There are two important aspects of global collaborative learning leading to action within schools. The first of these is “why collaborate globally?” Research shows that global collaboration learning is inquiry-based and shared with others beyond the classroom (such as family and friends). It also supports digital literacy, as well as many other kinds of literacy. As students learn beyond the textbook, they develop multimodal communication skills and real world experience by working in virtual teams. Through global collaboration, students adopt an active participatory approach where they are fully engaged with their activities. This fosters increased engagement, diminishes classroom disruption, and empowers learners.
Positive outcomes from learning online with others at a distance include:
The second aspect is “How can we enable online global collaboration?” This is a vital question that schools and individual educators continue to grapple with. There are three key areas to consider:
When starting to plan for online global collaboration in your learning environment, make sure communication is open between you and your school community, and between you and potential global partners. Teacher “mindset” — although perhaps a nebulous concept — is another vital enabler. Be willing to take risks, be prepared to “fail forward” — knowing that the second and third global collaboration will continue to build skills and competencies for positive outcomes. Above all, avoid the “fear factor” and make sure you jump into online collaboration — start local with your class in Edmodo first, then move to learning with others at a distance. Have clear curriculum objectives, expect high levels of digital citizenship amongst all participants, and actively applaud achievements, no matter how small.
Julie Lindsay is a thought leader and researcher in online global collaboration in education. She has a 30+ years career in K-12 schools and more recently in higher education. She has worked in schools across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East as an educational technology leader. As Founder and CEO of Flat Connections she designs online global projects for all K-12 levels with a collaborative ‘working with’ approach to global learning.
She is an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE, 2010), Google for Education Certified Innovator (2014), Recipient of ISTE ‘Making IT Happen’ Award (2013), and winner of the ISTE Online Learning Award (2007). Julie is completing a Ph.D. with a research focus on online global collaborative educators and pedagogical change. Her most recent book, ‘The Global Educator’ (ISTE, 2016) shares practices, pedagogy and case studies on how to learn and collaborate online.
Julie will be joining the #EdmodoChat on Global Collaboration in Education Sunday, February 11 5pm PT / 8pm ET. Join us!