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How can children across the world collaborate on research?

GlobaLab

Marker Russia
An educational platform dedicated to collaborative investigative learning where curiosity rules.
Introduction

What is GlobalLab?

Arseny Lebedev
“We built GlobalLab as a new type of educational tool that utilises crowd sourcing to foster the skills of problem solving, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration”

Tatsiana Krupa, President, GlobalLab

Project-based learning is increasingly popular in schools worldwide but it is not always easy to find suitable contexts for learning or to implement and manage the projects. While the learning drawn from such projects is usually more authentic and meaningful than learning from textbooks, the context is still limited to the class or the school. Students can draw data and information only from their immediate surroundings and are unable to know whether different answers would be found elsewhere in the world.

GlobalLab takes the premise of project-based learning and expands the scope for data collection from the classroom to the whole world. Over the past three years, GlobalLab has built up a platform of projects on a variety of topics and subjects such as literature, science and psychology. Students from all over the world can contribute to these and can use the data gathered in their own studies.

Both GlobalLab and students can make suggestions for projects. Groups can then collaborate to work on the project and gain a truly global perspective on an issue, topic or problem. An example can be seen in a simple science experiment to measure the PH level of soils. Instead of being able to gather information only from their own school grounds, students from all over the world upload their own findings just as real scientists would which creates authenticity for their learning.

They can all then access this information and use it for further data analysis which adds depth and authenticity to a standard school science experiment. The information may be presented as text, videos or spreadsheets as appropriate. Excitingly, each project has a map so students can see which countries are involved in the project.

Students can access the platform and suggest one project for free. Schools can pay to upload more projects and for teachers to be able to upload private project to facilitate flipped or blended learning. Students can also suggest ideas which may be turned into projects by other users.

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Intended Outcomes
455
Views
6 - 11
Age Group
2013
Established
Resources Needed
To use GlobalLab, students will need access to an Internet enabled device. Equipment may be required depending on the project e.g. scientific measuring equipment.
HundrED Criteria
innovativeness
impact
scalability
GlobalLab offers students the unique opportunity to collaborate with peers around the world.
Anecdotal feedback from teachers points to GlobalLab increasing students’ motivation and love of learning.
The website operates in Russian, English and Spanish but users can upload projects in over 30 languages. To date, 145 000 students from over 60 countries have contributed to projects.
Steps

How do you implement it?

01

Get to know GlobalLab

Get to know GlobalLab Explore all the options on the GlobalLab website

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Visit the GlobalLab website (https://www.globallab.org) and review the list of collaborative projects in the Projects section. Use the Advanced Search to find projects for a particular age, subject or topic.


To examine the most common collaborative projects, take a look at the “HELLO!” module (https://globallab.org/en/course/projects/hello.html) that consists of nine projects demonstrating the power of crowdsourcing in inquiry-based learning.   

02

Start participating in your first collaborative project

Start participating in your first collaborative project Register with GlobalLab. You can have separate accounts for each of your students or one account for a group.

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Every GlobalLab project shares the following crowdsourcing model:

  • Each project participant or group of participants completes a small experiment or study comparable in difficulty to regular lab work or an individual school project.

  • The results of the experiment or study are then entered into a shared database using the Report Form.

  • Based on the data sent in by student participants from all over the world, the cumulative results are displayed as various infographic widgets, including maps, diagrams, galleries, tag clouds and more in the Findings Section.

  • The cumulative results can be used to increase the value of new knowledge they present, serve as a discussion topic or a jumping-off point for new projects, or help draw geographically dispersed groups of students and teachers closer together.

 

Here is an example of implementation of the model above for a collaborative project titled “Natural pH indicators” (https://globallab.org/en/project/cover/rastitelnye_indikatory.en.html).

Students locate plants that can be used to offer complete or partial indicators of acidity. This project can be easily used in place of more traditional lab pH testing projects.

  • Every student in the project makes a decoction or extract from one of the plants and tries out how it works as an indicator of pH.

  • The results are uploaded to GlobalLab through the submission of Report Forms (they can use printed research protocols before submitting data to GlobalLab).

  • All of the students' experiment results are displayed as infographic widgets and can be downloaded as CSV files.

03

Propose your own project

Propose your own project You and your students can propose your own collaborative project.

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There are many exciting areas where crowdsourcing can help to turn ordinary school projects into a real scientific research.

  • How do different words sound in different dialects in your native language today?

  • What is the story behind the oldest book in your family?

  • How do different materials influence the time for ice to melt?

  • What minerals and plants can we use to develop different dyes?

  • What is the real distribution of heads and tails for different coins?

 

Start to build your project by clicking Create a Project button in the Projects section. Make your own report form, then add and customise your widgets. Press the Publish button to start collecting data from other GlobalLab users.

Community

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Contact

Want to reach out to the innovators?

Arseny Lebedev