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Paterson, , p. It shares pillars for global competence and states globally competent students must have:. The Global Digital Citizen Foundationencourages people to understand we are no longer isolated, we are all global citizens and technology has eliminated many of the boundaries by enabling communication, collaboration and dialogue. As a disruptive, immersive and ongoing innovation, the ability to connect beyond the classroom builds skills around the use of new or emerging tools for online and ubiquitous computing.

As students engage in online collaborations, they gain an understanding of the power of technology to benefit humanity.

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Connected learning pedagogies challenge isolation and change the way we teach and learn. Learners must be able to go beyond the textbook to connect, not just with current content, but also with people who are the voice — peers, experts and online communities — building collaborations for deeper understanding of the world. The paradigm shift to include online collaboration as a norm is shared by Lee and Ward , p.

Glocalisation is about accepting differences and applying to the local context without homogenisation. The goal is not for one culture to emerge but to find differences as well as commonalities. To best understand the suggested framework for connections between classrooms it is important to explore essential understandings about connected and collaborative learning - the theory behind the practice.

Connected learning makes use of new technology tools to build online networks and develop personal learning resources through interaction with personal learning networks and professional learning communities Siemens, Connected learning is influenced by the need for pedagogies that are more personal, social and participatory with special reference to Web 2. It relates to and is heavily influenced by connectivism Downes, , ; Siemens, , b.

Connectivism is often described as the learning theory for the digital age and is based on the use of networks and nodes to create connections and develop a personal learning network Downes, It describes a form of knowledge and pedagogy based on the idea that knowledge is distributed across networks of connections and that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks Siemens, b.

Guided by teachers, students are also encouraged to seek out information online on their own and express what they find. A connected community around this shared information often results. This is relevant to the focus in this paper in terms of the fluidity of technology-supported learning as individuals connect and learn across different settings, interests and times. The practice of blogging is a typical example of how connections can start within the classroom and then go beyond — student blogs, and a class blog, can easily be shared for others to read, interact and comment, and build mutual learning through information exchange.

Constructivism, as informed by Piaget and Vygotsky , relates to how people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world through experiencing the world, and reflecting on those experiences Harasim, In a constructivist learning environment the role of the teacher is to facilitate and guide the knowledge construction process by engaging students in meaningful learning Paily, Constructionism is when learners construct a meaningful product in the real world Papert, Social constructivism combines constructionism with social learning and emphasises how meanings and understandings grow out of social encounters Harasim, In the context of this paper, the challenge is how to leverage the unique opportunities provided by new technologies, especially Web 2.

Dillenbourg states that educators have struggled with a definition of collaborative learning that includes multidisciplinary processes and enhanced learning outcomes. Laurillard states the combination of social learning and constructionism needs to be clarified to inform pedagogical design to clearly show what makes collaborative learning unique and valuable. Harasim shares that social constructivism puts pedagogical emphasis on the role of collaboration and that collaboration is constructivist when learners share, challenge and develop alternative viewpoints.

The internet has changed and continues to change the way learners connect by providing new forms of interaction and social construction. The current generation has grown up collaborating using online technologies Tapscott, and these provide a platform for engaged learning, deeper understanding and exciting collaborative learning outcomes.

Technology in the global classroom

However, student digital fluency and autonomy within the learning environment, and ability to understand collaborative working modes are essential skills and attitudes. Casey and Evans found students could take control of many aspects of learning and this supported a communities of practice model. Emerging approaches to digital scholarship question what knowledge is, how it is gained and how it is shared. Yet despite internet adoption in the real world, teachers are reluctant to adopt new practices using this in the educational world Harasim, The research of John Hattie shares new pedagogies where the educator has a new role as activator, including educator-student relationship, reciprocal teaching, and feedback Fullan et al.

According to McLoughlin and Lee , pedagogical change requires knowledge of appropriate teaching methods and awareness of the learner experience while using Web 2. A wiki, for example, can be pedagogically ineffective if it does no more than replicate a publishing environment Laurillard, Harasim states the solution to pedagogical transformation lies in a solid strategy for online collaboration.

Laurillard advises that technology is an enabler only if the learning is carefully designed. Effective pedagogic design is difficult for online collaborative authoring and discussion environments that are intended to produce shared output. This is due to different expectations and subsequent differing roles of students and educators.


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Callaghan and Bower and Casey and Evans reveal factors affecting behaviour and learning in social networking sites and focus on pedagogical implications and in doing so challenge traditional modes of teaching and learning. Choi and others advise that collaboration and communication among students from different countries will not be achieved without cultural and social support and shared research on Globally Connected Classroom GCC-STEM activities.

The model they developed, based on constructivist theory, uses global learning communities and has great potential in contributing to global STEM education and collaborative learning Choi, et al. Online global collaboration is where partnerships are made through connections beyond the classroom for the purpose of working and learning together on specific goals and co-creating new knowledge.

