Working Together is the Name of the Game

Working Together is the Name of the Game

Working Together is the Name of the Game

One of the most commonly heard words in the online world in recent years, in Hebrew, is shituf. Its use runs the gamut from sharing status messages in Facebook, through cooperation skills, to shared documents. But do all of these indicate the same thing?

Although Hebrew uses the term shituf for actions of different types, I will try to suggest distinctions between different types of shituf, by reference to the different terms used in English.

Sharing – which is sharing an object as it is. For example – I put up a brilliant status on Facebook, I found an interesting image, or I’m retweeting a tweet that I liked – and I share with others what I created or discovered.

Cooperating – which is working with others in carrying out a task, with each one contributing his own share, which he executed on his own, for the benefit of a single, joint team product. I looked for information and contributed results to a group project on SearchTeam, thus making my own, unique contribution; or, I added my portion to a shared greeting on GrooVideo.

Collaborating – which is dynamic cooperation in the work process itself, such as jointly editing a document on Google or a video clip on WeVideo.

However… let’s think for a moment about a team playing basketball –

Is passing the ball “sharing”? Are the players individuals who are “cooperating”? Maybe the  

In reality, the distinctions are not always so clear-cut, and sometimes there are more complex models. Look at the offered by Vision2Lead, which presents a more complex division of group tasks.

As a teacher who tries different kinds of learning with students, it’s important for me to pinpoint for myself and for them that not every click on “Share” in Facebook is a joint project, and that collective writing of an assignment may be accomplished in different ways, representing different kinds of teamwork.

When I design a learning task involving ICT, the principal challenge is to structure the appropriate form of collaboration, while giving the various students the freedom to express themselves in different ways.

What do you think – should we require all students to experience shared work, or should we allow individualism to those students who prefer it?


By: Aviv Tzemach