Friday, June 24, 2016

You are a global educator. It’s time to start thinking like one

The following blog post comes from the new book by Julie Lindsay, "The Global Educator: Leveraging technology for collaborative learning and teaching" published by ISTE.

Building collaboration skills today means building global collaboration skills. Educators have their work cut out for them


It’s one thing for today’s students to connect with the world and to appreciate the diversity and significance of potential interactions through everyday, real-time interaction. It is a whole different challenge to be able to collaborate with learning partners across town — or around the world.
The latter, in truth, is what all educators and learners should be aspiring toward, but the reality is you cannot run before you can walk. Unless educators understand and experience the power of using digital technologies for online collaboration in a local context first, it is likely that jumping head-first into global contexts — with its myriad challenges — will not be successful.
Emerging approaches to digital scholarship question what knowledge is, how it is gained, and how it is shared. Digital technology provides for differentiation, accountability, and visibility in the learning process. For collaborative learning, the internet provides the platform for engaged learning, deeper understanding, and some exciting outcomes.

What does that mean for today’s student? In practical terms, it means collaboration can take on a whole new persona. Collaboration as an inquiry-based, higher-order-thinking and problem-solving skill is now just as possible virtually as it is face to face, and online collaboration, by its very nature, implies synchronous as well as asynchronous working modes. In other words, if logistics are accounted for, students can Skype with peers in Hong Kong or trade private messages to them with equal ease. As educators, we need to understand this paradigm shift and know how to bring digital collaboration into the learning environment.

Attributes of online global collaboration

Learning does not happen in isolation. Learning is social, and individual creation can, or more pointedly should, become collaborative creation in many instances. Students develop understanding about the world through working together with others, by sharing ideas and outcomes. As global educators, we need to consider how to bring online collaboration into our learning environment. We also need to understand how to go beyond synchronous to also support asynchronous online collaborations. This involves embracing new pedagogies and new pedagogical capacity, namely a teacher’s repertoire of teaching strategies and partnerships for learning. We can always learn about something; however, the goal for online (leading to global) collaboration is to learn with others, and to build understanding together.

Definition: Online global collaboration broadly refers to geographically dispersed educators, classrooms, and schools that use online learning environments and digital technologies to learn with others beyond their immediate environment in order to support curricular objectives, intercultural understandings, critical thinking, personal and social capabilities, and ICT capabilities.

What skills should a global educator have?

True online global collaboration takes place when students with different cultures and points of view gather information and co-create artifacts together, building knowledge and sharing with the world. Schools that foster this type of learning must have:

  • Engaged, connected, and digitally fluent educators who know how to communicate using Web 2.0 and other online tools
  • Carefully planned and designed global collaborations that are implemented and managed with a view to effectively join classrooms together to enhance learning and support co-created outcomes
  • Common assessment objectives between global partners
  • High expectations and requirements for connectivity, contribution and collaboration on educators and students
  • Community partners who provide new knowledge, skills and resources for the online learning community
  • Multimedia savvy to pitch ideas to solve real-world problems
  • Educator or student initiated themes and student-managed learning
  • Student autonomy in learning, and an ability to initiate online collaborations
  • Peer-to-peer learning that transcends cooperation and supports new collaborative digital modes
  • Online publishing and sharing modes that make use of Web 2.0 platforms and social media.
Educators who participate in online global collaboration need professional support in understanding how to build engaging and successful relationships with others at a distance so that deeper global learning is realized. Online global collaboration features a number of typical or usual behaviors and actions, called norms, that are found in both synchronous and asynchronous modes. As a global educator and education leader, following these eight norms will likely ensure successful collaborations.

The eight norms of online global collaboration

  1. Be Prepared (connect, communicate)
  2. Have a Purpose
  3. Be able to Paraphrase
  4. Be able to Perceive
  5. Make sure you Participate
  6. Be Positive
  7. Be Productive
  8. Realize the Potential

Be productive
Productivity is a critically important norm. What did you actually produce during this collaboration? Where is the evidence? Consider as part of the global collaboration design what the outcomes will be and work toward this. Consider also making these outcomes visible to others, and if possible making the process visible as well.
As part of the productivity, develop an understanding of what co-creations are possible between learners and how this could be implemented. Then encourage collaborators to work toward this. It could be a co-created statement or document that all students have contributed to, or perhaps a perhaps a piece of multimedia that students contributed to in different ways. Or maybe it’s a co-hosted online summit, or something quite new.

This norm homes in on collaboration and shares essential practices while learning globally online. A well-designed online global collaboration is about flattened learning and creating something to share and/or co-creating artifacts between students and classrooms.
Productivity means you:

  • Collaborate and share information and ideas
  • Create outcomes to share and encourage responses
  • Make outcomes visible to the outside world
  • Encourage students to compare, contrast, reflect
  • Aim to build knowledge together and co-create artifacts
When developing projects for global collaboration, consider these guiding questions:

  • How will participants collaborate and share information?
    • Both synchronous (in real time such as Skype) and asynchronous (such as a Wiki) must be considered depending on time zone factors
  • What artifacts will be created?
    • Collaborative creation includes Google Docs, Wikis, blogs, Edmodo discussions, Padlets
  • Will artifacts be co-created? How?
    • Co-creation tools and objectives include videos (eg. Animoto), e-books, and Google Presentations
  • How will feedback and responses be gathered based on the student work?
    • Live Student Summits in a virtual classroom, feedback from readers and viewers via comments to blogs and docs and YouTube comments
  • Are outcomes going to be visible to the outside world? How?
    • Find ways to “open” the learning so that collaborative outcomes are shared beyond the participants
  • How will students interact in order to compare, contrast and reflect?
    • Celebration and reflection are key actions during and at the end of a global collaboration
 About the Author:
Julie Lindsay is the author of the ISTE book, "The Global Educator: Leveraging Technology for Collaborative Learning and Teaching." She is a global collaboration consultant, innovator, teacherpreneur, a quality learning & teaching leader (online), and an adjunct lecturer for the Faculty of Arts and Education, Charles Sturt University in Australia. 

