I am new to the Global Classroom Project but have found the content and ideas fascinating. I am hoping to invest some of our limited library time to pursue some of the activities. After looking through some of the “handshakes” that others have posted, I showed them to a group of fourth graders. A group of kids that can be easily distracted was fascinated by the descriptions of the other classrooms. When I had them brainstorm ideas of what WE would tell others about us, they were quite creative. They were also still engaged the next week when I had them write descriptive sentences about the things they want to tell others about them. Hang on, out there. We’ll get those handshakes posted yet!
WAIT a minute … before you take that TOO seriously, PLEASE continue reading. Put that sledge hammer down … we’re not talking demolition … we’re talking global connections! That’s right … you can’t BUILD global connections without FLATTENING those CLASSROOM walls!
This month, our #globalclassroom chat will focus on the POWER of blogging with your students. We are SO fortunate to be teaching in an age when the SKY is the LIMIT with technology. Skype has become a staple in MANY classrooms. No longer are BOOKS our sole way of learning about the world … and, while relying on Google to enrich our inquiries is STILL important, we are NOW able to connect in REAL time with others around the world. This ability to connect synchronously and asynchronously, collaborating with other classes on the other side of the WORLD, has changed our learning FOREVER. We are NO longer just learning ABOUT the world. We are in an age where we are learning WITH the world.
Some things to think about PRIOR to our February chat:
- Why is blogging a valuable tool for connecting and sharing global inquiries with a global audience?
- What skills can students develop by sharing their learning with a global audience?
- If you don’t have access to an NGO, (Non-Government Organization), where do you find collaboration opportunities? How can you find projects to join?
- How can you create you OWN inquiry to share?
- How do you fit it into EVERYTHING else you need to accomplish in a day?
- How do you come up with “post” ideas for your blog?
- What are some resources you use? Books? Sources of inspiration?
- How do you address digital citizenship? Global citizenship? Online safety?
- How do you attract readers to your classroom blog?
If you are interested in learning more about flattening YOUR walls and creating a global classroom for your students, you should DEFINITELY check out the Global Classroom Wiki and the Global Classroom Blog! This learning community is ALL about sharing and mentoring, and there are projects already on the go to help you get your feet wet or to continue to enrich you and your students’ learning journeys! TRUST me … once you START blogging with you students, connecting and learning WITH the world and no longer just ABOUT the world, you will NEVER look back!
After you’re done checking out THOSE awesome resources, mark the February #globalclassroom chat on your CALENDAR! See the times below … we’re looking forward to CONNECTING with you!
Chat 1 – Saturday – February 9th (10:00 GMT)
- 10AM London, 3.30PM New Delhi, 6PM Perth, 9PM Sydney (AEDT), 11PM Auckland
- Click here to find out when this is in YOUR timezone.
Chat 2 – Saturday – February 9th (19:00 GMT)
- 11AM Los Angeles, 2PM New York, 7PM London, 9PM Cape Town,
- 8AM SUNDAY – Auckland
- Click here to find out when this is in YOUR timezone.
Chat 3 – Saturday – February 9th / Sunday – February 10th (02:00 GMT)
Join us in attending this insightful virtual workshop hosted by technology teacher and Global Classroom Project member, Theresa Allen. Educators from around the world and from the Global Classroom Project will demonstrate excellent ways to blog in the classroom. Details are below:
Educator Virtual Professional Development
Blogging in the Classroom
February 1, 2013
Watch for links to session soon on the EVPD wiki:
Learn from several veteran bloggers around the world about ways to blog in your classroom!
12:05-12:25 Blogging to Motivate and Engage Learning
(Effie Kyrikakis, principal of Winners Education and #globalclassroom educator)
12:30-12:50 Blogging Platforms Intro – Blogger, Kidblog, Edublogs, WordPress, Posterous, Google Sites, Edmodo
(Theresa Allen, Technology Teacher and #globalclassroom organizer)
12:55 – 1:15 How to Blog Weekly with Writing Activities and to Connect w/ Other Classrooms
(Louise Morgan, 2nd grade teacher and #globalclassroom organizer)
1:20-1:40 Blogging as Reflective Math Journals w/ 4th Graders
(Paula Naugle, 4th grade teacher and global educator)
2:10-2:30 Bloggin’ to Reach Parents and the Community (Joe McNulty, Technology teacher and global educator)
2:35-2:55 Blogging and the Common Core (John Miller, 7/8th grade Science teacher and global educator)
*There will also be pre-recorded presentations from educators who couldn’t present live, but wanted to share their knowledge and experience with us:
Larisa Tarasevich - Studying Different Cultures through Blogging (English teacher and global educator)
Karen Lirenman – Kidblogs as Digital Portfolios and Windows to the World (Grade 1 teacher and #globalclassroom educator)
Dana Racanelli – Blogs for Student Support (Junior High Social Studies teacher and global educator)
Anne Mirtschin – Basic Essentials of a Blog (ICT teacher and #globalclassroom educator)
Claire Buist – Class and Individual Blogs – Engaging the Learners (ICT and #globalclassroom educator)
Looking forward to a wonderful day of learning and sharing – hope you can join us!
