Leveraging Institution Partnerships for Sustainable Exchange

How can working with institutions make virtual exchange more accessible & sustainable? Learn more about implementation at the school level, through non-formal education, and the national ministry level.

About The Speaker(s)

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  • Salma Elbeblawi - Director of Programs, Soliya
  • Kristyn Mohr - Program Coordinator, Global Nomads Group
  • Hela Nafti - Tunisia Coordinator for the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN)
  • Katherine Korte - High School Social Studies Teacher in St. Louis, MO

Resources

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Articles, Websites, or Videos Mentioned

Key Questions and Comments

  • (06:03) Today's technology makes it really easy to for one-on-one global connections...So, why should a classroom teacher in today's world rely on an institution or a partner instead of creating a virtual exchange opportunity on their own?
  • (08:30) You said 'We have Facebook, we have Twitter--people are able to connect one-on-one all the time.' But the reality is that, when using these tools, people...mostly connect with the people from their own circles, from similar backgrounds.
  • (12:01) Virtual exchange establishes a framework and a network to connect into . So, you're not going in it alone, which can really intimidating for an educator...To actually have a network that's already established that you can tap into is hugely important.
  • (15:22) As you're all advocates of virtual exchange and building those connections, what do you find works as you're trying to motivate others to join?
  • (19:09) On the organizational side, one piece that drives the success of school partnerships and international exchanges is that the participants really take ownership of the program.
  • (22:46) Another key [selling point] for many of the partners that we work with is access to cross-cultural experience where it wouldn't be available otherwise...Being able to engage deeply across cultures and across difference...
  • (25:52) Are there any particular strategies or factors that you've seen lead to a really meaningful exchange?
  • (30:44) As a teacher who's venturing into these global collaboration projects, there's a lot of factors: curriculum skills, technological skills, and global competency skills.
  • (35:10) If we want to achieve success and also make it easy for the newcomers: show them how easy it is, show them they're not alone, that they're part of a global network.
  • (37:00) Why isn't this practice of cross-cultural interaction using technology more widespread, more common? What's holding us back?
  • (39:21) We're not making the very clear connection that, the same way we talk about 21st-century skills as really important for students, virtual exchanges & peer-to-peer dialogue are indeed doing just that. They're providing opportunities for collaboration, communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, etc.
  • (41:58) The technology may have been available for a long time...it's not just about using the tools and, automatically, you have programs. We had to take time to develop the theory for...what we wanted to achieve through virtual connections as part of education.
  • (45:10) It's still very difficult for administrators or heads of schools to be aware of the importance of really connecting students and getting them the tools that will prepare them for life and employment.
  • (47:39) From all of these different vantage points and perspectives, how can we build strong communities of practice for scaling up virtual exchange?
  • (51:10) It's about building that vision and building that community. Moving beyond 'I'm doing something cool & innovative in my classroom' to 'I'm part of the virtual exchange field, I'm part of a community that's building learning & knowledge'.

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