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Collaborative learning is about interacting with others in order to obtain insight on how each person can help one another. As opposed to cooperative learning, which is a facilitating tool, collaborative learning is intended for sharing and analyzing rather than to come together to "complete" a task. In fact, in a regular classroom where cooperative learning activities are completed, the collaborative moment occurs when students analyze and discuss their findings. Hence, collaboration and cooperative learning are not words that can be used interchangeably.
This being said, collaboration is a philosophy of interaction with a goal of having different people working together. This philosophical approach to learning has been in place as far back as the early 1990's, when it was clear that the world was changing as a result of the imminent advent of technology. Yet, collaborative learning has occurred since before the use of technology became ubiquitous. Let us keep in mind, however, that the literal definition of technology is:
the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.
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