As we see the world transforming and flourishing towards globalization, it is becoming inevitable for the education sector to connect audiences from across the world. Whether it is any country or any culture, with the upsurge of social media, connecting has become commonplace for students. Social media platforms, YouTube, gaming platforms, etc. have allowed people from different backgrounds to connect and interact. As we talk about global classrooms, it is important to acknowledge and highlight the factors that make them unavoidable and an extremely important part of the student curriculum.
Global classrooms provide students with exposure to international and multicultural experience that enhances their academic performance. It helps in creating awareness regarding a lot of subjects and nourishes the overall personality of the student. It doesn’t matter whether you’re from a western or eastern country, developed, developing or under-developed country, whether you’re able to travel or not. What matters is coming together and creating a multicultural environment, which every student in the world must-have.
While the traditional way is to go to other countries and enroll in the students’ exchange programs, today, connecting classrooms online is a new and different approach and quite efficient. The benefits of online classrooms are evident as they’re very inexpensive in comparison to making international trips and also give extremely productive results. These days, it is very easy to bring together students from different countries to connect via the internet. The outreach potential of a global classroom program is huge. Video conferences, online groups, online courses, and providing study material are some ways to create a global classroom through the internet.
In normal circumstances, you won’t necessarily hear a person saying that “international experience is required to get a good job”, or “to get into a good school and college.” While these statements seem significant, what is also important to realize is that global classrooms provide something beyond these things. We can say with international experience and global environment, you look at the world with a much broader perspective and it helps shape you as a person. It helps students become more effective at managing their time, instills critical and analytical ability as well as the ability to communicate effectively.
We know that globalizing the classroom is beneficial because it connects students with experts, provides them with an opportunity for cooperative learning, and raises multicultural awareness. However, five main benefits are crucial to the success of global classroom concepts.
Some of the most important lessons are learned outside of the traditional classrooms. With students from different cultures and lifestyles, you may learn something completely afresh, which you wouldn’t have normally come across in the traditional classroom. Also, students from various countries are taught differently, based on their country’s educational system and teaching techniques. The culture and economic welfare of the country also plays a massive role in the education sector about the resources available. Connecting students from different countries in a global classroom will expand their horizons. They go through different methods of teaching and not only them, but their educators also gain a lot from such experiences. There are new topics to discover and the course contents vary, which demands students to carry out discussions among themselves, communicate more effectively, and help anyone when necessary.
While books and videos are a great source of learning about various cultures and countries, there is no substitute for when you directly communicate with people from different backgrounds and study in a multicultural environment. The global classroom is an exceptional way to teach students about new things happening across the world, especially technological innovations. Not only that, but students also gather global perspectives, learn time zones, identify cities and countries around the world, and enjoy the first-hand learning experience. All of these factors combined help students broaden their horizons and gain knowledge on international issues, as well as international relations.
Another sector of education that has become prominent with the increasing move towards globalization is the concept of learning communities. One such example is Moonshot Jr’s Virtual Classroom Learning Program. Intending to democratize and provide access to education, Moonshot Jr brings together students from 13 countries and provides a holistic multicultural environment. Students from different countries come together and enroll themselves in the Innovator Program, and learn the 4-stages of complete product-development experience.
A part of our childhood and growing-up days included learning about coexisting peacefully and living with harmony among different people. We also learned about various skills that are required to function well in a society such as independence, time management, organization, social skills, self-confidence, etc. It would be unfair to say that students who grow up in a traditional learning environment do not possess these skills, but it’s fair to say that those who learn in a global classroom enjoy a slight advantage. When students meet students from different cultures and backgrounds, they manage to find a way to co-exist together and live with harmony, as well as learn about diversity across the world. Global classrooms allow students to be flexible enough to perceive things that were alien to them, to learn about the mindset of other people, and simply how to nourish themselves in a multicultural environment. When you’re in a global classroom, you naturally inherit tolerance and acceptance as human traits. Moreover, you strengthen your confidence and communication skills in a global classroom as you see yourself functioning well among people that aren’t likewise.
The truth is, everyone can’t enroll in student exchange programs and make international trips. However, another way to learn directly from the experts is to bring the experts and experiences to global classrooms. You can connect with subject-matter experts from different backgrounds and hear what they have to say. It allows students to be inquisitive and ask questions. Whether you’re connecting on Skype or Zoom, exploring projects virtually, communicating with experts, and learning from their experiences will always bring direct educational benefits.
Global classrooms provide benefits beyond academics. It’s very evident that in today’s day and age, the challenges imposed by an extremely competitive educational sector are immense. Students are expected to punch above their weight and possess additional qualities to stay in the game. This is what global classrooms deliver. They prepare students from diverse backgrounds to engage with each other and share knowledge and skills. Students can motivate each other and keep the cycle of learning going. Some students become incredible readers and writers, while others are excited to take up any art form. Some improve their leadership skills while others learn to communicate more effectively. The benefits of global classrooms are enormous, coupled with the fact that whatever extracurricular skill you’re going to acquire, you’ll always have a large audience to present it to.