Sunday, July 7, 2019

Global Collaborator: Unpacking ISTE Standard for Students #7



Global Collaborator: Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally. (ISTE Student Standard #7)

This standard is my hill to die on. If a student graduates from our school and doesn't know how to collaborate well with the world, then we have failed to equip that student for their future. The universe gets smaller every day. When I graduated from college (the first time), there was no internet access to the masses. I was pretty much competing with people within a 50-mile radius in the city I wanted to work in. There were some people willing to relocate but the bottom line was that 85% of the people that were after the same job I was would have been considered my geographical neighbor. Today, someone might need graphics work done and artists from all over the world can bid on that job. Due to video conferencing, smartphones, and wifi, the professional world has become more fluid in who we work with and also whom we compete with. The walls have fallen down and most jobs today require you to communicate with someone not in your community and maybe not even in your hemisphere on a regular basis. In the last year, I have worked strategically discussing the use of voice speakers in the classroom with people from California, North Carolina, Florida, Iowa, Israel, and the United Kingdom.

So how do we prepare students for that world if the walls are still up in our districts and we can't reach out globally because of a lack of technology?

  • Penpals. Remember snail mail? That's what I am talking about! Culturally connect your students to another school through snail mail. Depending on the age of your students, you can have them write individual letters or write a letter as a class. Ask each other questions relevant to learning. Challenge each other with quizzes or questions. It could be something that happens all year long. 
  • If you are a teacher that has a computer with a webcam or you are willing to use your own phone, participate in a mystery skype opportunity. Do your legwork first. Communicate with the other educator and decide what your learning goals would be for your mystery Skype. Is it purely geographical or do you want your students to glean certain information from your connection? 
  • Seek a local that isn't a local. We live in a transient world. Your school and students could benefit from the connections you have to other cultures. Sometimes those not like yourself seem intimidating or scary. Knock down the biased boundaries that exist and ask someone to come in and collaborate with your students about their culture.
  • Get involved. My edufriend Jennifer Williams serves on the board of Global Goals Educator Task force. This task force works together with the UN to teach Sustainable Development Goals that would affect every teacher, student, and the world. Look for opportunities to talk about global needs and perspectives. TEACH SDGs is one option but there are plenty of other ways to help students to see outside the silos of their lives.


Check out the previous blog posts from the "Unpacking ISTE Standards for Students Techknowledge Gee" here:

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