Tag Archives: Collaborations

Research Literature on COIL

I’ve just finished attending the 10th Anniversary COIL Conference for the first time. It made me very curious about the literature.

Several COIL leaders suggested that COIL needs a journal. Ethnographic research is needed for this type of activity, and right now the publications on this topic are in a variety of locations. The language exchanges are published in language journals; administrators publish in the international education journals. The educational technology / online learning journals / schools of education aren’t so interested in this type of work, and less likely to publish COIL related articles.

So, I decided to do a little hunting – a quick search. Here’s what I’ve found so far.

YouTube

Ok, I know YouTube isn’t literature, but there’s a nice collection of videos that could be shown to faculty to raise awareness of COIL. The student voices ones in particular would be great for inspiring faculty.

Keywords

People

It was clear from the conference that there are some key players in this field:

Your Turn

Faculty at the conference expressed concern on the lack of a consistent term to connect the research together. What and who did I miss? What would you add?

A Focus on “International” in COIL

I’ve been attending the 10th Anniversary COIL Conference and am reflecting and synthesizing my learning. In this post, I am exploring the international aspect of COIL. When I worked in K12 videoconferencing, our collaborations were only rarely international. But the international piece is KEY to COIL. I only saw two sessions that didn’t have an international aspect: one was on a U.S. state to state project; and another was on virtual team teaching within Quebec.

Benefits of International Collaboration

So, let’s explore the international aspect. What are the benefits of connecting internationally?

Institutionalizing International Education
Sally Crimmins-Villela, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs, State University of New York said that COIL can institutionalize international education as a whole; to make it available to all types of students, not just those who can fund international trips. A major thread at the conference was the concern that international experiences are only available to a small subset of students. COIL has the potential of breaking that barrier.

Beyond International Students on Campus
I thought it was very interesting that even though SUNY and CUNY are so international with a wide variety of students on campus, COIL is still valued and pursued. Having diverse perspectives within the classroom isn’t enough; we want to connect internationally as well. It made me think of the work we are doing at Andrews University, the 2nd most diverse university in the United States. We have been focusing on global engagement, in faculty development and our overarching work.

Benefits and Results
In the closing keynote,  Susan Buck Sutton, Senior Advisor for International Initiatives, Bryn Mawr College, shared the following list of benefits and results for COIL activities (a direct quote from her slide):

“Establish the importance of global conversation

Enable such conversations for all, even at home

Connect institutions as well as students and faculty

Engage in the co-construction of knowledge

Build understanding of others on their own terms

Can be pursued by institutions with few resources

Create connections transcending national and other boundaries

Generate ideas and activities not anticipated when they began” – Sutton, 2016.

And, in the words of a fellow attendee on Twitter:

Interestingly, the closing keynote panel discussion wrestled with whether the motivation should be economic (workplace skills) or peace-making (greater understanding of others). Some concluded that it is ok to come with different motivations as faculty and administrators; our students will come with different motivations too. Either way, they will gain an invaluable international experience that will affect them profoundly for the rest of their lives.

Challenges of International Collaboration

A World in Peril
One of the benefits of COIL is the ability to engage with the world, but as Doreen Starke-Meyerring, Associate Professor, McGill University shared with us on Monday’s keynote, when you engage with the world, you find that the world is a planet in peril. She shared an example of the movie Where Do We Go Now? as how challenging and difficult the issues are.

U.S. to World vs. World to World
One thing I’ve always wondered about is: – there are so many U.S. institutions who want to connect internationally, but do all the international sites want to connect to the U.S? Maybe not! For example, one session described a collaboration between Germany, Mexico & the UK. Are there enough partners to go around?! Can we all share?

Cultural Competence
How do faculty and students learn the intercultural sensitivity necessary for a successful experience? What supports are available to make that happen? We want to go deeper than a superficial sharing or exchange; what does it take to get there?

Your Turn

What benefits and challenges would you add? Do you agree with those I’ve listed here, culled from conference conversations? Please comment.

