I returned back from a lovely Christmas break last week to find a box in my coffee mug. This small box contained a Starbucks gift card!! Yea!
As an avid coffee drinker, I was thrilled and pleased to find this lovely gift. However, what I could not find was the name of the giver of said gift…I had opened the box in this manner.
This seemed to me to be the logical way of opening said box. It had two fold-over flaps on each end and that was how the gift card was delivered to my hand. Feeling frustrated at the secret gift, I pondered sending a blanket thank you to the faculty but then got side tracked…
About an hourish later, my sidekick and I were chatting in the lab and I mentioned that I had received said gift, “but it had no name!”, I decried. He said, “yes it did….” I said, “huh? it’s from you?! Thanks!!” He then proceeded to show me the hidden to/from flap.
“Ah,” I said, “that is clever!” But so interesting that I never would have seen that had he not presented me with the new perspective on how to solve the mystery of the gift card giver.
This has become such a great metaphor for how we view any form of problem or challenge. When we work to collaborative solve problems, we gain new perspectives. When we increase our intellectual capacity by adding extra brains, our solutions come easier. As we approach 21st Century learning experiences, we must be considering the role of collaboration in our teaching and learning. Creating authentic problem solving tasks and helping students build the capacity to collaborate to solve them. For when they gain the experience of viewing new perspectives, oh how they will grow!
(Now it’s time to write my thank you note!)