The Global Connections project began in the summer of 1997
with 10 schools setting out to explore the potential for classroom to classroom collaboration
and exchanges. Five of these schools were in the UK and five in the USA, with one primary, one middle and
three secondary schools in each country. The project was initiated by
BT Education and an American Foundation, and is currently scheduled to run until the summer of
||Whilst the project
makes use of a range of complementary telecommunications technologies in the
classroom, the major technology focus has been on videoconferencing.
Aims, Objectives & Rationale
The main objectives of the project are:-
- to explore the use of international videoconferencing links in the
classroom, both in relation to the curriculum and in relation to other
- to evaluate both the benefits and the pitfalls, recording the experience and
disseminating the knowledge gained (via the Web), for the benefit of other
teachers who wish to develop videoconferencing links.
More information about the
rationale, support, and project management is available.
The project activities
undertaken by the participating schools have been
diverse, and include:-
Debate topics researched by combined US/UK teams, and presentations prepared,
culminating in formal debates by
|Local legends, stories, and
literature. Involving oral work, drama,
writing, drawing, and exchanges of views and perspectives.
data analysis. (Capture and exchange of data, followed by
of US and UK newspaper articles are
exchanged, and the differences in style and practice explored together.
|More information about
these and other topics, as well as the more informal communications of a broad
'cultural exchange' nature can be found in the activities
section. A brief history of the first year of the project,
showing how work was planned, is also available. ||
any project involving a group of people from different backgrounds
and experience who have never worked together before and who are spread out
across two countries, it can take time and effort to build up good working
relationships and iron out technical problems.
(The advice & tips
section contains useful information for others starting similar projects.)
the problems encountered, both staff and students involved are positive about
their experiences with Global Connections. The students' enthusiasm comes mainly from the
close interaction with students from another country and culture: videoconferencing
is an extremely useful medium for building relationships.
The clear impression of
staff involved in the project is that there are definite educational benefits
to be derived from projects like this, although they may be difficult to map to
specific attainment targets in some cases. Despite staff changes in some schools
at the end of the first year, the project has continued to flourish, and we now plan
to expand it to involve more schools.
August 1998 (updated August 1999)
Contact information, credits, and acknowledgements
Produced by Melchior Telematics for BT
Community Partnerships © 1998-9