 

Comparing Collaborative Projects at the K12 and Higher Ed Levels

I’ve just finished attending the 10th Anniversary COIL Conference for the first time, and I had such an interesting experience – a bit like a twisted de ja vu, It’s so similar to the work I did in K12 from ’98 to ’11 supporting K12 videoconferencing, mostly projects. Yet it has it’s own higher ed spin of course!

So I thought I’d make myself a little chart, as I’m processing my learning and this new world/field I’ve learned about.

Comparisons

K12 Videoconferencing Higher Ed International Collaborations
Getting Started Usually teachers participate in a managed project to get their feet wet (i.e. RAP as the gateway drug to videoconferencing) Faculty meet at a conference, or fly to meet in person to plan the project
Institutions support collaborations with existing partner institutions
Organizations providing support and assistance finding a partner iEARN.org
CAPspace
CILC.org
Global SchoolNet Project Registry
Institution collaborations such as
SUNY COIL Global Partner Network
Virtual Team Teaching Exchange
UNICollaboration
Length of projects Usually one videoconference, with 1 to 2 weeks of preparation Two weeks to a full course
Curriculum All subject areas More popular in the humanities
Project Support Teachers create projects and find partners
OR teachers participate in managed projects like Read Around the Planet
Mostly individually created collaborative experiences
Soliya is an organization managing the collaborative experience for higher ed
Faculty support Media specialist or instructional technology support staff
Sometimes also educational service agency support
Instructional designer
International office
IT / AV support
Dean, chair, other administrative support
Value A simple exchange or meet & greet often sufficient and valued Need the experience tied to a framework or model and research supporting it
Evaluation Were the students engaged / inspired? Did the experience produce “satisfactory scholarly work”?
Was there rigor in the quality of the academic experience?

Reactions?

What do you think? Have I over-generalized? Am I missing any major concepts? What would you add?

Videoconference Playground at ISTE

Yesterday was the 2nd annual Video conference Playground at the ISTE 2011 Conference.

For those of you who missed this amazing event, here are a few resources you should review!

Captain Roxanne Glaser led an amazing team of pirate deck hands and volunteers! Hope YOU participate next year!

Pirate Captain Roxanne Glaser and @Tparks, pirate volunteer

(Thanks @TParks for the photo!)

Check Flickr next week for more pictures from the playground.

Thanking my Pirate Helpers

I had over 100 participants in my ISTE Bring Your Own Laptop (BYOL) session on CAPspace today (Collaborations Around the Planet). Great attendance, but wow, what a lot of people!

I knew I couldn’t handle it myself, with all the account creation and questions. So, I recruited several of the SIG IVC pirates to assist me. You should know them and friend them on CAPspace!!

Sue Porter

Lori Colwill

Amy Spath

Audra May

Elaine Shuck

Anne-Marie Miller

They were all decked out in aweomse pirate gear! Audra has the pictures, and they should be posted in the SIG IVC Flickr site in the next day or two.

In addition, Roxanne Glaser, Whirlidurb‘s Content Director, and Pirate Captain helped me chunk the workshop to best take advantage of the pirate assistance.

Thank you pirates for making such a smooth BYOL session!

Hope you all can visit the Videoconference Playground at ISTE tomorrow!

Collaborations Around the Planet: Social Networking for Educational Videoconferencing

Links for today’s ISTE Bring Your Own Laptop workshop:

More about standards-based videoconferencing:

BYOL Workshop Evaluation

Additional resources

 

 

Designing Quality Videoconference Projects

ISTE workshop this morning! Here are links and resources Roxanne Glaser and I are using in the workshop:

Our Websites

Research

Skype Resources

Sample Projects

TWICE

Other Project Posting Sites

Additional Resources

Workshop Evaluation

Showing Off VC at a School Opening

Earlier this year we had one of the coolest VCs that we’ve done. It was very simple really, but it was who attended that made it cool!

Her Royal Highness, The Princess Anne, was attending a school opening at one of our collaborative partner schools in Wales.

The school officials wanted Princess Anne to see a videoconference IN SESSION while she was touring the school!

So our class worked with one of their classes to prepare a very simple VC:

  • Introductions on both sides
  • Info about our communities
  • Some question and answer time

We had to submit info about our school for security to check us out ahead of time.

Our students prepared a special greeting for Her Royal Highness.

