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As the intermingling of technology and education has established the possibility of creating classrooms without borders, the potential for cross-cultural learning experiences and knowledge sharing between students and educators has never been greater.
And yet, the reasons why global collaboration is important in the 21st century world are not appropriately understood.
In this article, we have listed four benefits of global collaboration to invite its greater appreciation and utilisation within the classroom.
Before diving into its benefits, it is important to first define what is actually meant by “Global Collaboration” when situated in an educational context.
Global collaboration in education refers to the sharing of ideas, resources, and experiences between teachers, learners, and institutions from all around the world. It serves to enhance learning, foster cultural exchange, and address common educational challenges, and is facilitated through technology, communication tools, and networking platforms.
Global collaboration in education is becoming increasingly important in today’s interconnected world. By connecting students from different countries and cultures to complete engaging activities, it provides a unique opportunity for students to learn from each other, gain a new perspective on the world, and develop appreciation of other cultures. Collaboration on a global scale also prepares them for the diverse and interconnected world they will face as adults.
With the right tools, global collaboration projects can be easily implemented in any subject, from languages, social studies, and arts to STEM, bringing incredible benefits to students of any age.
Joy Palmer, a first-grade teacher from Mountain Brook Elementary School in Alabama, has seen first-hand the impact a global collaboration project has had on her students. Her class participated in a virtual exchange focused on sound. Students in her class collaborated with peers in Argentina and learned about sound, music, and instruments through hands-on investigations and experiments. “This partnership has been invaluable for my students. They are so engaged and excited to learn about different cultures. This week, they enjoyed making instruments and learning about another country. They cannot wait to see how our partner classroom made their instruments, how they are decorated, etc.”
However, whilst engagement is an obvious benefit of global collaboration, it is not the only one. Here are our four benefits of global collaboration:
Global collaborative projects for students allow them to learn from their peers in other countries, and in doing so support a deeper understanding of different cultures and perspectives.
They also provide learning opportunities surrounding the challenges and opportunities that other countries face, which can develop empathy, global citizenship, and diversity appreciation.
Finally, global collaboration in the classroom allows students to recognise and confront their own biases and stereotypes, which can help towards the creation of a more inclusive and respectful classroom.
Children are naturally inquisitive about their surroundings, and they harness this curiosity through exploration of both themselves and the world they inhabit. Global collaboration projects trigger this curiosity through inquiry-based learning, leading students to ask questions about things that particularly interest them.
For instance, an effective project invites students to ask questions and make observations about their peers. This can range from simple investigations, such as, “They aren’t wearing uniforms to school! Why?”, to more complex questions, such as, “Why don’t they have electricity all the time?”.
Essentially, a child’s sense of wonder underpins the benefits of global collaboration. When students are invited to ask questions, their learning assumes more value and meaning.
Global collaborative projects with students from other countries are often focused on real-world investigation and problem solving. Thus, global collaboration courses improve student workforce readiness by nurturing creative and critical thinking within a real-world context.
The improvement of students’ real life problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration skills demonstrates why global collaboration is important in the 21st century world.
Global collaboration in the classroom allows your students to communicate and collaborate with learners from other countries. This serves to improve their language skills, and also provide learning on different communication styles.
Depending on institutional and curriculum focus, globally collaborative projects can be conducted in one language or multiple languages. In language-based virtual exchanges, students can alternate between their native and target languages. This can be a great opportunity for them to learn and practice their new language whilst also supporting their global peers’ learning.
Teaching global collaboration in the classroom can be challenging, but it is worth the effort.
One way to get started is to find a partner school or organization that can connect you with students from other countries. Through online platforms, such as Level Up Village, connection to a safe platform, global partnership, and an integrated curriculum is made possible.
In conclusion, global collaboration in education provides a wealth of benefits for students. It allows them to learn from their peers in other countries, enhances their learning by providing real-world context, and fosters a more inclusive and equitable classroom environment. By providing students with opportunities to collaborate with students in other countries, we are not only preparing them for the diverse and interconnected world they will face as adults, but we are also creating a more just and equitable world for all.
To find out more about Level Up Village, please visit their profile on EdTech Impact.
Updated on: 12 September 2023