Collaboration and authentic audiences are two topics I frequently cover on the blog. And if you’ve read my book Tasks Before Apps you know that I value the power of collaboration and creation for an audience. When the folks at iDialogue reached out earlier this year, I was certainly interested to learn more about their EdTech platform.
iDialogue is a startup that connects students across the globe through innovative and collaborative learning programs. This e-learning platform combines a dynamic curriculum with one-on-one pen pal exchanges.
With iDialogue, students can complement their studies through collaborative learning with students of various cultural backgrounds. There are a wide range of learning activities for students to help them remain engaged throughout the entire program. The program encompasses topics like human rights, cultural identity, poverty, and globalization. These topics are covered through interactive and collaborative activities. You’ll find quizzes and games, and debates on real global issues too. There is certainly a lot here to explore!
Authentic Learning Experiences
This e-learning platform provides a way for students to participate in authentic learning experiences. iDialogue has created a fun and interactive way for students to connect with students from around the world. The iDialogue curriculum teaches students to think critically about the content they use, see, and experience in their daily lives and to ask questions about the world around them.
In my book Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom (ASCD 2017), I discuss collaboration with global partners. Here is an excerpt: “Connecting virtually with peers in classrooms abroad helps students practice such skills as preparing for a meeting; participating in a discussion; soliciting, giving, and receiving feedback; and navigating different cultures. Students will continue to use these transferable skills long after they leave your classroom.” (p. 68)
iDialogue gives teachers access to lesson plans, so they have everything they need to set students up for a successful exchange. The interactive dashboard lets teachers track student progress too. The team at iDialogue is driven by the mission to ignite youth globally through cross-cultural exchanges to promote a peaceful world and develop global citizens.
Global Student Connections
Once you sign up and create an account, iDialogue connects your students with a group of students from another part of the world. You can select a program that aligns with your particular goals and interests. Then students can participate in collaborative learning experiences like projects and debates.
The materials provided by iDialogue include video, podcasts, and a variety of supporting media. There are also news articles and reading passages for students to explore. You’ll also have access to writing prompts and essay templates for students.
Right now, you and your students can participate in the World Explorer project. This project is tailored to students age nine and older, so you can certainly customize it for your group. With this program, you can certainly help students build global awareness and build communication skills.
iDialogue Social Enterprise
If you haven’t heard of iDialogue before, they are a social enterprise using a self-sustaining fee-for-service, cross-compensation business model. However, they concentrate their efforts on providing services for free to schools educational organizations in challenged communities. They also attract participants in the developed world where they apply a fee for participation.
Ready to learn more? Head over to iDialogue’s website to learn more about their online platform and authentic learning experiences for students!
Natalia Bout is currently in California meeting up with teachers and presenting the program in local schools. You can set up a meeting or schedule a presentation in your school by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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