The practice and concept of open (and visible) learning, mindful of appropriate global digital citizenship, is a consideration. Open learning is when the immediate and wider world can see the rich interactions, conversations and co-creations developing through the global collaboration. This means working out the best places for online gathering and sharing and showcasing outcomes, determined by the age level of the students. Finding a balance between private and public spaces for collaboration should be a goal of all teachers.
It is very important that teachers understand what could go wrong and prepare to avoid situations that are possibly unpleasant. The real focus on everyone, both teachers and students, and understanding HOW to learn while online and while using synchronous and asynchronous digital technologies.
Things to consider
How are you connecting yourself and your students online? How are you and your students connecting with your global partners? When moving into online spaces for collaboration identification of students includes how they set up profiles, naming conventions, and other guidelines for online chat, discussions forums, blogging and collaborative work. The message is – be prepared! For example, if a student uploads an inappropriate image for an avatar, have a system in place to remove this that does not include banning the student from the activity. Everyone needs to learn together how to communicate and create their own digital footprint - often teachers make more mistakes than students when online via inappropriate comments, postings and uploading of images and videos.
Learning is supported by teacher activity and monitoring while in online spaces at all times. This means ‘flattening’ the learning so that students and teachers from all classrooms in the collaboration are able to connect and communicate and observe/monitor/report when something is not right.
Become a digital citizenship teacher
Teachers are better able to empower digital citizenship and help students form educated opinions and behaviours for online safety when they are informed and confident with the technologies themselves.