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Connecting with Classrooms Around the World: Resources for Virtual Exchanges, Part II (updated)

Posted on September 20, 2016

Are you and your students interested in meeting students and educators from other parts of the globe? Or would you like to read the international literature from WWB Campus along with another (perhaps international) classroom?

While WWB Campus isn’t currently facilitating international classroom exchanges, we can help teachers identify resources for doing that. Below, we’ve shared an updated list of several organizations and tools that can help you set up virtual exchanges in your classroom. The first section includes resources that are primarily platforms for educator-designed projects; the next group includes those that act as a platform and provide curricula; and the last section includes resources that offer chances to connect globally with pre-developed curricula.

Resources to connect over self-designed projects (i.e. WWB Campus lit groups)

The Global Education Conference hosts a virtual conference for global-minded educators, as well as an active online discussion forum where educators post and connect about projects. Between September 15th and October 1st, GEC has open submissions for the Great Global Project Challenge. (free)

Skype in the Classroom allows students to take virtual field trips, bring experts into the classroom, and connect with travelers, educators and authors. The Around the World with 80 Schools and Learn NC blogs give examples of projects that are possible using Skype in the Classroom for virtual global learning. (free)

After signing up on ePals (Global Community), teachers and students can message each other; teachers can also choose from a library of "Experiences"—cultural exchange, subject-based learning, and language practice—for their classes. (free)

Resources to connect with self-designed projects or with curriculum provided

TakingITGlobal offers a variety of ways for teachers and students to connect globally, including finding or registering your own globally-collaborative project, and finding curriculum-based resources (try searching by subject, like English/Language Arts, or topic, like Culture. (free)

iEARN organizes project-based collaborations for classrooms around the world using online (emails, forums, and live chats) and face-to-face (video chats) interactions. On its Project Collaboration Center page, you can browse the many different projects underway; and, after creating an account, you can explore the different platforms for exchange, including a General Discussion SpaceProjects Space, and Learning Circle Space($100 for individual/$400 for schools)

Resources to connect with curriculum provided

Global Nomads Group provides educators with several different options for education programs that foster dialogue and enhance understanding between students on all seven continents. Find GNG project guides and curricula on Open Educational Resources Commons. (free with registration) 

  • GNG's Youth Voices program provides curricula and platforms for connection, including interactive videoconferences focused around several questions related to global citizenship. The Global Citizens in Action project has a specific cross-cultural focus: classrooms in United States and the Middle East and North Africa connect to explore cultural exchange, media literacy, and global citizenship. (free materials, participation with application) 
  • The Pulse programs are virtual town hall meetings: classrooms across the globe use live chat to discuss current questions and issues. (free)

Finally, with a subscription to Flat Connections, you and your class can take part in collaborative projects with other teachers and students throughout the world. Look at the different levels of project to see what would best fit your class. (fees start at $149 for one 15-student project, $699 for access to all projects)

For more ideas, Asia Society’s Center for Global Education also has lots of helpful resources on how to connect to people involved in global education around the world. Start with their guide to being a #GlobalEducator on Twitter.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on online collaborations, and about how any collaborative projects are going. Let us know what you are up to!

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