- The internet makes global connections possible for students in even the most remote areas of the United States, but the best global teachers go beyond virtual field trips or one-time conversations with other students or experts abroad.
- In a Q&A with District Administration, Julie Lindsay, author of “The Global Educator: Leveraging Technology for Collaborative Learning and Teaching,” says a deeper approach is to build ongoing embedded learning into those experiences, giving students a chance to do weeks-long projects with their peers in other countries and creating true learning communities.
- While some teachers face resistance about connecting with other classrooms in certain parts of the world because of politics or school policies that limit their freedom, Lindsay sees students who engage in these experiences developing cultural understanding that will serve them later in life.
Schools are increasingly looking for evidence of global education practices among teachers they are considering hiring. It has become a recognized asset in this time of easy connections to anyone, anywhere. The best teachers are not only curating global opportunities for their students, but finding global connections for their own professional development. Teachers in schools that have implemented 1:1 device initiatives often find opportunities for international connections as they explore ways to incorporate the new technology into their lesson plans.
In especially diverse schools, teachers can even forge connections with people in countries that represent their students’ heritage. This is another way to make lessons more culturally relevant and responsive to those who have not been well-represented by traditional Eurocentric textbooks. Many schools that do this work find student engagement increases, along with standardized test scores.