In today’s climate of rising nationalism, closing borders, and increasing tension in the world, the need for education around cross-cultural awareness and understanding is greater than ever. The advent of social media and other technology means collaboration between classrooms around the world has never been easier. So how can we, as educators foster, this vital skill of global competence? The concept of global competence ‘articulates the knowledge and skills students need in the 21st century’. One approach we can take to develop this competence is through global collaborations and projects, and in this post I will explore some of the ways in which teachers can get involved to help their students become more globally-competent citizens.
To set the scene for my thoughts, I first want to share with you that one of my pet peeves in the learning environment is the use of PowerPoint presentation software. Not that there is anything wrong with PowerPoint software – it can be an incredibly powerful tool when used in the right environment. But when used as a lecture tool in schools, attempting to provide students with information on a particular subject, it can become a cold, one-way communication tool.
Collaborative learning is on the up. All around us there are blog posts from excellent teachers, research from expert academics and articles from around the world, but so far something has been missing. We know the benefits of true collaboration and ideas on how to encourage it in the classroom, but do we know how we can assess the tasks themselves? Setting the right task is key for encouraging effective collaborative learning.