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Students Collaborating Globally

Perhaps you may be wondering…. What are students at Rocky River learning about technology and globalization this year? One of several projects this year has been with our blogging buddies and one of our sister school from Upper Plenty in Victoria, Australia. They are back in session now from their summer holidays and starting a new school year. We continue to work on projects with them including our first project helping with a collaborative magazine called Global UPdate. Right before their summer holidays and our winter break we received our first copy of a collaborative project that students around the world had collaborated on.

We were so excited to see our answers to the questionnaires included in this publication by Upper Plenty students from Ms. Crowther and Mrs. Placek classes. The teachers had sent questions to Mrs. Todd for students to answer by email from the student groups in their classrooms there since the time difference keeps us from Skyping with Australia. Mrs. Todd then chose students to complete the interview questions from 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. A lot of collaboration was involved in completing the project around the world. Ellie, Amanda, Katie, Katelyn, Olivia, Gracie and Sammy were all excited to see their contributions as they got to preview the magazine. Students in Australia had to decide which ones to include due to space limitations so it was a hard decision. Students in different parts of the world learned they had to submit information on time also for it to be considered.

It was an absolute pleasure to receive our copies of Global UPdate from Upper Plenty in Australia and we are enjoying reading and comparing student life in different places of the world. They worked super-hard to meet their deadlines and publish the magazine. And what a very professional looking end product it is, too! We were so surprised by the awesome job they did with the publication to represent many students from all around the world. Some areas they focused on were facts about schools, school yard games, collections, literacy, math, music, teaching around the world (teacher contributions), lunches, hobbies, celebrations, foods, and natural disasters.

The magazine was first introduced to students in Australia by the teachers at the beginning of Term 4. The magazine was to focus on similarities and differences of the lives of children from all around the world. After the students had all chosen a topic, they began their research. At that point the teachers in other parts of the world introduced the project to their students. The research involved Skyping, blogging, emailing, interviewing and gathering information from books and the internet. The students spoke with students and teachers from all around the globe – from Japan, China, India, Hong Kong, Germany, England, Canada and Rocky River students and teachers in Monroe, NC, USA. Our students learned about technology, collaboration, time schedules and communicating as they worked with students there. They learned the importance of communication across the globe and staying on a schedule to complete a project. They learned about goal setting and challenges that people in the real world of publication and communication must face.

The students said the project of "Writing our magazine has been a fun, rewarding and, at times, challenging task. It has involved a lot of hard work, dedication and enthusiasm to complete the magazine." They had a launching party on December 18th, 2013 when they celebrated their hard work. A representative from the Red Cross came to speak with the students in Australia and thank them for coordinating the project. Students at Rocky River were so excited to be involved in this global collaboration and see the finished product and learn how groups around the world can work together and complete a collaborative project like this involving several countries, schools and students. We were able to read post on their blog site and learn all about the publication and the celebration even though we weren’t able to attend in person. We love the fact that all the hard work of the teachers and students from around the world could also help out the Red Cross which benefits many families and children around the world.

They sold the magazine and the profits made were donated to the Red Cross an international charity which helps children globally. We were happy to have had a part in this collaborative project and helping others at the same time! We were glad our contributions to both the publication and our donation to them would go to the Red Cross to help people. We were able to do all of this and many other group projects through technology in the 21st century like blogging, Skyping, and emails. We look forward to more projects with students and classes around the world.


Written by: Brenda Todd
Posted: Feb 23, 2014 by Brenda Todd

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