How to Inspire Students through Global Collaboration
An educator has many roles in the classroom. First and foremost, they are there to transfer knowledge and inspire students to learn. They must also teach them how to write an essay, since that’s the skill that builds up to proper argumentative discussion skills. However, educators should also inspire collaboration within the classroom. They achieve that by assigning group projects, but that’s not where they stop.
If you’re wondering how to take collaboration further, you should think globally. There are various types of projects you can initiate. Your students, no matter what level they reached, will love them. Global collaboration projects work for elementary, high-school, college, and university students.
Tips: How to Initiate Global Collaboration Projects in Education
- Explain What the Goal Is
We’re not talking about imposing global collaboration as another thing that students must do. They are already overwhelmed by assignments.
In 2015, The Princeton Review published the results of a study that clearly showed the burden students have to endure. 50% were feeling stressed. They were spending one-third of their day being anxious or feeling stuck. 25% identified homework as the most stressful aspect of their lives. This is the exact reason why a student will hire an essay writing service when they don’t see the point in so much pressure.
You can prevent their need to hire an essay writer by inspiring them. Explain the rationale behind global collaboration. Show examples of individuals in corporate and NGO environments collaborating with teams from all around the world. Explain that they will develop a skill they will benefit from. Share some insights about the culture they will bond with. Talk about the friendships they can develop. Make them excited about this project, so they won’t see it as another assignment on their list.
- Have a Clear Plan
When you start this kind of project with your class, you shouldn’t just find a foreign classroom and go with the flow. Everything has to go by a plan. Write these questions and answer them:
- What will your students learn through this project? Identify a precise topic and relate it to the skills they will develop by learning about it.
- Who will they communicate with? It may be a classroom from the other end of the world. In that case, you’ll have to connect with an educator and develop the plan together. However, they can also collaborate with experts. Let’s say you want them to produce a well written Black Lives Matter essay. You’ll get them collaborating with a non-governmental organization from an African country, so your students can get first-hand information about the problems those societies face.
- What technology will they use? Skype is the usual tool for making conference calls. However, your students will also need to work in Google Docs, so they can write the project through a collaborative effort. You can also suggest a tool like Trello, which is great for distributing tasks within the team and monitoring their progress.
- What’s the timeframe? Divide the project’s stages and plan all tasks in a calendar. You should make sure the students will have enough time and won’t be burdened by other projects during this time.
- Inspire Effective Collaboration
Your students shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions or share opinions. Tell them that you’re proud of them no matter what, and you’re especially proud if they get curious and friendly. Let them make suggestions on how to organize collaboration sessions.
This should be a fun process that encourages connections. Whenever your students feel overwhelmed or particularly challenged, they should communicate their struggles with you.
Collaboration starts within the classroom. If it’s effective there, your students won’t get into a situation to wonder: “Can someone write my essay?” They will be inspired to ask questions and solve problems, so they give their best to this project.
All Students Benefit from Global Collaboration
Having friends from different spots on the globe is inspiring at any age. When students are young, they learn about the world that exists outside their little bubble. They will create meaningful connections and foster curiosity and empathy towards different cultures. When they reach college and university, they reveal all kinds of career opportunities they can unlock through international collaboration.
If this project is well-planned, everyone benefits from it. Sure; the educator has to invest a lot of effort to organize things. However, they will also enjoy doing something different from what the standard curriculum implies. International collaboration will make teachers more successful in achieving their goals, too.
BIO: Ray Campbell started traveling as a teenager and never stopped. He is amazed by the global learning concept and tries to inspire other people to follow that track. His blog posts offer various tips for teachers and students to make learning more effective.