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What is GlobalLab?
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 teachers 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.
GlobalLab takes the premise of project-based learning and expands the scope for data collection from the classroom to the whole world.Impact
Anecdotal feedback from teachers points to GlobalLab increasing students’ motivation and love of learning.Scalability
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.