Virtual Exchange (VE) is an educational practice, supported by research, that consists of sustained, technology-enabled interaction between groups who are in different geographic locations and/or from different cultural backgrounds. In a virtual exchange, classrooms in any part of the world connect, communicate, and collaborate through chat, video, file-sharing, or any other form of technology to engage in discussion, complete a project, and/or solve a problem.
Virtual exchange offers meaningful, accessible, and inclusive international experiences to students. It provides students with opportunities to develop communication skills and prepares them for careers where international collaboration and the ability to work effectively online will be necessary.
Virtual Exchange projects can be developed for any subject of study, for any grade level, and for students who speak one or more languages. They can be implemented synchronously or asynchronously. The costs associated with developing a virtual exchange are minimal, but the benefits are immeasurable.