For this weeks blog post I wanted to focus on ISTE Standard 7 Global Collaborator “Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally”. I especially wanted to focus on 7a “Students use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning”. To begin my research on becoming a global collaborator I asked myself “How can Kindergarten students use digital tools to collaborate with classrooms around the globe?”
Ever since I have started working at my current school, my team and I have become passionate about our students learning about different cultures within school community. I think having students become global collaborators allows them to make greater connections outside of our school.
Benefits of Global Collaboration
According to ISTE article 5 ways students benefit from global collaboration by Julie Randles “Exposing students to global collaboration builds cultural understanding, communication skills, and knowledge and awareness of the wider world, experts say”.
“It just makes the world real to them,” Killian says. “It opens their eyes to the world out there and helps them realize they can do and be so much.”(Randles)
Starting a Global Partnership
Global collaboration projects, which allow students to work with peers across state and national boundaries, aren’t just fun. They can also address several of the ISTE Standards for Students, including Digital Citizen, Global Collaborator and Empowered Learner. Pernille Ripp the founder of Global Read Aloud has 7 steps to set yourself up for success in ISTE article 7 steps to starting a global collaboration project by Team ISTE.
Ripp’s success tips include:
“Find your passion and purpose. Passion drives the energy and dedication you’ll need if obstacles present themselves during the course of the project. Consider where something will naturally fit into your day because you already have a lot of passion for it.
Pick a focus. Will your project support reading, writing, speaking or another component of instruction? Narrow your focus to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Similarly, decide in advance how much time you have to dedicate to the project. First-timers should start small.
Check in with students. Make sure that your students feel comfortable sharing their thoughts with others outside their classroom or school. There are times when students don’t want others involved, and educators should respect that.
Similarly, be sure students are actually ready to collaborate and can mind their manners.
“You need to have community in your classroom before you set them loose on the world,” Ripp says. Do they know how to behave on a Skype call? Have you practiced working together, say with an in-class project, to avoid student embarrassment or awkward situations during a live collaboration?
You gotta believe. Believing in your idea is essential for getting others on board. Your conviction will convince others to spend time doing the project.
Find your people. Educators should be connected so that their students can be connected, Ripp says. To make your project work, reach out to your PLN on Twitter, Facebook, Skype in the Classroom, email or even just a face-to-face conversation. If no one jumps on board, it’s time to rethink your idea.
Dream a little. If your project concept is a little loose when you start seeking collaborators, that’s OK. True collaboration means all partners have a say in the project. As the creator, you should be prepared to figure out the details with your partners. “So you have to have a dream and an idea of what it may look like, but do leave room for others’ dreams as well,” Ripps explains.
Let go. There will be times when things don’t go according to plan. Count on it. That happens with learning and teaching. Allow your project to take its own path and resist the urge to shut it down if it takes unexpected twists and turns.” (Team ISTE)
Global Read Aloud-One Book to Connect the World
One great site for introducing students to connecting with a variety of learners of different backgrounds and cultures in the Global Read Aloud. With Global Read Aloud teachers pick a book to read aloud to their students during a set 6-week period (October to Mid-November) and during that time they try to make as many global connections as possible. Each teacher decides how much time they would like to dedicate and how involved they would like to be. Some people choose to connect with just one class, while others go for as many as possible. The scope and depth of the project is up to the teacher. While there are official tools you can use such as Skype, Twitter, WriteAbout or Edmodo, you choose the tools that will make the most sense for you. Teachers get a community of other educators to do a global project with, hopefully inspiring them to continue these connections through the year (Global Read Aloud). Since Global Read Aloud has started more than 4,000,000 students from more that 80 different countries have participated. Using a site like Global Read Aloud would allow for my students to share their ideas with students who might not have the same experiences as them. The possibilities with this program are limitless. I really like the idea of making connections that could last longer than the initial 6 week period.
This program will enhance read aloud experiences and show students to draw upon a variety of resources and experiences in order to become more knowledgeable and responsible citizens.
7 steps to starting a global collaboration project. (2017, August 8). Retrieved March 19, 2018, from https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=608
Iste.org. (2017). ISTE Standards For Students. [online] Available at: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-students [Accessed 18 Mar. 2018].
Randles, J. (2018, January 12). 5 ways students benefit from global collaboration. Retrieved March 19, 2018, from https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=2129&category=Personalized-learning&article
Ripp, P. (n.d.). The Global Read Aloud. Retrieved March 19, 2018, from https://theglobalreadaloud.com/