With the advent of the internet and new technologies, online global collaboration has evolved from the 1. With the development of faster internet and better technology tools, online global collaboration as the 3. A working definition of online global collaboration: Online global collaboration broadly refers to geographically dispersed educators, learners, classrooms, schools and other learning environments that use online technologies to learn with others beyond their immediate environment in order to support curricular objectives, intercultural understandings, critical thinking, personal and social capabilities and ICT capabilities Lindsay, b, p.

It is important to understand that the term global, can also apply to more localised connections, for example in the same town or state, particularly within close time zones. In large multi-time zone countries like the USA and Australia, it is labelled global collaboration when students connect across the country. Regardless of where participants are, connecting and collaborating beyond the immediate learning environment is the goal — and it generally takes the same tools, habits, and attitudes to connect locally as it does to connect more globally.

Harasim states that through OCL applications there needs to be an emphasis on knowledge work, knowledge creation and knowledge community.

In practical terms, Lindsay b shares that online global collaboration in the classroom means:. The Online Global Collaboration Taxonomy was developed to provide a stepped approach for educators to apply. The taxonomy makes it clear that effective online global collaboration means being able to sustain connections beyond the virtual, synchronous experience and being able to build asynchronous networks and online communities to support collaboration.

Time-zone differences mean that synchronous learning is not always possible during school hours. In fact, it is not as valuable as asynchronous collaboration where global issues can be explored and problems solved within global partnerships across a period of time. The theoretical framework for this taxonomy tool is developed from connectivism Siemens a, Downes, , social constructivism Vygotsky, , and online collaborative learning OCL Harasim, This initial level applies to connecting classrooms asynchronously to share learning activities.

Practices here focus on expanding communication from local within the classroom - intraconnection to global beyond the classroom - interconnection through digital platforms such as blogs, wikis, and online multimedia tools. This allows a window to open into the classroom to those beyond for connected learning activities, such as sharing blog posts, and co-commenting on posts, or contributing to a common Twitter hashtag. The Monster Project A simple collaboration where students in one class describe a monster so that those in the partner class can then draw it and share the creation.

Quadblogging Typically four classrooms are grouped for the purposes of sharing their blogs for student comments on a rotation basis. The parameter of this level is being able to connect in real time synchronous to external learners and experts. Digital tools are employed, such as Skype, Google Hangout and other video and chat-based apps.

This level is limited by geographic proximity, given that schools are potentially in different time zones.

Global education

Educators need to be aware of where they are and the respective time zones of those they want to connect with - opposites sides of the world will have more difficulty connecting during normal school daytime hours. Skype in the classroom The Skype in the classroom website shares three main objectives for connecting classrooms:. Fizzics Education. Ben Newsome, a science teacher in Australia, received a Churchill Fellowship to develop a pedagogically improved video conferencing format that would bring science to students and teachers that includes hands-on student involvement in science.

The aim of this level is to encourage learning through digital interaction, building online communities and sharing multi-modal artefacts. It applies to the development of online communities to support curriculum objectives and may be geographically localised or global.


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The learning focus is asynchronous although some serendipitous synchronous communication may take place. Tools used include the ability to share multimedia online. As distinct from Level 3, this level is designed for the purpose of specific learning objectives as a global community of learners. The community of practice would normally have a shared objective such as a global collaborative project and probably a set timeline that dictates workflow and communication patterns.

This level features extended collaborative communities that foster learner autonomy for online global collaboration. The goal of a learning collaborative is to redesign the learning paradigm to encourage participants to share the lead in connecting and collaborating and co-creating shared outcomes. A student has the ability to connect and interact and learn with anyone in the community independently to the teacher and has the shared responsibility of maintaining collaborations and meeting workflow outcomes.

Successful online global collaboration requires some structure and planning.

Technology and Innovation in Global Education Systems | Institute for Global Change

The taxonomy provides a pathway for K educators to plan interactions across the curriculum and across the school year. This includes planning for synchronous and asynchronous learning modes, use of existing and emerging online technologies, and intensity of collaboration and collaborative outcomes. As a constructivist application, learning in the lower levels enables progressive building of skills for the higher levels.

The taxonomy is not meant to be prescriptive, and educators must be mindful that they could be implementing one or more modes simultaneously or over a period of time such as an academic year , or could be implementing a blended approach across levels depending on the learning objectives at the time.

Educators across the world are showing what the possibilities are for engaged and collaborative learning leading to enhanced outcomes by connecting beyond classrooms. This article has shown some of the related research and shared ideas for making the move from local to global learning modes using online technologies with reference to the Online Global Collaboration Taxonomy. To connect beyond the classroom, and move from local to global learning modes, it is imperative to understand the digital collaborative and global communication paradigm and the shift to constructivist and connectivist teaching modes.

Ongoing practice must embed knowledge of learning theory of the 20th century and emerging theories of the 21st century, such as online collaborative learning Harasim, Online learning is no longer peripheral or supplementary; it has become an integral part of mainstream society Harasim, Constructivist approaches, including social constructivism where collaborative learning combines constructionism with social learning Laurrilard, must drive learning design and pedagogical approaches.

Educators should plan for every student at every level of K to have at least one globally connected learning experience each year, and then build on this so that many levels of the Taxonomy are embedded into learning across the curriculum and across learning practices and pedagogical approaches regularly.