Global Collaboration: The Right Foot
A lot of beginning 21st Century Educators know how useful tech can be, and know the almost limitless possibility of it, but they tend not to go further than that. When I began my Instructional Technology minor three years ago, I never really thought I'd find myself working on a globally relevant project with people from another country.
Yet, here I am.
Our Educational Technology class recently was granted the incredible opportunity to begin a Global Collaboration Project with Red River College in Canada.
This is a month-or-so-long project looking at the intense levels of collaboration an expansive project like this needs. While there is a content-related goal of the project, the biggest aspect of this experience for us is learning to collaborate in this sort of a setting. In our minor, we have a lot of experience with working remotely, using tools like Zoom to video conference, and collaborating with people we may never meet in person, but that's always been different. These people were always a part of the same class, and in the same country.
Now, we're working with an entirely different school in an entirely different country. It's pretty weird, to say the least.
We are working with the United Nations's Sustainable Development Goals to create a large-scale project on a goal we specify.
As you might expect, there are a lot of challenges that come with this sort of large-scale collaboration.
The biggest challenge? Actually collaborating!
We've all been there, group projects with partners that never seem to be
available when we are. Now, imagine that when you can't even see these people in class or around campus.
Trying to collaborate with people who are thousands of miles away is daunting. Technology isn't perfectly reliable, and sometimes your emails get lost. Everyone has a very different, busy schedule, and it's hard to find time to actually meet up.
The issues with communicating can make projects like this frustrating at times, and so far that's definitely been my experience with global collaboration. It's exciting! It's just also frustrating, especially when you're as Type-A as myself.
Despite all of the hardships with the project, I'm excited to keep moving forward with global collaboration!