What is a Virtual Exchange Program?
The doors of a classroom open to the world through a Virtual Exchange Program. Students from varying backgrounds share different ideas, traditions, and knowledge in facilitated discussions over several virtual meet-ups.
Why do classrooms participate in virtual exchanges?
Students are global citizens hungry for connection to other students as evidenced by the use of social media by youth. Bringing high-interest exchange experiences that are structured and facilitated helps build awareness, create connection, bring content areas to life and make learning more relevant. Plus, virtual exchanges are FUN!
How do Virtual Exchange Programs work?
Expert facilitators meet with teachers from both exchange sites to determine the structure, time frames, expectations, outcomes, and schedules. Materials and information to assist both the learner and the teacher are housed on the MentorIC learning platform and are easily accessed with a free account. The facilitator provides the agenda, warm-up activities, and question and answer moderation during each virtual meet-up. Students work together to co-present information to each other. (See the Virtual Exchange Framework example below.)
What does a Virtual Exchange Program look like?
Take a look at this very short highlight video of two classes in Montana and Ireland talking about Irish history on St. Patrick’s Day!