Research into the power of online collaboration to build empathy & cultural curiosity.
These days, authentic human interactions with diverse peoples are becoming harder and harder to come by due to factors such as educational policy, the global pandemic, and social, political, and economic divisions. At the same time, the success in the global economy demands high levels of empathy and cultural competency. This research is designed to explore the potential to utilize modern online communication and collaboration tools to bring students from diverse backgrounds together virtually in an attempt to mitigate division and build connections.
Excerpt from my Research Paper
"The marketplace we are educating students for is increasingly diverse and digitally connected. The ability to apply 21st-century skills such as empathy, cultural competency, communication, and collaboration across diverse peoples and platforms has never been more important. At the same time, cultural competency continues to draw more and more focus from companies and industries looking to succeed within this increasingly globalized and connected world.
While the need for abilities like empathy and cultural curiosity continues to increase in the marketplace that our students will grow into, many students are finding fewer and fewer opportunities to experience the authentic, day-to-day interactions in school and their community with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. In addition, increased isolation and lack of social interaction due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the mitigation efforts surrounding it have exacerbated these social divisions.
Meanwhile, online collaborative tools' rapid growth and development have facilitated global connections unimaginable to the previous generation. Additionally, the skills students and teachers built using these tools during the common experience of virtual schooling due to the COVID-19 pandemic make this generation of students uniquely positioned to take advantage of these resources. Now, students in one classroom in California have the tools and skills to connect with students on the other side of the country and, just as easily, the other side of the world.
In a world where the skills needed to succeed in the future marketplace are becoming more and more difficult to come by organically via authentic day-to-day experiences in our schools and communities, online collaborative tools present unique and previously unavailable opportunities. These opportunities include the ability to transcend barriers and create authentic interactions by connecting our students to culturally, demographically, and geographically diverse students and classrooms anywhere in the world. These experiences may help students develop the empathy and cultural curiosity necessary for future success in the global marketplace."
To read the complete paper, please click here.