Global Collaboration on a Wiki

Global Storytelling was a collaborative project using a wiki that involved four schools, five teachers and a community group – the Melbourne Writers Festival.   Module 4 Contribution and Collaboration of the Flat Classroom Teacher Certificate (Flat Classroom Projects) prog ram challenged us to think about collaboration on a global scale.

Working collaboratively and globally ogn the Global Storytellin wiki differed to other  in-class work eg blogging on or as a class blog as follows:-

  • Working collaboratively means that no longer can one person be in charge of the class and make decisions re the timing, content, procedures, outcomes etc (as occurs in a more traditional classroom). There has to be give and take, a sense of humour, trust between the parties involved, commitment and passion.
  • Communication was regular and consistent between all parties, using email, skpye and the discussion tab of the wiki.
  • There was a real non-negotiable time-line to work to, as the best book trailers were to be featured on centre stage at Federation Square in Melbourne for the Melbourne Writers Festival.
  • There were constant reminders and reassurance from all those involved, re work load, content, what had to be done and how it had to be done.  Use was made of the wiki discussion tab to answer questions re the technical requirements and issues.
  • Different school holidays, festival times and normal classroom interruptions provided challenges for the completion of work.
  • The students from the two schools in Malaysia had not blogged before, created videos nor worked on a wiki before. It was a steep learning curve. We had to learn together and experiment with,  which tools were the best for sending huge files (as we needed a good quality video for the big screen) to the Melbourne Writers Festival people.
  • Different cultures and different age groups were involved and sometimes different expectations but any problems and issues had to be collaboratively worked through.
  • Although time zones and school times were reasonably similar between Malaysia and Australia, a lot of communicating and connecting (mostly with skype) was done beyond school hours.
  • Three way communication often took place between the two schools and Jenny Niven of the Melbourne Writers Festival. This meant getting used to different accents, ways of saying things etc.
  • A professional technical team also had to be collaborated with – these were the people responsible for the video, sound and other spaces on the actual day of the Melbourne Writers Festival.

Cross posted

2 responses to “Global Collaboration on a Wiki

  1. Anne
    You are an example to follow. I am presently taking a course EVO2012, the series of courses which are offered right before TESOL Internationl Conerence in the US and I am learning about many writing tools which could be shared. Reading about what you have done with flat classroom project inspires me to follow your lead, although in a less grand way, since I feel like I am just starting.
    I love the way you used so many parts of the Wiki to carry out the project. I think that the presentation of the project and coordinating so many different technical parts must have been the most difficult part.

    You are truly an inspiration. Ellen

    • Hi Ellen, wikis are a great tool and quite user friendly. There are so many elements to them, so people can use the simple, user friendly features or try the more challenging ones. I love the fact that students can collaborate and interact on them asynchronously. This is powerful for learning on a global scale. Co-ordinating was difficult and we had a real time line to adhere to which taught a valuable life skill to students (and me). When you work with a huge community event, there are no excuses or extensions given. It has to be done due to the many parties involved.

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