I love this song.
This is the essence of electronic dance music: being able to take music that sometimes already exists, and then building on it with exaggerated electronic elements and technology to create something that evokes a different perspective than it originally did.
In a way, isn’t that hat we want our kids to do with the knowledge we impart to them and through classroom discussions? How better to create academic synergy than with collaborative learning.
Take this track, for example–the original track that is sampled throughout is ‘Jesus Can Work it Out’, a live recording of Dr. Charles Hayes and the Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer from 1980. DJ/Producer Karizma boldly took this track and blasted it into the mainstream dance charts 37 years later with the use of some drum beats and scratching, and now Google has used it to sell thousands of Chromebooks. Now if that isn’t some next level collaboration, I don’t know what is!
This is the same thing kids should be doing in classrooms regularly. Students should be sharing thoughts and making connections with and from each other to expound on their knowledge. Below are three reasons why this is so important and effective:
- Collaboration develops higher thinking skills. When kids are tasked with communicating, they are required to articulate their thoughts in multiple ways in order to make statements and validate their suggestions. They often meet opposing viewpoints that make them think differently or rethink an idea they have.
- Collaboration develops diversity awareness. Much like the genres of ‘Jesus Can Work it Out’ and ‘Work it Out’, no two students are the same. When they are tasked to communicate together, varying viewpoints are shared which opens up dialogue and understanding about different lifestyles, backgrounds, and cultures. This is most important in this era of 21st century learning, as educational institutions are being charged with promoting and acknowledging diversity amongst learners. Furthermore, this type of learning develops the whole child, not just students’ academic knowledge.
- Collaboration engages all students. It’s difficult to collaborate alone. And that’s how many students view themselves within our classrooms: singled out, their only advocate, just a number. When we provide opportunities for them to learn with peers, they don’t have to be afraid of talking in front of the whole class, and they are empowered to speak up. Similarly, those same students who don’t contribute much can’t slink away as easily in a smaller working group. The dynamics of collaborative learning require all group members to pull their own weight to glean the benefits of the discussion.
These are just a few of many reasons why students should be “working it out” collaboratively. From students’ first day of kindergarten, to their eventual retirement day as adults, the world is going to expect them to be contributing collaborators. It is only right that we assist our students in mastering this important life skill in our classrooms where they can reap the academic benefits as well.