Connect & Collaborate Through Global Virtual Classroom

For many years my dear friend and mentor, Janet Barnstable, has been part of an amazing Global collaborative project, The Global Virtual Classroom (GVC). As we approach the start of the school year and registration opens for this year’s participants, I asked Janet to write a guest post to share this great learning opportunity with readers of this blog. I hope you will consider connecting and collaborating internationally through GVC.

Connect & Collaborate Through Global Virtual Classroom

Guest post by Janet Barnstable

The Global Virtual Classroom vision is to empower, enable, and connect students around the world using Internet technology. Teacher and students must be willing to make a serious commitment to collaborating with their partner schools for the duration of the project. Our emphasis is on teamwork across cultural and geographic distances, which is much harder than working together in the same room.

What is this contest?
Three schools are teamed by the GVC into a single team. That team works together to create a website about a world issue that they have chosen collaboratively. This is a full year commitment. Schools need strong collaboration skills, as the 3 schools in each team are separated geographically, but need to work together as one.

Who may participate?
Teacher guided Primary (Grades 1-­7) and Secondary (Grades 8­-12, or equivalent) classes and youth groups around the world that have access to the Internet and know or can learn to use Google Sites.

Contest Benefits
Why would a teacher and class take on this task?
  • Real world experience and audience
  • Global collaboration
  • Build on each person’s strengths to create a whole; the group is better together!
  • Nothing teaches faster than learning from each other.
  • Authentic assessment ­rubric provided for guidance

What do projects look like?
To see what others have done, look here. The Primary division is listed first, followed by the Secondary.

Ready for this adventure? 

Click here to register.

Want more information first? Go to the GVC’s Web Contest

If you have questions, contact our Program Manager, Janet Barnstable.

Sponsored by Give Something Back International Foundation

About the Author

Janet Barnstable has participated in the GVC programs since its inception in 1996. Now retired, she devotes her time and energies to helping other teachers experience the joys and survive the anguish of International collaborations. Janet has been involved in International collaborations since the early 90’s having begun with an 800 number supplied by the Archdiocese of Chicago and a 300 baud modem! How times have changed! Janet has been appropriately and affectionately described by Vicki Davis on the Cool Cat Teacher Blog as  “A Global Collaborative Pioneer”.

Global Virtual Classroom to Extend Classroom Walls

How will you go beyond the walls of your classroom this year?

GVC LOGO with GSBI 2Global Virtual Classroom provides teachers and students across the globe with amazing opportunities and resources to collaborate, work together, and learn from each other. My longtime friend and mentor, Janet Barnstable, has been the program manager for Global Virtual Classroom for several years and I highly recommend working with Janet and the GVC team. You can participate in the Web Design Contest or the GVC Clubhouse if you are interested in extending the walls of your classroom this year.

The Web Design Contest

Three schools are teamed by GVC into a single team.  That team works together to create a website about a world issue that they have chosen collaboratively.This is a full year commitment which involves knowing how to create a website. Schools also need strong collaboration skills, as the 3 schools in each team are separated geographically, but need to work together as one.

More information can be found on the GVC wiki 

GVC also participates yearly in GlobalDreamers Peace and Holocaust Remembrance projects. There is also the opportunity for postal mail with schools in Kenya who do not have sufficient Internet access for online collaborations.

GVC Clubhouse

The Global Virtual Classroom Clubhouse invites you to join projects and learn about other students and places around the world. Join the  wiki and get started!
As an additional feature this year, we have added a Skype chat group called: GVCclubhouse.

Here are some of the ongoing projects:

  • Literature Corner – Original stories and poems as well as book reviews recommending books to other students.
  • International Recipes – Students and teachers from around the globe contribute recipes for favorite dishes.
  • Regions – Tell us about where you live; read about other parts of the world.
  • HandMade – What things are made by hand by people in your country?

Reach out and join us this school year!

Andrew Ezzell
Founder & President
Janet Barnstable
GVC Program Manager
Marsha Goren
GVC Clubhouse
Project Director
Ronda Zelzeny-Green
GVC International
Outreach Director

GlobalDreamers is a project created originally by Marsha Goren, Israel, who also runs the “Teaching for Life” Wiki with worksheets for teachers of English as a foreign language.
Global Virtual Classroom is sponsored by Give Something Back International, Florida, USA.