George Lucas Educational Foundation

Join the Celebration for Global Collaboration

Join the Celebration for Global Collaboration

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This post was coauthored with Julie Lindsay.

You’re invited! Students, teachers, organizations, and companies will celebrate global collaboration on September 17th! On this day, experienced global educators and professionals will host connective events and invite public participation. The primary goal of this whole day event is to demonstrate the power of global connectivity in classrooms, schools, universities, and institutions of informal learning and around the world. Global Collaboration Day will introduce others to the tools, resources, projects and programs that are available to educators today. We believe in the power of connected learners...let's show others what globally connected learning looks like on September 17th, 2015!

The Scoop on Global Collaboration in Education

The term ‘global collaboration’ is used widely to refer to ways that educators and students are joining together for virtual collaborative experiences. The benefits for both teachers and students include enhanced global understanding and the fostering of global competence. Today’s students will likely be required to solve problems across borders when they enter the workforce and to apply ‘glocalisation’ (bringing global ideas to a local arena while maintaining individual identity). It is essential that schools prepare kids for a changing world.

There are many ways for educators and students to collaborate globally.These include online interactions, real-time encounters and the building of communities of practice that lead to authentic collaborations either short-term or long-term. An online interaction is usually an asynchronous collaboration where global partners connect, share and respond across time zones freely using various digital platforms such as a blog or wiki. A real-time (synchronous) encounter is where participants connect via tools such as Twitter and Skype, with interactions occurring in real time.

A globally collaborative learning community uses both synchronous and asynchronous tools combined with pedagogical approaches to help build empathy and trust between dispersed groups. These learning communities can support short or long-term collaborations, and be quite diverse in their purpose and outcomes. A global project like the Flat Connections, ‘A Week in the Life’ puts students into mixed class online teams with the purpose of researching, discussing and sharing ideas for potential solutions to global issues through multimedia and live student summits.

How does a teacher get started with global collaboration? One key to successful online global collaboration is finding like-minded partners who will help plan and implement exciting learning for all learners. An increasing number of organisations and experienced global educators are supporting new adventures into global learning, and many of these are active in online professional learning communities like the Global Education Conference. Global Collaboration Day is specifically designed to heighten awareness and to connect educators and present educational opportunities for their classrooms and their own professional development.

Join Us on Global Collaboration Day

On September 17 organisers of the Global Education Conference have initiated ‘Global Collaboration Day’. Don’t forget September 17 takes nearly 48 hours to start and finish across the globe - so make sure you broaden your horizons and think beyond your own time zone and situation to embrace new opportunities! What will this day look like exactly?

Educators and organizations are encouraged to host one event on September 17th to demonstrate  the value of global collaboration. Once a host books an event, details go into a calendar of your selected time zone. Then, people interested in joining in Global Collaboration Day events can browse our online directory of activities and select an event or events that is most relevant to them.

This event has something for everyone including activities for students and professional development sessions for educators. These activities include synchronous webinars to learn more about organisations and to hear from students and teachers, to asynchronous activities that invite data collection and contribution of ideas and resources across the day.

Among the 45+ activities posted as of this writing, other events include a global politics class in Australia live streaming using the Periscope app, another class in Illinois tracking sunlight, a monarch butterfly survey, a Q&A session with African educators using WhatsApp, a video pen pal demo, and a bilingual book read aloud session. Organizations will also jump into action and promote their projects to educators. For instance, Project Zero’s Out of Eden Learn, which follows the trek of slow journalist Paul Salopek, will present a Hangout on Air to invite students and teachers into their community.

Another activity designed especially for Global Collaboration Day is ‘The World’s Largest Global Education Collaboration and Challenge’, an initiative of the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Global Collaboration PLN. Participants are invited to contribute in two ways: by telling a narrative of global collaboration (voice or text); by contributing to a ‘Policy Framework’ document that potentially will be published online and used across all levels of learning.

Be an intrepid global educator and sample some of these events on September 17th. Right now, Global Collaboration Day has 126 participating schools and organizations from 25 US states and 29 different countries! 48 projects so far are being hosted by individual individuals and organizations. Watch our calendar fill as more people get involved!

Global Collaboration Day would not be possible without the outreach efforts of our amazing partners which include Edmodo, Remind, TES, iEARN-USA, the Global Campaign for Education-US Chapter, VIF International Education, TakingITGlobal, and of course, Edutopia. Look for many of these partners to also host activities. Says Manish Kothari, GM, Institutions at Edmodo, "Global collaboration is one of the most inspiring things we've seen on Edmodo, as teachers have come up with innovative ways to leverage the vast educator network we've built and do amazing things with peers in different countries. We're so proud to support Global Collaboration Day and look forward to all of the activities Edmodo teachers have planned, and the awareness this day brings to the power of teaching and learning."

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

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