Global collaboration projects made possible with technology have the power to show students how unique they really are.
Jörgen Holmberg, a special needs teacher in Finland, teamed up with four other special needs teachers from Germany, Sweden, South Africa and the U.S. They called their global project SMARTEE.
Their students began collaborating on global SMART amp workspaces, posting about their homes, families and hobbies.
“My students’ social skills are not great, and they don’t interact very well with the world outside their municipality,” Jörgen says.
“My students are not used to being in the limelight. Thanks to this project their pictures, videos and workspaces have been shown all over the world.”
Jörgen can think of one student in particular who benefited from the project.
The student is very shy and lives on an island off the mainland. In the warmer months, she takes a boat to school. In the colder months, when the water is frozen, she takes a hovercraft that glides over the ice. This student doesn’t find anything remarkable about how she travels to school — it’s just her daily commute, Jörgen says.
But students in the U.S., who live in New Mexico, did find this student’s life remarkable. These American students don’t often see snow, and certainly never take a hovercraft to school, Jörgen explained.“[My students] realized: my life is not boring! It’s interesting to someone else,” he says.
The global collaboration project helped show them they matter, Jörgen says.
Click here to read about Markus, another student who found his confidence through a global collaboration project.