9,000 Miles Apart, 12 Hours Ahead … or Behind?

Creating Global Learning Experiences
Through Collaboration and Technology

By Helen Torigoe

If you’ve ever tried to facilitate and guide your learners through team projects, you know all about common challenges such as balancing the wide range of skills, varying experience levels, student availability, tools, and resources.

What would happen if you added 9,000 miles in distance, a 12-hour time difference, slow Internet access, two very different academic calendars, two cultures, AND a pandemic, to the mix?

Presentation slide showing Zoom session of collabortive project participants.

Professor Danilo Baylen facilitated  collaborative projects between his students in Georgia, USA and students in Iloilo, Philippines. Dr. Baylen’s graduate students in the US assumed the role of instructional designers while doctoral students in the Philippines engaged as clients/K-12 teachers, giving all students a valuable real-world, cross-cultural collaboration experience.

Their successful collaboration was truly amazing as they had to overcome hurdles such as the 12-hour time difference that made real-time meetings difficult, mismatched academic calendars, slow or no Internet access for some Filipino students who were under a coronavirus lock down, and varying levels of experiences and capabilities with instructional design.

The valuable takeaways for the US students were learning to practice cultural empathy, patience and flexibility, while the Filipino students were awakened to new ideas and technology tools to deliver online learning.

Establishing a global learning community is a fascinating concept and is especially fitting now as much of the world works and learns online due to the pandemic. I’m thankful that we can learn from Dr. Baylen who put global learning into practice and shared the valuable lessons that he and his students learned.

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Dr. Danilo Baylen is a full professor of Instructional Technology, Media and Design in the College of Education at the University of West Georgia (USA). He teaches, conducts research, and publishes on effective technology integration practices, visual and media literacy education, creative thinking, and collaborative learning.

Listen to Dr. Baylen’s TCC 2021 plenary session recording from April 13, 2021.

Helen Torigoe
is instructional designer at Kapi‘olani Community College, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

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