Think about it!

  • How do you promote videoconferencing in your school?
  • Have your administrators seen a successful, powerful engaging videoconference?
  • Have you invited parents to watch a videoconference in your school?
  • Who else might be interested and therefore willing to support (financially and otherwise) the videoconference program in your school?

I was very impressed with our colleagues in Wales who found videoconferencing important enough to show off to an important visitor!

Exciting Changes in the VC Industry

Did you see these blog posts yesterday?

And, in other news:

All these changes raise several questions:

  • If schools want to connect to content providers and other classrooms globally, what should they buy?
  • If content providers want to upgrade their current systems or start providing programs for schools what should they buy? (Seems to me a LifeSize Passport might be an interesting choice for the ability to send high quality content to both H.323 advanced videoconference systems and to Skype. But does it have enough inputs for all the great visuals content providers share with us?)
  • Do all these changes make it so that teachers need less or more support figuring out how to connect to whoever they want to bring to their classroom? My gut is they need more. What do you think? Seems like full service support providers such as Whirlidurb can make this much more seamless for schools. The array of choices and options is getting dizzying!
  • If you were going to use videoconferencing for full length courses now, what kind of videoconferencing would you choose?

Your Turn

What questions and potential changes do you see from these developments? Please comment!

How to Expand a Collaboration: Poetry with England

Note: This is a real post; even though it’s April 1. 🙂

This week we’ve had 14 classes in England and Michigan connect together to share poetry! We’ve had performances, recitations with actions and motions, and even costumes! What a celebration of words! Thank you to Heather Hadfield for collaborating with us!

Note the technology is used to connect the students and to see and hear each other; but print materials are very important! Love the book and the map in this picture!

How to Run an Extended Collaboration

I thought it might be helpful for you to learn how we set this up so that you also can do more collaborations. I’ve used this strategy for many collaborations in the last few years. It’s one of the ways we provide programs to our schools.

Step 1: Preparation

  • Pick a partner: I started with someone I knew who also supports several schools using videoconferencing.
  • Pick a curriculum topic: We picked a topic that is in our curriculum and theirs: poetry.
  • Pick dates: This one was fun because our spring break is April 4-8; England is off for Easter from April 11-22; then they are off again for the royal wedding. We didn’t want to wait till May, so we picked this last week before our spring break. It was a little off because our schools do poetry in April, but we still had interest.

Step 2: Get Organized

I really prefer a wiki for this type of collaboration so that all the information is in a place where all the partners can access it. In 2009, I standardized all my project websites to make my work flow more efficient (anything to get more VCs!).

We worked together to set up a wiki with these essential components:

Step 3: Advertising and Registration

Next, Heather and I advertised to our teachers and schools.

  • Registration: When one of us found an interested teacher, we entered all the details on the scheduling page.
  • Pairing: If the teacher matched with one already listed, we matched up the pair.  If not, we made a new pair table on the page.
  • Confirmation letter: After a pair was complete, I used our confirmation letter template to send an email introducing the teachers to each other and giving additional directions.

Heather and I both subscribed to changes on the wiki, so we knew when new registrations came in that needed to be partnered.

Both of us reached out to particular schools and teachers to finish all the pairing.

It took us about two weeks to get every interested teacher matched.

Step 4: Test Calls

Sometimes when I do this type of collaboration, I’m collaborating with a region that we already know. Then we skip test calls entirely! This time though, we tested.

  • Set a date & time window: We picked a Friday morning my time; afternoon in England. Heather made sure the schools had their equipment on; I tested dialing out to them.
  • Skype: We talked on Skype. This removed the international phone calls from both sides; and made it easy to troubleshoot any issues that arose. We did have a few things to solve – mic cables, muting and unmuting, etc.

Step 5: Videoconference!

Finally, make the actual connections. We still stayed in touch this week.

  • Skype:We used Skype to solve any connection issues – and to communicate when the schools were up & running.
  • Feedback: We also shared with each other – mostly via Skype and email – any feedback or comments from the participating teachers.

Your Turn:

Have you done collaborations like this? What tips and tricks do you have to make it go smoothly? Please comment!