Reflections on Instructional Technology and Media

Coopetition December 11, 2008

I was in a meeting today where the term “coopetition” was used and immediately started thinking about all the ways coopetition makes sense within a 21st century educational environment.

What is coopetition?

The term is a mash-up of cooperation and competition and it seems to really capture the spirit of working and learning in a global economy.  In the age of web 2.0 and open source apps, we are hearing consistently about the power of collaboration and cooperation. What we create together is stronger than what I may be able to create alone.  Yet at the same time the nature of capitalism is competition. How do we prepare our students for this dichotomous world?

Coopetition has taken hold in the gaming world – especially where you are gaming online with others around the world. In order for you to experience personal success, you have to cooperate with others to make sure your team succeeds.  Talking with a middle school principal about this today she says that middle schools have been operating under this premise for years, they just did not have this particular term for it.

In some ways, my work in the e-learning environment is a form of coopetition as well. As a state virtual school, we are dependent on the cooperation of the face to face schools in our state. We need them to be successful. In order to be competitive with other state virtual entities and other software and content providers, we have make sure that our team approach with face to face schools is a success.

This term just really sums it up well – as any good vocabulary will do. Thanks for expanding my personal dictionary.