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Four Amazing Benefits of Global Collaboration

Collaboration in a global context provides students and teachers a great opportunity to learn about the world beyond their classroom and develop skills essential to students’ future success, such as cultural understanding, communication skills, and knowledge and awareness of the wider world.

With the right tools, global collaboration projects can be easily implemented in any subject, from languages, social studies, and arts to STEM. They engage students from across the world in hands-on projects, in which they complete tasks, research and discuss global issues, and come up with solutions to problems.

Joy Palmer, a first-grade teacher from Mountain Brook Elementary School, has seen firsthand the impact a global collaboration project has had on her students. Her class participated in the Global Sound Artists virtual exchange, in which students in her class collaborated with peers in Argentina and learned about sound, music, and instruments through hands-on investigations and experiments. “This partnership has been invaluable for my students. They are so engaged and excited to learn about different cultures. This week, they enjoyed making instruments and learning about another country. Some students said it was their ‘highlight of the week.’ They cannot wait to see how our partner classroom made their instruments, how they are decorated, etc.”

Engagement is one of the most obvious benefits of global collaboration. Let’s explore a few other benefits that come from it.

Inquiry-based learning

Children are naturally curious about the world around them. They have vivid imaginations, and they use their curiosity to explore and learn about themselves and that world. Inquiry-based learning triggers this curiosity as it leads children to ask questions about things that interest them. In global collaboration projects students ask questions and make observations about their peers. From simple questions (“They aren’t wearing uniforms! Why?”) to more complex (“What do you mean that they don’t have electricity all the time?”), when students get to ask questions, the result is deeper and more meaningful learning.

Appreciation of diversity while finding similarities and common ground

When virtual exchanges begin, students naturally notice and acknowledge the differences between them and their global partners, and throughout the exchanges, they develop their appreciation of diversity. Interestingly, though, they are even more excited when they find similarities with their global partners. Discovering that their global partners listen to the same K-pop artists or read the same manga books leads to rich discussions and deeper connections with people they wouldn’t normally interact with before. “What I had no idea before was that there were kids across the globe that had really similar experiences to ours,” shared one student. “It makes us more connected,” he added.

Students becoming teachers

Virtual exchanges, especially those based on language, allow students to become teachers and show their expertise to other kids. In LUV Languages & Cultures courses, students exchange videos, alternating between their first and target languages. This is a great opportunity for them to teach their peers new words, phrases, or interesting idioms. And since cultural exploration is at the heart of many of the virtual exchanges, students naturally become teachers as they share their culture and heritage with their peers.


When a class of 4th graders at Newfane Elementary School in New York State participated in a project with students in Kenya, they got to learn firsthand about their peers’ lives and the challenges they faced. The experience sparked their curiosity but also encouraged them to get engaged in helping their Kenyan peers. When they found out that a local organization was raising funds to build the first library in that area, they wanted to help. They organized a fundraising event to contribute to the effort. Global collaboration projects such as this one allows students to develop their empathy and desire to make a difference.

Language-based virtual exchanges are also a great lesson in empathy. Language learning teaches valuable lessons about determination, resilience, and cultural differences. Learning a new language is hard, and through virtual exchanges, students can relate to their peers who, like them, are struggling to learn another language. This helps develop compassion for those who work hard to communicate and be understood.

Global collaboration helps break classroom walls and connects your students to the wider world. In the process of completing projects and tasks, students communicate and learn about each other, developing their appreciation for diversity and other perspectives. Those lessons live on, long after the projects are completed.