School IT Blog

3 ways to encourage teamwork between students while teaching remotely

Tue 21 July, 2020

We all know teamwork is important, it is often ranked as one of the most valuable and desirable soft skills in the world of work. And we all know that the foundations of good teamworking skills start at school. But how can teachers ensure pupils are still practising this skill when they are teaching and learning remotely. First, you need to look beyond the traditional classroom group project and consider how technology can elevate the humble group project to new levels.

1. Let them show you their skills!!

You are probably well aware that your students know more about technology then you do, whether it’s the speed they type at or their ability to get a school computer working when even your school ICT teacher is struggling. So rather than asking for a simple PowerPoint, encourage your students to use whatever format they like, this could include filming clips and editing them or creating an amination. The trick is to trust them to show you what they have got. By giving them creative freedom, you can challenge them to test new skills, which encourages them to feel invested in the project.

Google Drives offers a perfect way for students to share any format without worrying about how others can access it. Meanwhile Google Meet allows students to do video calls and team meetings outside of class.

2. Democracy wins through!

Of course, as the teacher, you need to ensure that students are covering the appropriate syllabus but a group project is a great opportunity to encourage democracy and initiative. Try to offer an opportunity for the class to be involved in choosing their project. You could do this by offering and large theme and asking them to choose a specific area, or by letting students submit suggestions and then voting on which they want to do.

The Jam board tool on G-suite offers a great way to facilitate class debate and mind mapping.

3. Encourage teamwork by setting the example!

Why not show your students how important collaboration and teamwork is by doing it yourself? Team up with another teacher from a different department and create a multi-department project. This is great practice for students, as many university and workplace settings involve multidiscipline projects drawing on skills from a range of departments. Try to choose a department/subject that your class doesn’t do for maximum impact. Maybe combine psychology and business, or art and technology, or even be brave and try Ethics/RE and Science.

This gives students a chance to develop wider team working skills and to interact with students they might not normally work with. Google Meet and Classroom both support this type of cross-department working.

Above all make sure your students are invested in their projects, and that you can provide them with the perfect tools to make the most of remote learning.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you to implement these tools in your school.