 This blog post was first published in eSchool News, May 16, 2016.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Global Education Highlights (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Global Education Highlights (weekly)

  • The 2016 NMC Technology Outlook for Australian Tertiary Education: A Horizon Project Regional Report reflects a collaborative research effort between the New Media Consortium (NMC) and Open Universities Australia to inform Australian campus leaders and decision-makers about significant developments in technologies supporting teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in tertiary education across the continent. The expert panel identified 9 key trends, 9 significant challenges, and 12 important developments in educational technology.

    tags: nmc education technology tertiary emergingtechnologies australian INF537

  • Presentation by Julie Lindsay at the Education Nation conference, Sydney 2016

    tags: education connected_learning FlatConnections Digital Literacy future technology learning

  • Are we giving young people the best chance of success and happiness in a changing economy and society? How is our future - and indeed our present - unlike the past? How can we shape an education for every student that engages them deeply in their learning and prepares them for the world beyond school? The case for change animation and slide deck have been developed to support school leaders and teachers to engage in a discussion with colleagues, parents, students and the broader community about how we can best engage, challenge and support students in their learning.

    tags: future education change learning Australia

  • The Design Thinking toolkit is designed to guide you through the process of implementing Design Thinking in your school. If you are a school leader, you may like to use this toolkit with your whole staff as a strategy for change within the school or you may choose to work with particular teams around a pre-determined focus issue. It can be used by teachers, either working with a group or individually, as a strategy for approaching a particular issue either within their own classroom or as part of a team within the school.

    tags: designthinking education Australia

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Global Education Highlights (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Global Education Highlights (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Global Education Highlights (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, May 09, 2016

#satchatoz - A Tweetchat with spirit and soul!

Last Saturday morning, with the sun shining brightly and the waves on our South Golden Beach calling me, I chose to participate as host in the #satchatoz Tweetchat

This is no ordinary regular Tweetchat - this is a globally aware chat session with spirit and soul!

Organiser Tina Photakis and co-founder Andrea Stringer were both in there cajoling the many local and global participants and responding to the theme:

Conversations and contributions revolved around these five questions:

Don't miss the NEXT #satchatOZ! The best professional learning that takes you and your thinking beyond the local into the global!

Relive the chat via Storify!


Sunday, May 08, 2016

Global Education Highlights (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Global Education Highlights (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Building an online school community using WeChat

 This is the first of many blog posts cross-posted from the Connect with China blog and sharing education highlights from our trip to China in April 2016!

Our Connect with China trip in April 2016 took us to Beijing BISS International School, a small IB world school located on the 3rd ring road in Beijing. This was the school I worked in as E-Learning Coordinator and MYP Coordinator, and I wrote about our interactions with students while there in a previous blog post on the CCC blog.

This blog post features the Head of Elementary School, Shannon O'Dwyer, who not only spent the morning with us sharing the Connect with China Collaborative with teachers and students, but also took the time to share with us her evolving use of WeChat (a very common app used by most/all Chinese and others beyond China, and also used by our Connect with China Collaborative participants) as a tool to build community within each class.

This is a significant discussion for the following reasons:

  • Shannon shares that the use of WeChat is very new in the school in terms of communication between stakeholders
  • She describes how it's use is developing on the fly - and is viral in the way the benefits outweigh the disadvantages
  • A school often creates policies first and then implements communication modes - but in this case the 'policy' is being developed on the run as users (parents, teachers and students) continue to explore and innovate using the WeChat app
  • Parents and students are learning how to be online global/digital citizens and forming strong community bonds through the ongoing use of this simple tool

I consider Shannon a 'teacherpreneur' and as such someone who is not afraid to lead for change. Although she might modestly disagree with me, she is forging new pathways for communication and collaboration in a PYP school that are agile, creative and inspiring. This is in a learning environment where the middle and high school counterparts have banned mobile phones in the classroom - for Shannon she tells the students they are in trouble if they do NOT bring their phones to class! I encourage all global education leaders to be encouraged by the work of Shannon and learners at BISS. New attitudes and habits of learning that include the use of emerging technologies show us new ways of connecting and communicating support learning. According to Shannon WeChat is providing a vital connection to everyday events in the classroom and in the community - beyond the facility of a classroom blog. Students and parents interact with teachers and school leaders sharing ideas, questions, activities and more. The interview is about 8 min. long - but I encourage you to watch it all! 

 READ Shannon's blog post about our trip 'Connect to Learn'

Some images from our trip:
Classrooms, teachers, students, Beijing BISS International School, and lunch at a local favourtie restaurant!

Read more about the Connect with China Collaborative that joins teachers, students and community members from within and beyond China for collaborative learning and global understanding.