Flickr Creative Commons vaXzine
It is hard to believe that the #globalclassroom chat is over for July. This month, I had the incredible opportunity to moderate a discussion around the power of “Blogging as a Vehicle for Global Inquiry”. This was a BONUS month for me, though. Since I am currently on summer break, I actually had the privilege of taking part in TWO of the three chats that are offered monthly in order to include as many time zones and people around the globe.
It was interesting for me to see how diverse these two chats were. Diverse as a result of the participants. Diverse because of the personal experiences and interests that each of these chat participants brought to the conversation. This is a GOOD thing. We learn not because of our similarities but because of our differences. Together we truly ARE stronger.
While the topic was intended to explore blogging as a form of enriching and deepening one’s Global Citizenship Inquiries within the classroom, rich conversations arose through the participants’ varied uses of classroom blogging. Some used blogging as a way of enhancing the writing process, much like electronic journal entries. Others used it as a way of sharing learning discoveries after Skype experiences. Some used their blogs as a way of communicating various learning experiences through a wide array of curricular areas. Blogging, for others, was a way of sharing a very specific inquiry journey with their global audience.
Regardless of how blogging is handled, from one classroom to another, a classroom blog can have the great potential to flatten the walls of a classroom:
— Mary Ann Reilly (@MaryAnnReilly) July 16, 2012
A blog can be as INTERACTIVE with a global audience as you choose to allow it to become. Depending on the purpose of one’s class blog, a rich learning potential arises when you begin to interact meaningfully with the global audience through comments left on your blog. As Mary Ann Reilly so succinctly puts this in the tweet above, a blog can only truly flatten the classroom walls, can only TRULY create meaningful global connections when there is a “push and a pull in play”. Attracting readers, “reeling them in” so that a relationship is cultivated, is achieved by responding thoughtfully to each and every comment left behind by your readers.
— Ross Mannell (@RossMannell) July 16, 2012
One thing is certain: the harder you work to include your global readers, by asking questions, responding to their comments and reeling them in by asking MORE questions, deeper learning will occur for you, your students AND your readers. Ross Mannell has certainly reinforced this for me on SO many levels.
A global inquiry shared through blogging has the ability to be woven into many curricular areas. Again, it is a matter of looking for opportunities to pull in math, science, social studies and literacy potential:
— Laurie Renton (@RentonL) July 16, 2012
This is one very powerful way of helping to deal with the many student learner outcomes which must be addressed with your students during the course of the year as well as with the time constraints we all feel daily.
I feel blessed to be a part of the #globalclassroom community. This PLN pushes me, inspires me and helps to enrich my practice. I love that these chats are archived because so many amazing resources are shared during these discussions. Global connections are made:
— Greg Miller (@millerg6) July 16, 2012
What a lovely way of staying current, connected and inspired. What a beautiful way to deepen meaningful learning for our students. The #globalclassroom chat schedule is written in indelible ink upon my calendar …it has become a necessary part of my learning journey.
To Blog, or NOT to Blog … THAT is the question:
How a Classroom Blog Can Enrich Your Global Citizenship Inquiries?
Creative Commons WoodleyWonderworks
The question for this month’s #globalclassroom chat comes to us courtesy of Laurie Renton, who teaches Grade Three in Alberta, Canada. (@RentonL)
Global Citizenship opportunities are abundant in our connected world. Our mandated curricula contains countless valuable citizenship “learner outcomes” woven in and through various subject areas. Rich with potential for meaningful global connections and inquiry … they are ripe and waiting for development.
Skype is a wonderful way of getting global connections started. There is something magical about connecting students with other classrooms and experts beyond their “classroom walls”. This experience can offer our students the chance to learn more about the communities and concepts they are required to learn about in a far more robust and personalized manner than simply exploring a textbook or conducting google searches.
So … how can we FURTHER engage our students in this work? What is the next logical step? Blogging can be a natural extension of your inquiry.
Blogging is a valuable tool because it allows students to:
- reflect upon and share their discoveries with a global audience
- explore and wonder about questions and big ideas
- write authentically and publish to a global audience
- create dialogue with a global audience
- connect in a meaningful and personalized way with the curriculum
- educate others and spread awareness
- enhance their communication skills
- further develop digital citizenship and online safety skills in an authentic context
- explore multiple modes of expression
What do you think?
- How can a classroom blog deepen your global citizenship inquiry?
- How will students write? Large group, small group, individually?
- How do you keep up with all the comments left on your blog?
- How do you develop a “voice” as bloggers?
- How do you find the time to post regularly?
- What other skills can students discover, beyond writing, while they blog?
- What tools do students enjoy and follow closely on their blog?
- How do you fit everything else into your day in order to meet other curricular demands?
