cooperative peer-to-peer learning.
That is why with cooperative learning comes a sense of accountability. Furthermore, teachers often preside over the task, monitor the students as they are studying together, and at times intervene to provide their input when needed.
Since the pandemic and the rise of EdTech solutions, teachers have relied on e-learning best practices, to incorporate cooperative learning into their classrooms. Teachers also rely on different student pairings to test out learning methods and analyze the results.
What is Collaborative Learning?
“Collaborative learning” is an umbrella term that brings underneath it several educational methods that involve peer-to-peer learning and intellectual efforts, whether by students or students and teachers together.
Oftentimes, in collaborative learning, students are studying together in groups of two or more, working to find mutual understanding, solutions, or definitions, of a certain task or assignment. Collaborative learning practices vary, but most of them revolve around the students’ exploration and application of the course material, and not the teacher’s presentation of it.
Collaborative learning is based upon the belief that students can enhance their learning support by interacting with others through peer-to-peer learning. Students benefit from one another’s strengths to better understand information. In collaborative learning situations involving peer-to-peer learning, students are responsible for one another’s actions, tasks, studying together, and promoting teamwork.
Collaborative learning as an EdTech solution creates an online collaborative classroom where teachers and students can learn from one another. This collaborative approach in teaching can be carried out online, offline, and even at their leisure, via message boards and chat forums. Thus, if a student can’t attend a certain class or event, collaborative peer-to-peer learning support is still available to them.
What does Peer Square provide?
We’ve differentiated between the two approaches in peer-to-peer learning, but what exactly does Peer Square provide?
Firstly, Peer Square is an online studying space for youth to learn together, and from each other.
A peer-to-peer learning platform where youth can connect to a global community of peers and exchange knowledge.
Peer Square promotes a collaborative approach in teaching and learning support. The platform also enables communities to promote collective intelligence by relying on EdTech solutions and e-learning best practices.
On Peer Square, students can connect with other students and receive learning support to enhance their knowledge in a certain subject area or skill set. This collaborative approach in teaching helps in several ways.
The most obvious way is the educational component. Students will enhance their knowledge in a certain subject by studying together, teaching, and learning from one another.
The second, the social component. Students will be able to connect with other like-minded students and build long-lasting, impactful relationships with them.
Third, Peer Square is a peer-to-peer learning platform that adopts a collaborative approach in learning, however, it simultaneously promotes individual empowerment. The platform encourages students to share with their peers, express their voice, grow and engage with the community. By studying together, and helping each other grow, the educational chain grows. Students become more confident with their knowledge and skill set, that they will then participate in teaching other peers who share similar struggles as them.
Thus bringing the collaborative approach in teaching, and the learning support, full circle.