Setting Up International Collaboration

From @vanweringh Hi @murcha, what’s your fav way of setting up international collaboration? Am doing ‘Stereotypes’ with y10, would love 2 get another perspec

My favourite way of setting up international collaboration involves quite a few steps:-

  1. First, I need to meet someone who wants to collaborate – this can be through skype in education, a social networking site eg classroom2.0, global collaboration network, or via twitter, and online webinar or sometimes I am ‘googled’.
  2. It is important to get to know each other first via email, chat using skype/msn or other tool and then trial a videoconference call in skype or other videoconferencing software. Email is still the most common communication tool for me. It is essential to establish, early on, the potential constraints eg language/cultural/religions/timezone barriers/poor bandwith, holiday perioeds etc. Strong and regular communication prior will help sort this out.
  3. My favourite collaborations are those that involve some form of  videoconferencing  with other classes, usually with skype or gtalk video. (gtalk video is more stable in our country setting and bandwidth)
  4. Another favourite is via global projects –  usually organised and set up by others  blogs, wikis, voicethreads and other collaborative online tools.
  5. Google docs provide great collaborative tools for collaboration and wallwisher is great for collaborative brainstorming. See Flat Classroom Student Summit session for the Global Education Conference
  6. However, putting several classes of students into a virtual classroom such as Blackboard Collaborate (see Web Conferencing for Learning) provides so many rich tools for connection and communication – chat, audio, video, whiteboard, presentations etc.
  7. Some other ways of finding partners and setting up projects include:- meeting global partners in online web conferences, ‘googling’ for colleagues etc

The key to success is reliant upon strong communication between the organising teachers, the willingness to work together collaboratively through all the issues and unknowns that might arise etc. Test all online tools before sharing with students. Plan for simple connections and projects first and then delve into the more complex.

Have I answered the question? What has been left out? What is your favourite way of setting up International Collaboration?

5 responses to “Setting Up International Collaboration

  1. Love this tweet in response to this post
    From @vanweringh
    @murcha yes it’s so easy to get stuck betw our 4 walls. U’ve re-inspired me to break them down! The sts’ll love it. Invaluable experiences.

  2. Thank you for the tip. I could use these gems of advise the next time I connect with my International peers. Keep it up, Anne

  3. Dear all,
    I can say, that now that my students are participating in the Student blogging challenge they are quite different from the kind of students they were before that collaboration project. Their attitude to English, learning, themselves has changed for the better. Although their English is not perfect at all, they know they can use it – speak, write, read…
    I work at a distance school and would love to communicate with colleagues and students via Skype.
    Please consider my taking part in collaboration with you.
    Best of luck to you all! Happy to be with you online.

  4. Anne, this is a great suggestion. I will let you know if I get more results this way. I’m glad it’s written, my students are very shy about speaking in their second langauge. Ellen

  5. Pingback: Setting Up International Collaboration | e-Journeys | Teaching 21st Century |

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