Sue Waters Blog

Can You Help Me Demonstrate Global Collaboration in the Web 2.0 World?

| 15 Comments

In April I will be giving a keynote address to the TCC Worldwide Online Conference titled ‘Global Collaboration in the Web 2.0 World’.  It’s focus will be on the types of collaborative projects educators are using with their students, the reasons why they become involved in these projects and the tools used for the collaboration.

Like with all my other presentations, I like to model the process so I’m hoping you will help demonstrate the power of collaboration by providing your input and as always I will share my research!

Please note: My use of the term global projects ranges from smaller sized projects such as student blogging to a global audience or skype conversations with other classrooms through to the larger scale projects that involve lots of students working together and collobarating on tasks with students in different timezones.

So can you please leave a comment or write your own blog post to let me know:

  1. What are some of the global collaboration projects you have been involved with? Can you include the approximate grade/year level of your students?
  2. Why did you become involved in these projects and what were some of the benefits to your students?
  3. What were the main web tools used to manage the projects?
  4. What tips/advice would you give others to ensure that these projects run smoothly?
  5. Also can you recommend projects that you haven’t been involved with but are good examples of collaboration done well?  I would really love some examples from higher education.
  6. Can you also ask your network to answer these questions?

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Author: Sue Waters

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter

15 Comments

  1. I really love the PacificRim Exchange as part of the Skoolaborate Project as a good (excellent!!!) example of global collaboration.

  2. I’ve been trying to get a collaboration project going for about a week. I’m not successful in finding a partner school yet, but I am hoping this will work out. (Anyone who is interested, please contact me!) The intent is to connect with a class or two in another school so our partner class goes through a lesson created by our students. (We’re willing to reciprocate if the other school wanted us to do the same for them.) Details are at http://tablettails.blogspot.com/2009/03/interested-in-interschool-middle-school.html

    While I’d be happy connecting with any school, it would be great if the other school turned out to be in another country (or at least in a different region our country). We are on the east coast of the United States.

    Here are my answers to your questions in the context of how I hope this project will turn out since we haven’t done it yet:

    1. What are some of the global collaboration projects you have been involved with? Can you include the approximate grade/year level of your students?

    Middle-School (grade 7 on our end) Social Studies/English project on the subject of colonialism in Africa.

    2. Why did you become involved in these projects and what were some of the benefits to your students?

    Benefits include providing students the opportunity to learn by teaching, creating something for an authentic audience, and possibly getting feedback on the topic through the lens of others with a different background and/or perspective.

    3. What were the main web tools used to manage the projects?

    Most likely a Wiki (pbwiki is the front-runner at the moment) for students to publish the lesson and maybe VoiceThread (if I can workout the login required issues) for the partner school students do the final part of the lesson, which requires annotating a map and providing comments. I’m undecided on how partner school students will comment and answer questions during the lesson. Initial thought was the comment feature of the wiki pages, but I’ve been thinking about looking into to using a Diigo educational account for that as it would provide inline commenting and might provide better security control of commenting (over a free pbwiki).

    4. What tips/advice would you give others to ensure that these projects run smoothly?

    I can;t answer that one yet other than thinking that you want the teachers involved to be enthusiastic and willing to take some risks especially the first few times around. Hopefully, I’ll know more in a month or so.

    5. Also can you recommend projects that you haven’t been involved with but are good examples of collaboration done well? I would really love some examples from higher education.

    No, but I’m interested to see the responses to this too.

    6. Can you also ask your network to answer these questions?

    Off to retweet your announcement now. (I’m @BillCamp.)

    • Hi Bill, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Finding the right person and class to connect with can be challenging. Finding a passionate person will make the difference in making it happen. Have you checked out the Skype other classroom list on The Edublogger (my other blog) – may be some people on that list that may be willing.

      Part of the challenge is also connecting up with how school years run in other timezones. For example in Australia our school year is from Feb to Dec.

  3. Hi Sue
    Most of the questions you have asked can be answered in a blog post I finished today. Let me know if you need anything more:

    http://veritasvibes.edublogs.org/2009/03/14/why-i-enjoy-wikispaces-for-junior-school-projects/

    • Thanks Carolynn, I’ve popped past and checked out your projects. Have to admit I really love using wikispaces. Can I ask what do you feel are the main benefits, for your students, as to why you engage in these projects? (Yes – I know unusual question but interested to see if each person has different reasons why).

      • Hi Sue
        I’ve been doing online projects for many years but using e-mail and collaborative web pages in the past! The girls get so excited when they are matched to another class and of course the cultural and geographic benefits in real time to them are huge!
        Of course each project has a different main benefit – the school history – if it runs its course will allow them to compare and contrast different school environments. The main benefit I think for having the projects on a wiki is that we can all access the pages from anywhere and I can assess, offer advice/guidance along the way. If they lose their work we can retrieve it easily through the pages they’ve saved along the way. Of course another quite important benefit is that they can all examine one another’s work – and create a wonderful body of useful material which could be built on the following year should the project be repeated ;-) Class teachers can also be involved.

  4. Sue,
    I am currently requiring my graduate students in educational leadership tp provide guest blog posts and to read educational blogs. We are researching this to see if the type, frequency and quality of comments and discussion are any different than using a discussion forum that is isolated to the classroom students only.

    I am also promoting the use of social media and blogs through my new book The School Administrators Guide to Blogging.

    My vision is that every school leader eventually will be blogging, broadcasting, twittering or whatever it takes to push out their message to the greater public. While this will usually begin as a local effort – you can see how those with a larger message and following will go global with their messages.

    • Hi Mark, thanks for telling me how you are using Web 2.0 with your students. Definitely education in higher ed is one area where we are starting to see so much more use of this technology. Where I see the difference in discussion is when the students extend their conversations outside of students in their classroom and start interacting with a global audience.

      I hope your vision for every school leader does become a reality because to make this change happen it needs them to help it.

  5. Hi Sue, A good question — I just blogged a reflection which answers your question about one project at:

    http://askwhatelse.wordpress.com/2009/03/14/goal-gains-kids-care-differences-unite/

    I responded to your questions here also:
    http://whatelse.edublogs.org/2009/03/20/power-compelling-collaboration/

    These are small projects, beginnings — but still powerful for my students. Thanks for asking.

  6. Being a strong supporter of project based learning and passionate about the use of web2.0 tools for 21st century learning, I love using global projects with my classes. As my response is too lengthy to place as a reply in a comment, you can read my answers to the questions at http://murcha.wordpress.com/2009/03/22/global-collaboration-in-a-web20-world/

  7. Thanks both Mrs Edwards and Anne for sharing information on your global projects. Definitely has helped me and I will let you know how I go with preparing the presentation.

  8. Pingback: Global collaboration in a Web2.0 world « On an e-journey with generation Y

  9. I am glad to hear about Mark Stock’s activities with collaborating with web 2.0 tools in higher ed. I work at a 2 year community college, and I find it difficult to convince instructors of the worth of many of these tools. I would love to find more examples of higher ed teachers doing collaborative work. I have many K12 examples, but that doesn’t go far with convincing my faculty. I’m interested to hear about your presentation!

  10. Hi Heather, still looking for more examples of higher ed – will definitely let you know how I go.

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