Virtual Exchange – Digital Promise

Virtual Exchange

Connecting students with international partners, including students in other countries, allows for authentic global career readiness. While the value of traveling and studying abroad can be transformative, a minority of students are able to take advantage of this opportunity due to a variety of factors including time and money. Virtual exchange, however, provides an accessible, affordable, and flexible option for delivering global learning. Use the resources below to get started with global collaborative projects in your classes!

Steps to Utilize and Set Up a Global Collaborative Project

Global connections and experiences provide the best path to authentic global career readiness. Utilizing projects that involve a connection and collaboration with students in a community many time zones away can provide your students with these experiences. Developing a globally collaborative project involves several steps, map out your project using our International Collaboration Map tool and these steps:

Step 1. Begin with the right mindset.

  • Seek to build partnerships, not solve your global partner’s problems. Both sides have a lot to offer.
  • Don’t assume what they do or don’t have; ask and learn.
  • Train your students to recognize negative mindsets, and how to shift them if they emerge.

Step 2. Find a partner.

  • See our updated page of organizations that can help you find a partner. Make sure to delineate your curriculum goals and seek partners that are working on the same concepts.

Step 3. Find curriculum connections and a project you can work on together.

  • Mitigate potential downfalls by first producing something separately and then sharing it.
  • Based on these goals and concepts, co-design the project and activities.
  • Modify the project through constant feedback and communication.

Step 4. Prepare your students to:

  • Use the Internet and technology safely and effectively.
  • Make good decisions and exhibit proper etiquette online.
  • Have meaningful engagement with others and respect differences.

Step 5. Do the project!

  • Set a timeline for collaboration with your partner. Consider holidays and school breaks on each side.
  • Check-in with your global co-teacher frequently, a weekly basis is recommended, to evaluate student progress and coordinate upcoming activities.
  • Manage and encourage student collaboration.
  • Provide coaching and feedback to students to enhance global connection.
  • Lead student reflection activities after each global interaction.

Tools and Readings

Postsecondary Resources

Part of the A Future Ready Workforce: Preparing Community College Students for Success in a Global Economy program, Faculty Module 9: Do It Yourself Global Collaboration, provides faculty with “do it yourself” strategies to make international CTE program connections. Faculty will learn to utilize online resources and technology tools, how to find international partners, create lessons or projects together, and implement an international collaboration.

Secondary Resources

Want to collaboratively solve a problem by connecting your students with students in another part of the world? Take Module 8: Enhancing Instruction with Global Collaborative Projects, a short 20-minute online professional development module that is part of the Career Readiness in a Global Economy: STEM and CTE program. This module is available for free (log-in required). View the Technology Tools for Global Education page to see a list of potential partners for virtual collaborative exchange.

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