DEC Scan Journal : Volume 36 Issue 2
2017 Volume 36, Issue 2 35 Contents Editorial Learning & teaching Research Share this Resource reviews • Connect with China Collaborative • This learning collaborative is where participants from within China are connected with those beyond China to support a wide variety of learning objectives. Authentic themes and collaborative working modes aim to bridge the global gap and engage participants in global issues and problem solving. The community consists of teachers, students, non-government organisations, members of the community in all participating countries. How to use the online global collaboration taxonomy Successful online global collaboration requires some structure and planning. The taxonomy provides a pathway for K-12 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. Starting with Level 1: Online interactions and culminating in Level 5: Learning collaboratives, educators can design and/or search for appropriate online local and global partnerships and experiences for their students. 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. Level 5: Learning collaboratives 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. As distinct from Level 4, learning collaboratives ‘flatten’ the learning to the extent that all participants are equal members of the community, have equal responsibilities and expectations for contribution and collaboration. 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. • Flat Connections Global Project • Designed for high school levels this collaborative includes an extended community including students, teachers, learning concierge’s (Bonk, 2007) (in this context referring to an educator who supports knowledge construction in a non-hierarchical approach to learning globally) and judges (of student- created multimedia). The goal is to ‘flatten’ the learning so that true collaborative research in a global community of mixed classroom groups takes place, with outcomes such as enhanced skills with online interactive learning modes, co-created multimedia and intercultural understanding. Level 4: Communities of practice 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. The goal is to connect students directly with each other through both synchronous and asynchronous modes and to foster diverse online global collaborative practices that may be teacher and/or student led. Examples: • iEARN Learning Circles • Learning circles developed by Riel (1996) for the International Education and Resource Network are highly interactive project-based partnerships. Each circle consists of a small group of schools located in different countries. Teachers determine the theme and topic for interaction and communication methods. There is a timeline and a set outcome such as publication of a collaborative ebook or website. Web 2.0 and other tools are used for the collaboration as determined by the teachers. • The Global Read Aloud (GRA) • GRA is an award winning global project that takes place in early October and runs for six weeks. The aim is to find partnerships for all classrooms in pursuit of reading a defined text at the same time over six weeks. Teachers communicate to determine real time and asynchronous learning modes including commenting on blog posts, video blogs, Twitter feeds, and shared resources.
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