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Remote Buddy Projects

Grouping in-person and remote students together for projects


One way to build a strong classroom culture and community among in-person and remote learners is to design opportunities for students to work collaboratively in Remote Buddy Projects. By grouping in-person and remote students together for small groups, projects, and even informal check-ins and activities, learners are able to build bonds and camaraderie across the virtual divide. This also ensures consistency within the project itself because it doesn’t have to be reworked or students regrouped if someone needs to quarantine or change learning environments because of outside circumstances. Remote Buddy Projects, such as these from Design 39 in Poway, CA, show how students as young as 1st grade can work collaboratively across the virtual divide. When implementing Remote Buddy Projects, it is important to be clear around jobs, expectations, and the assignment at hand so that all learners can work together in an effective and engaging manner.

Student Does

  • Participate in a small group with peers who are both in-person and remote via video conferencing

  • Collaborate remotely using virtual tools as well as analog materials being accessed in both contexts

Teacher Does

  • Group remote and in-person students together for projects

  • Design specific expectations, jobs, and clear guidelines for each project (housed online to ensure access for all learners)

Technology Does

  • Connects students using video conferencing software

  • Houses project guidelines and expectations

  • Allows students to collaborate, capture, and share final projects virtually

Strategy Resources

Pumpkin Launch Challenge with Remote Buddies

This video shows students in fourth and fifth grade working with their remote buddies on... Learn More