Example 3. Global Collaboration Project

In our digital world, online collaboration, creation, and problem-solving have become increasingly important. Our students can learn these skills by participating in a collaborative storytelling project with learners in another city, state, or country. The distance means they will be forced to communicate and collaborate primarily online. Online collaboration is very different than in person collaboration mainly because we do not have nonverbal cues to support our messages. Many researchers believe that nonverbal communication is as high as 60% to 93% of all communication (Wood, 2009). This means that a majority of our online messages could be misinterpreted, yet many of our students do not communicate with this in mind. When we accidentally offend others we shut down the lines of communication, which jeopardizes the final outcome or our efforts. The example below shows an example of the type of collaborative storytelling we can get our students involved in.

Karen Ditzler created the Progress Story Global Collaboration Project that took place between 2009 and 2011 in which nearly 200 stories were created from students in 5 Continents, 10 Countries, 29 states, and 289 Classes (Ditzler, 2011).

Screenshot of the Progress Story Global Collaboration Project created by Karen Ditzler

A wiki was used to host the stories, provide instructions, and work out any details. Additionally, the students each wrote their parts of the story in the Wiki.

Screenshot of students from various countries writing their stories as a collaborative piece (Ditzler, 2011)

Wikis are free collaborative spaces for teachers that allow others to join and create web spaces to showcase images, videos, slideshows, maps, embedded content, and more. There is a comment area and forums to allow for feedback. Many apps are offered to enhance the space and make it more interactive. Additionally, teachers can track changes, designate editing roles, and set privacy settings. These options make this tool popular when teachers create global collaboration projects. In this way, the teachers and students involved can have this as a collaborative space to organize the story and have a common area to upload the various submissions but also integrate other tools. Karen was able to embed the Voicethreads that showed the stories put together with multimedia. View the Voicethreads of the stories here.  

Screenshot of the Voicethread Progressive Story: Tim, Dave and Squeaker's Adventure and Mr. Bobs Rescue (Ditzler, 2011)

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License 4.0