ISTE 5 & 6 Creative Communicator & Global Collaborator

  • Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.
  • Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.

As educators, we are facing a diversity of students in
our classroom: different traits, different bias, different learning
experiences, different backgrounds, and different nationalities. As the
educator in an international school, how to teach global intercultural students
to gain abilities to communicate and collaborate effectively as the
21st-century competencies is the critical question.

Background

We always think that it is the most significant
advantage for international school’s students to understand and handle the
variety of cultures and easily get engaged in the ways of globalized learning
through effective collaboration and communication with peers who come from
different countries. But in reality, students are too stressful to deal with
cross-cultural learning environment within the barriers from different
languages and backgrounds. They separate themselves into different groups by
nationalities for both school activities and leisure time. The situation is
further away from the goal to foster 21st century’s creative communicator and
global collaborator. The international school provides a globalized environment
as an excellent vehicle which needs to be driven to the correct direction by
educators’ guide. Teachers need to pave the path for students to get benefits
from the learning environment to understand the diversity of cultures, express
themselves creatively, communicate ideas clearly and effectively, enrich and
broaden perspectives by collaborating to gain cultural synergy on learning. We
need to build their confidence, trust and empathy to enjoy and benefit from the
global learning model rather than suffering from overwhelming and
misunderstanding.

Educational technology intervened

Face to the diverse cultural backgrounds, we need to
build a bridge between students through digital technologies. Teachers can
provide activities to promote students to understand each other’s differences
from cultures and bias. Through these activities, students will gain a
fundamental concept of diversity which can foster respect of each other’s
culture and empathy on differences. With the educational technologies
intervened, teachers can choose appropriate activities to improve students to
know more about each other.

Digital storytelling

Digital storytelling is a powerful narrative activity
for a different range of ages. Teachers can guide students to use Little Bird
Tales, Shadow Puppet to create digital stories on a teacher-assigned theme with
time constraints. DS will scaffold students to express their ideas effectively
and clearly without pressures which allow them to practice with no-limited of
time before sharing to peers and also grow up confidence in communication.
Students will be motivated and get engaged to present themselves by digital
tools with less stress. Teachers need to seek a deep understanding of students’
different culture and backgrounds to choose the appropriate story topics to
raise their motivation.

Task-based learning through Web 2.0

Web 2.0 enables learners to create and share content
through social networking in a dynamic and instantaneous manner which provide
more opportunities for telecollaboration. In task-based learning, teachers face
the challenges of raising awareness of intercultural learning. Teachers need to
explore multiple tasks which meet students’ diverse preferences based on
cultures. Students have the freedom to choose the task they are good at or feel
comfortable working on and use asynchronous communication tools based on Web
2.0 such as Blog, Forum, Discussion board to share the reflections, solutions,
and feedbacks. In this process, students can exchange ideas through digital
platforms with which they can control their own pace without pressure and get
the opportunity to open mind to the peers of other cultures with no-judgment
attitude. It is also a good chance for L2 learners to get linguistic promotion
from native speakers.

Teamwork learning through Web 2.0

Google Docs is a Web 2.0 technology tool that enables
collaboration by creating, storing and sharing documents. Users can work on one
document with others in the real-time without any limitation of location.
Teachers will face more obstacles when they try to lead teamwork learning for
multinational students. So in the learning process, the teacher is not only the
facilitator also has a directive role. Small groups with multi-nationalities
students combined teams divided into divisional roles (organizer, writer,
designer, team leader… ) by the awareness of cultures is the threshold. Provide
and receive ongoing feedbacks between students and teachers are essential for
the success of the intercultural teamwork learning. The teacher needs to create
a structure in which embraces caring, trust, empathy, and love to enhance
students’ engagement and motivation to be global collaborators from online to
reality to evolve into cultural synergy.

With the educational technologies intervened, intercultural communication and collaboration become more comfortable and evolve into a new form of learning meets 21st century’s competencies. For the international schools, students can utilize digital technologies to create a positive communicative and collaborative both online and real community where can help to build empathy, trust, and confidence to understand each other’s diversity. Technologies as the tool pave the way to scaffold students to get through challenges and obstacles. The administrator in the international school needs to provide ongoing PD training to help teachers have deep-dive on the understanding of different learning features based on diverse cultures. Teachers as the guidance, need to hold high awareness of intercultural learning to create a new method to accommodate the diversity of students. We need to use the globalized environment in the international school to benefit our students to be global learners who have abilities to learn from various perspectives by communicating effectively and collaborating globally not only in the digital world but also in reality.

References:

Lee, L., & Markey, A. (2014). A Study of Learners’ Perceptions of Online Intercultural Exchange through Web 2.0 Technologies. ReCALL: The Journal of EUROCALL, 26(3), 281–297. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.spu.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=34805080-6d01-4424-9064-0f9399793a7e%40pdc-v-sessmgr03&bdata=JkF1dGhUeXBlPWlwJnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=2014652087&db=mzh

Cultures of learning – vital feature of international education. (2013, June 10). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LsZ_-wp0nA

[TheBrainwaveVideoAnthology]. (2014, August 30). Sir Ken Robinson – can creativity be taught? [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlBpDggX3iE

Dillon, B. (2014). The power of digital story. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/the-power-of-digital-story-bob-dillon

Kop, R. (2010). Using social media to create a place that supports communication. Emerging technologies in distance education. In G. Veletsianos (Ed.) Emerging technologies in distance education (pp.383-397). Edmonton, Canda: AU Press.

Lampinen, M. (2013). Blogging in the 21st-century classroom. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/blogging-in-21st-century-classroom-Michelle-lampinen

Ertmer, P. A., Newby, T. J., Yu, J. H., Liu, W., Tomory, A., Lee, Y. M., et al. (2011). Facilitating students’ global perspectives: Collaborating with international partners using Web 2.0 technologies. The Internet and Higher Education, 14(4), 251–261.

Markham, T. (2016). Why empathy holds the key to transforming 21st-century learning. Mindshift. Retrieved from https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/11/16/why-empathy-holds-the-key-to-transforming-21st-century-learning/

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