Flat Connections

Transforming learning through global collaboration

As we work towards designing our own projects, there are a lot of things to discuss. We may want to split these into subgroups for discussion - if you do, please leave a link in the discussion and we'll feature it to bring others into the conversation. For now, let's look at the essential questions for this chapter:

  • Consider a project that you’ve seen or are planning, what are the essential decisions for that project as related to this chapter?
  • What are the characteristics of a successful global project? Can this be measured? How?
  • How can we design learning experiences that embrace global education as well as enforce rigor and relevance?  Are these the same?
  • How important is collaboration and co-creation in global project design? Does this importance differ depending on the age of the participants?
  • What does a good common assessment rubric contain?
  • What are some issues that global project managers are challenged by?
  • Why are some projects more 'successful' than others? How can we support participants’ needs from different countries, systems and expectations?
  • What are the characteristics of an engaged teacher and classroom in a global collaborative project?

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The notion of geographic diversity as a characteristic of global collaboration is interesting.  I live and work in Hawaii, which of course is in the US, and also in the most isolated landmass on earth.  Even the different islands, much less the nearest states (california or Alaska, depending) are like different worlds.  So for our students to travel, or work in collaborative projects with others, they can have real meaning and open their eyes to new things even if they are "just" domestic.  

The co-creation seems to be really important.  It doesn't have to be making a product, but it could be coming to a shared understanding, or an agreement.  In that sense, even the handshake activities are co-creation.  

Characteristics of a successful global project: Sustained participation, shift in learning among teachers and students, not wastepaper work. I think it is hard to measure in a concrete way but that true learning is easy to see as an educator. Also, we may not know what learning takes place, we may simply be planting seeds that will one day grow into something greater than our lesson, or the grade we assign.


An engaged teacher is one who is learning too. One who thinks, plans and knows what her learners need to be successful. One who is there for them when they need her to be. One who knows when to challenge and when to back away. One who will admit when they don't know something. One who loves what they do. One who models by learning and connecting globally too. #flatclass


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