Warming Global Relationships by Connecting International Classrooms
Abstract: This presentation addresses the question why, in an era of powerful emerging technologies that enable rich communication and collaboration, so many educators shy away from engaging students in global projects? Robust literature and experience with distant collaboration demonstrate the promise of globally connected classrooms. This promise was born out during the 2012 spring semester with a project called “It’s a Small World.” Two college classrooms, one from Russia and the other the US, were virtually connected to conduct project around cultural, economic, and political topics. The success of the collaboration was aided by the complementary learning goals of the two groups, teacher candidates studying methods of teaching social studies, on one side, and future journalists, diplomats and social workers, taking a course of English, on the other. Multimedia experiences, evidenced by this project, represent an important means by which students in any field learn to live in a global world.