Over the last semester I’ve worked with several groups of students on a variety of globally collaborative projects, and each time we complete a project, I ask for student feedback.

Usually, I like to post these right after we finish, along with a description of the project, but somehow time has gotten away from me. So, in the interest of sharing student feedback, I have included the highlights from 3 of our major projects: 1001 Flat World Tales, NetGenEd Sounding Board (following the same process from the Flat Classroom Project earlier this year), and Life ‘Round Here (following the process outlined after last year’s experiences), in this one post.

Interestingly, as I looked back at all of the feedback, there was quite a bit of overlap. Even though these projects were completed by different students in different grade levels, many of them shared the same takeaways.

We learned:

  • how easy it is to communicate with people in different time zones and in other countries using technology.
  • writing feedback for other students makes you think and helps you practice your Writing Workshop skills – it’s like using Writing Workshop in real life.
  • to accept other people’s ways of working and how to put our ideas together through cooperation.
  • to work together with partners better to complete our goal even if we were making mistakes.
  • we have a lot in common with our global partners.
  • sharing our work online made me aware of what we were saying.

We liked:

  • that we got to work with different people from other classes that we didn’t know how to work with, so we learned how to work with them and adapt to their way of working.
  • getting to know my international partner by reading their introduction and feeling like I know my partner even though they’re not in my class here at school.
  • how we could write about what we wanted to because it’s more fun to have your own choice for what to write about. I’m more of an expert on what I like.
  • that because it’s online we can watch it again and show it to our family.
  • that we were able to be creative with a partner.

Suggestions for improvement:

  • It would be nice to go on the wiki regularly and leave discussions to communicate with our partners.
  • I would like more practice being a peer-editor, especially on revising writing instead of just spelling and grammar.
  • I’m wondering if we’re going to use another wiki next year because we already know how to use it. I would like to do the project again next year because we’re experts (whole class agrees).

Final Thoughts

When I look back over this compiled feedback (and others from earlier this year), I am so happy to see that these students are becoming 21st century learners, as we have defined here at ISB. They are actually noticing and discussing their opportunities to collaborate and communicate globally, to be creative, to use a variety of technology tools in real life situations, to learn from their mistakes and to share their learning with others. These are the kinds of experiences we want all of our ISB students to have!

One other commonality that really stands out is that all of the students would like more opportunities to participate in similar projects. They feel a sense of accomplishment and growing expertise in these new modes of learning and would like more classroom experiences which include global collaborations. It seems that our students are ready for these kinds of experiences to be embedded throughout the curriculum at all grade levels.

What do your students think about their experiences with global collaborations?