Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Into the mouth of the dragon - Global collaborative learning with China

China is not a sleeping giant - these days it is a dragon that roars. Young people today need to understand more about China as a country, the Chinese culture and language, and make vital connections for future understanding. China is likely to be a part of future employment, tourism, education, and business for many.

The 'Connect with China' Collaborative successfully joined learners from Australia, the USA and China. Teachers, students and community organisations came together to learn from and with each other. Through careful selection of tools and learning design to support online collaboration participants explored the concept of 'My Community' and shared local ideas to create global outcomes. Cross-classroom teams of students researched thematic material and came together using a tool called Voicethread.

Highlights of the semester included real time linkups with China where exciting intercultural exchanges strengthened understanding between learners. One teacher in California shared at one of the regular synchronous teacher meetings that the conversation he had with his 6th grade class about the 'Great firewall of China' was illuminating and meaningful. The final online summit had classrooms from all three countries sharing their experiences in a virtual meeting room. Barriers such as language and connectivity issues melted into insignificance when participants realised they COULD in fact connect to others, and to China and communicate and share both synchronously in live sessions and asynchronously using online learning platforms.

Online global learning is imperative for all learners across the world. The Connect with China Collaborative is just one example of how meaningful exchanges lead to collaborative teamwork and ongoing construction of new knowledge. Every student at every level in every year of schooling should have a variety of online global collaborative experiences. If you are a teacher or and education leader, what are you doing to embed this into the curriculum and across the learning environment?

Explore the Connect with China 2015 pilot highlights - pictures, blog posts, co-created multimedia.

Join us in 2016 THEME - Climate Change

How is climate change impacting the world?
What is my responsibility to understand and share this impact?
How does my daily life affect climate change and how does this effect me?

All countries are invited to be part of the collaborative and make authentic connections with China.


Follow us on Twitter #ChinaConnects

Cross-posted with Connect with China Blog

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