This quarter as part of Seattle Pacific University’s EDTC 6103 Teaching, Learning, and Assessment 2 course, I investigated the question: “How can we use Skype Collaborations to connect us with others both locally and globally to solve real-world problems?” My goal was to find information on Skype Collaborations as well as answer questions I had about creating a Global Collaborative Project. Through research, my focus for this investigation was to cover the following ISTE Educator Standard:
4c: Use collaborative tools to expand students’ authentic, real-world learning experiences by engaging virtually with experts, teams and students, locally and globally.
What are the benefits of Global Collaboration?
Renewed Sense of Purpose:
“Students see the real effects that their creation can have on others” (Ripp, 2016)
Renewed Sense of Community
“Students yearn to see where they fit into the world” (Ripp, 2016)
Renewed Understanding of the Digital Footprint: “Engaging Students in global collaborative projects means that they see the footprint creation as well as the effect their online interactions can have on other people” (Ripp, 2016)
Before Creating a Global Collaborative Project
Questions to Think About
In Pernille Ripp’s book, “Reimagining Literacy Through Global Collaboration: Create Globally Literate K 12 Classrooms”, he recommends thinking about the following questions before creating your Global Collaborative Project:
- Which subject areas will this project influence?
- How much time can you devote to this project?
- What are your preferred digital or analog tools?
- Do students have a say in what you share?
- What are you hoping to accomplish from participating in this global project?
Tips to be Successful
Ripp also give the 10 following tips to a successful Global Collaborative Project:
- Be simple
- Make sure the idea is easily translatable
- Don’t make too many rules
- Invite others to contribute ideas
- Don’t get stuck in a rut
- Use technology tools for the right reason
- Create a community
- Be accessible
- Trust other people
- Make it fun!
Using Skype Collaborations as a Collaborative Tool
One tool I found while researching Global Collaboration Projects was Skype Collaborations. I found many projects that were available that I could join that varied on subject area and grade (age). It was enlightening to see other projects and get a grasp of what a real Global Collaborative Project should look like. Here is an example of one:
With the video above and the available global projects available with Skype Collaborations, I was able to see some examples of successful Global Collaborative Projects, The next question that came in mind is if this type of tool would be suitable for the younger ages (Pre-K and Kindergarten). I was pleasantly surprised on the amount of projects that were suitable for little learners! Karina Bailey, who is a Kindergarten teacher from Georgia, even shares some of her favorite collaborations she does with her class:
One document I found in my research on Skype Collaborations was a guide to help answer some questions you may be having about using Skype Collaborations in the classroom. Here are a few that helped me:
“How can I find the right Skype Collaboration for my classroom?”
Browse through or use the filter to view available Skype Collaborations by:
- Age group
- Dates and times available
“How long does a Skype Collaboration session last?”
“As Skype Collaborations are run by teachers, it can vary, and depends on the nature of the Collaboration- whether it’s a one-off call or a longer-term project you’ll be working on together. Usually Skype sessions are between 30 minutes to an hour to fit in with the school lesson timings.”
“How do we get connected on Skype?”
“The host will normally send you a contact request via Skype before the session. If the host has provided you with their Skype ID, please go ahead and add them as a contact on Skype and wait for them to accept the request. If this is your first call, we recommend having a test call- either with the host, or if they are not available with another contact (even a teacher in another room!)”
“What age range are Skype Collaborations suitable for?”
“We have options for all age ranges- use the filter to find those available for your students ages. You can also include some information in your message to the host as to your students needs and what they hope to gain from the session. Generally as you’ll be working with another class, the students on both sides are usually around the same age.”
[Skype]. (2015, August 11). Kansas Students Solve Water Crisis for School in Kenya over Skype. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weXOfQNX1X8
[Skype Classroom]. (2017, February 23). Kindergarden. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy42GzMs8PQ
[Skype]. (2019). Skype Collaborations. [Web]. Retrieved from https://education.microsoft.com/skype-in-the-classroom/skype-collaborations
[Sway.Office.com]. (Viewed 2019). Guide to: Skype Collaborations. [Web]. Retrieved from https://sway.office.com/E1NIYIVGTsN8L5Ad?ref=Link&loc=play
[ISTE]. (2019). ISTE Standards for Educators. [Web]. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-educators
Ripp, Pernille. (2017). Reimagining Literacy Through Global Collaboration. [Web]. Retrieved from https://firstname.lastname@example.org:14.2