Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Global Collaboration Day

The World Languages teachers are always looking for new and exciting opportunities for Pioneer students.  This year, Ms. McKenzie wanted to find a way to participate in Global Collaboration Day.  The purpose of Global Collaboration Day is to demonstrate the power of global connectivity.

In order to participate, we first needed to find a school interested in connecting with us during the time periods where our Spanish students were available.  We were lucky enough to find Ms. Kattia Higdon, a Spanish teacher at Andrews High School in Andrews, North Carolina.  Her high school students were eager to connect with a group as well.

Global Collaboration Day is officially observed on September 17, 2015.  Luckily, this was a day that both of our schools would be able to digitally meet!  From viewing the Global Collaboration Day website, we learned that over 325 schools participated in this experience.  The map below shows the locations of other Global Collaboration Day participants.  This map was found on the Global Collaboration Day website.
The Global Collaboration Day map. Participants from around the world!
After some trial and error with our technology, we decided to use Google Hangouts as our platform for collaboration.  Through using our LGI room at the middle school, our Pioneer students would have the ability to see and hear the students at Andrews High School.

Our collaboration took place between the hours of 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM.  This was great because the seventh graders in Ms. McKenzie's first period class were able to begin the visit and then the eighth graders in Ms. Pidsadnick's second period class took over.  We were happy that two classes were able to participate in this experience.

For the collaboration, students at both locations were not aware of the location of the other group.  The purpose of the collaboration was to see if the students could guess the location of the other classroom.

It was decided that students would converse primarily in Spanish for the purposes of the collaboration.  Since the students have varying experience with the Spanish language (our seventh graders were brand new to the language!), Ms. McKenzie and Ms. Higdon provided students with some sample questions that could be answered in just a few words.  Along the way, the Spanish instructors gave students some key vocabulary words and suggestions to help guide the questions.

In order to make the most of the collaboration, members of the class were assigned different tasks.  A group of students were designated as communicators; these were the boys and girls asking questions in Spanish to the other class.  Another group of students were the researchers.  These students, equipped with iPads, were using Google Maps in order to research and narrow down the potential location of the other class. A third group of students were the recorders.  They were keeping track of the answers provided by the other classroom.  This helped the researchers narrow down their search parameters and guided the communicators in finding new questions to ask.
The seventh grade communicator group receives assistance from Jasper, a Pioneer therapy dog.
The seventh grade recorder group kept track of the answers provided by the students in the other location.
An eighth grade research group uses iPads to narrow down the location of the other class.
The questions initially asked by each group elicited a yes or no answer.  This provided much-needed information about each group's location.  As the visit continued, Ms. Pidsadnick introduced students to the Spanish terms for north, south, east, and west.  This assisted the classes in narrowing down the location even further.

By the end of the collaboration, the students in Ms. Higdon's class were able to successfully guess that we were located at Pioneer Middle School.  Our group was able to narrow down the location to the Cherokee County area of North Carolina, but fell just short of guessing the specific location of the school.
Ms. Pidsadnick and Ms. McKenzie provide guidance to Spanish students throughout the virtual visit.
Our participation in Global Collaboration Day was an exciting and unique experience for our Pioneer Spanish students.  We are looking forward to collaborating further with Ms. Higdon's classes and hosting other mystery visits with classrooms from around the world!


  1. Love reading about your experiences! Can't wait to do this again next year.

    1. Lucy, thank you for all that you do to organize Global Collaboration Day! We are really looking forward to participating in more opportunities like this.