If I had to choose the most valuable thing I’ve learned through my COETAIL journey, it would be the power of community and the ways to stay connected through space and time. Through the courses I have found great satisfaction and development from cultivating my PLN, and this is the learning that I want most to share with colleagues and students.
My Course 5 Project, called Together in the GCC, has been a great way to show participating teachers and students the power of connecting people, near and far, to work towards a common goal. This was the second year I’ve led the project; the first time was last year when Alexis Snider and I built the project in Course 1. The project has come a long way this year, and you can read about the big changes in my post called Collaboration in the GCC.
Below is a visual of the project and it’s 3 phases that culminated with teams of students collaborating to create a train route connecting the 6 GCC countries (Oman, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar). One of the best changes to this year’s project was the emphasis on digital communication during Phase 3. We initially had thought we could partner kids from different schools to complete the Google:My Map, but because of timing issues, we ended up teaming kids from different classrooms within the same school. It turns out that this was a great place to start and allowed teachers to better support the students’ digital communication and collaboration. Since the project outline will be the same next year, as well as most of the teachers, we may attempt to build a couple teams with students from different countries; but most will be more successful to begin this learning working with students within their school. Here are links to the Team Agreement, Collaboration Rubric, and Train Project Rubric that we used in Phase 3.
Since the project lasted 9 weeks, and involved so many people, it was difficult to show all the great products, pictures, and video interviews with the students and teachers. Although I couldn’t fit it all in, I was glad that I was ‘forced’ to capture so much of everyone’s thinking and reflecting during and after the project. All the conversations have led to many great ideas that will undoubtedly make the project better next year. It also gave teachers a voice and sparked many conversations and therefore ownership over the project. My hope is that the project will carry on long after I have moved on. Thanks in advance for your feedback!