I see the workplaces of the 21st century have a flat environment, where members are thinking about outcomes and principles with an ever-changing set of variables, and they are expected to collaborate with peers and across disciplines. Being lifelong learners is a very important trait in this new world economy and schools must prepare students for this reality.
In his article ‘The Classroom Is Obsolete: It’s Time for Something New’, Prakash Nair reminds us that we still tend to define “success” as students’ ability to perform well on a standardized test, rather than their developing skills to navigate a fast-changing world. He lists the education design principles for tomorrow’s schools.
Those are (1) personalized; (2) safe and secure; (3) inquiry-based; (4) student-directed; (5) collaborative; (6) interdisciplinary; (7) rigorous and hands-on; (8) embodying a culture of excellence and high expectations; (9) environmentally conscious; (10) offering strong connections to the local community and business; (11) globally networked; and (12) setting the stage for lifelong learning.
Those principles are not new for educators in the 21st century, however, how successfully we apply those to our schools. We might say, “successfully” to some and “unsuccessfully” to others. I realize the need of global collaboration project to develop student global competence by connecting to community locally, nationally, and globally, but I am not sure how to carry out the project along with global colleagues. It seems tough to complete successfully.
In her blog post, Kim Cofino gives a step-by-step guide to global collaborations. Those detailed lists are truly valuable not only for teachers who are willing to collaborate globally, but also for all the 21st century educators. Her contribution to the global learning community also deepens my understanding of connectivism.
Using the public services is also one way to carry out the projects successfully. There are various public services that offer place to collaborate globally; The Japan Forum (TJF) is one of them. TJF is a public interest incorporated foundation that established in 1987 under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan.
One of their websites, ‘Tsunagaaru’ offers Japanese language learners the opportunity for global collaborations. It is an interactive communication website and participants are secondary school students in Japan and other countries.
I assume that using those websites promote the connection among educators and students globally, and avoid unsuccessful collaboration.