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9 Virtual Exchanges to Take Your Classroom Global

Posted on April 24, 2019

#CSW63 - Scenes from UNHQ
UN Headquarters during the 63rd session of Commission on the Status of Women on 18 March 2019. By UN Women/Amanda Voisard.

Are you and your students interested in connecting to classrooms in other parts of the world---perhaps reading manga with peers in Japan, sharing stories of migration with peers in Mexico, or discussing human rights with peers in Russia? Below, you'll find an updated list of several organizations and tools that can help you set up virtual exchanges.

The first section includes resources that are primarily platforms for educator-designed projects, such as global literature reading groups, and are all free. The next group includes those that allow the option of self-designed or pre-developed curricula; and the last section includes resources that offer chances to connect globally with pre-developed curricula.

Free resources to connect over self-designed projects

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. (free)

Skype in the Classroom allows students to take virtual field trips, bring experts into the classroom, and connect with travelers, educators and authors. (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 Space, Projects Space, and Learning Circle Space. (fee-based)

Resources to connect with curriculum provided

NEW and free: NaTakallam (“we speak” in Arabic) has 50 fully-funded, Syrian refugee-led virtual sessions to give away before the end of the school year! Interested teachers can sign-up online and request a full scholarship to connect their students (any grade level) to a displaced Syrian for interactive virtual conversation about the refugee crisis, culture, and more. Sessions are scheduled at the teacher’s convenience and can be held as a one-off or a series of up to 10. Emails [email protected] with any questions!

NEW:, an organization "Empowering young adults to engage with difference constructively," works with post-secondary youth and educators to facilitate meaningful conversations about social and political issues. (fee-based, sliding scale)

The Global Nomads Group provides educators with several different options for education programs that foster dialogue and enhance understanding between students on all seven continents. GNG's Pulse programs are virtual town hall meetings: classrooms across the globe use live chat to discuss current questions and issues. (free and fee-based)

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!