Skip to Content

Professional Learning

Professional Learning banner

Global collaboration across the curriculum toolkit

ICT provides a range of opportunities to connect Australian student with peers in Asia. Through use of synchronous and asynchronous technologies students have the opportunity to connect and collaborate on a range of topics that takes learning beyond the four walls of the classroom.

The Global Collaboration Across the Curriculum toolkit supports teachers to design, implement and manage collaborations that provide Australian students with the opportunity to connect with peers in Asia.

How to design, implement and manage

Collaboration to support learning is not a new phenomenon. For decades educators have struggled with a definition of collaborative learning that includes multidisciplinary processes and enhanced learning outcomes. As distinct from cooperative learning where the required tasks are distributed amongst the learners (Laurillard, 2009), in the collaborative learning process learners share and discuss and build on the output of their peers and others. According to Dillenbourg (1999), the adjective 'collaborative' concerns four aspects of learning: situation, interactions, processes, and effects. In the broadest sense 'collaborative learning' is a situation in which two or more people learn or attempt to learn something together.

New pedagogies and new pedagogical capacity (a teacher's repertoire of teaching strategies and partnerships for learning) are emerging, arising from the new learning partnership between and among students and teachers when using digital technologies for deeper learning around the globe. Technology is becoming more pervasive to collaboration and creation of new knowledge and supports a focus on the process of learning (Fullan, Langworthy, & Barber, 2014). The paradigm shift to include digital collaboration as a norm is shared by Lee and Ward (2013), '…while insular, "stand alone" teaching has characterized the teaching of a paper-based world, collaborative teaching could well characterize that of an increasingly digital and networked world; a world where collaboration and integration are the norm…'

Making the shift to online collaboration

The age of technology-infused collaboration is now here and schools globally are working out ways to forge meaningful connections to support collaborative learning across the curriculum using new digital and online tools. Online collaborative learning makes use of interactive technologies, is informed by the work of Piaget and Vygotsky and combines the social and construction elements of the learning process (Laurillard, 2009).

Moving into the age of online collaboration means understanding the importance of shared research and co-creation. It also means 'learning about' must become 'learning with' and this is enhanced by contact either virtually or in person (or virtually in person).


The video 'Collaboration: On the Edge of a New Paradigm' (2013) discusses a shift from a world about 'content' to a world about 'context'. We can always learn 'about' something however, the goal for crossing borders and for online (leading to global) collaboration is to learn 'with' others. Learning does not happen in isolation, learning is social and individual creation can become collaborative creation. Students can develop understanding about the world through working together by sharing ideas, sharing outcomes and sharing benefits both synchronously and asynchronously.

Preamble to global collaboration planning

Global learning experiences can be planned to support intercultural understanding in a global collaborative context. This involves being able to connect, leave a legacy and impact the world:

  • We need to connect ourselves, our schools and our students with the world and the region in which they live
  • Once connected the outcomes of the collaborations will leave a legacy for ourselves and others
  • This legacy can impact the world in positive ways and in fact make a difference

This also means we need to design experiences to construct outcomes and amplify these:

  • We need to design our connections. Just as we design curriculum and other activities for learning connected learning takes careful design and planning
  • We must plan to construct or create the legacy not just hope it will happen
  • We need to amplify the impact of our connections and legacies. Tell the world! Involve the world! Spread the word! Plan for more and better experiences

Questions to consider:

  • Who can you collaborate with? (connection, collaboration)
  • What can you create together (legacy)
  • What are the actionable outcomes to change the world? (impact)

Introducing this toolkit

This toolkit provides strategies for online global collaboration across the curriculum while using emerging technologies. Its main focus is on global collaboration as a curriculum objective for the F-12 school. It is designed to support teachers as they plan new curriculum that includes global learning and collaboration. In the context of this resource, global collaboration broadly refers to geographically dispersed teachers, classrooms and schools who use online technologies to learn together in order to support curricular objectives and the Australian curriculum general capabilities of intercultural understanding, critical thinking, personal and social capability and ICT capability.

Coming up in this toolkit you will find:

  • Best practices for connecting and communicating with external schools and partners
  • Global collaboration strategies and how to design, implement and manage interactions and projects
  • Different modes and opportunities for global collaboration including examples of current global projects
  • Global issues and curriculum ideas for future interactions and collaborations
  • Resources for collaboration including digital citizenship and copyright and fair use


The Australian Curriculum alignment statement is based on the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) materials which are licensed under a ‪‬Creative Commons Attribution–NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia (CC BY NC SA) licence.
Global Colloaboration_Design Construct and Amplify model

back to top