Please join us for our July chat. The sharing and learning that comes from these discussions enriches our practice and the learning experiences of our students!
Check below for the time that best fits with your time zone:
Saturday, July 14 – USA, Europe, Africa (17:00 – 18:00 GMT)
- New York: 1PM (13:00), London: 6PM (18:00), Cape Town: 7PM (19:00), Bucharest: 8PM (20:00)
- Or click here to find out when this chat runs in your timezone.
Sunday, July 15 - Asia / Europe ( 9:00 – 10:00 GMT)
- London: 10AM (10:00), Singapore: 5PM (17:00), Tokyo: 6PM (18:00), Sydney: 7PM (19:00), Wellington: 9PM (21:00)
- Or click here to find out when this chat runs in your timezone.
Monday / Tuesday July 16/17 (22:00 – 23:00 GMT)
- MONDAY New York: 6PM (18:00), London: 11PM (23:00)
- TUESDAY Hong Kong: 6AM (06:00), Sydney: 8AM (08:00), Auckland: 10AM (10:00)
- OR click here to find out when this chat runs in your timezone.
A guest post from Kimberley Rivett (@krivett), an eLearning Teacher in New Zealand and inspirational member of the #globalclassroom community
Ah yes, this whole ‘going global’ experience just gets better and better. We have spent almost a full year communicating using a range of means from blogs to wikis to Edmodo to Skype and what is our lasting impression?
My students reflected on their year of global interaction and the comments were amazing. Many used language such as ‘collaboration’ and ‘knowing the wider world’ while others talk about the knowledge of another place and seeing the world through someone else’s lens. They are changed, forever, by this experience.
We have gone from one class in America as our global pals to having quadblogs, posting our Flat Stanleys away to buddies last year and then sending our class mascots, the Gruffalos, to Lebanon and Singapore this year. We sent a New Zealand mascot, the beautiful Fantail to America and received Chiplet, the chipmunk in return.
The class have learned about communicating and questioning, reflecting and reviewing, writing and reading, blogging and commenting, creating and editing videos about favourite things, making slideshows and posters and much, much, more, all because they have an authentic learning experience and they are engaged by it.
The Global Classroom Project ignited a tiny spark and the litmus has been burning out of control ever since!
So, where to from here? We are currently exploring our ‘where to next?’ idea, so we will keep you posted…perhaps we need to work out a way to communicate with the space station…
This photo is of my brother and I in 1994. This is our first car, which we shared ownership over. If you can believe it, I’m the guy on the left! The colour of the car, if you’re interested, is “Cypress Metallic Green”.
If there’s one thing I’ve been acutely aware of since working with teachers, it’s making sure I don’t rob teachers of a sense of ownership. I think this is because I know how I feel when I am doing something I perceive I don’t have ownership over. I’m someone who really needs to be involved in something or else I disengage in it.
This raises some interesting questions for the kind of work I do now. Often I am leading the use of technology in classrooms – which means I am usually creating something : communities, websites, tutorials, ideas… which I assume others will find of benefit to them. But always gnawing at the back of my head is, “how do I give people ownership over the things I create? How would I feel if I was on the other side of the fence?”. On the other hand, I feel that sometimes you DO need someone to take the lead and kick things off, and I do acknowledge that not everyone is like me, and some teachers do indeed appreciate being given strong direction.
This issue has been raising its head with our Writers’ Club. The idea is that I create blogs for students of the teachers that join, and they instantly become part of a global community. Which is fine for those who have never had their kids blogging. But what about teachers who are already blogging with their kids? Do they need to abandon their work to join our community? And does this then represent a lose-lose situation, where we miss out on being involved with teachers who already have significant expertise with blogging and global education, and they miss out on being part of a vibrant community?
For a long time, I wrestled with the idea. I talked at length to my colleague in Shanghai, Toni Olivieri-Barton, about it, and I came to the conclusion that, eventually, the audience factor would win, and teachers would be convinced to start afresh on the Writers’ Club.
But this ignores the need for the teachers to have ownership.
So when Denton Avenue from New York joined, ready with their blogs, I decided to give them accounts but let them have their own blogs as well. And it works. The students with their own blogs simply put their blog address into their profile, so that when their profile is clicked on by a Writers’ Club member, they see the student’s blog address and can visit and comment on their blog, outside the Writers’ Club. The security of the site is still maintained, the students with their own blogs benefit because they are able to participate in the community and drive readers to their blogs by doing so; and the current members of the Writers’ Club benefit by having new things to read and have a greater audience for their own work.
It’s not ideal – it would be simpler if everyone had a blog on the Writers’ Club. But if I can convince those teachers already doing great stuff that this work won’t replace what they do but enhance it, and I can bring even more students from around the world together, then it is for the best.
2012 is a leap year; and David Mitchell (@DeputyMitchell), from the United Kingdom, is determined to make it special!
We’re excited to share his Feb29th.net global blogging project!
Feb29th.net is going to strip blogging down to a couple of clicks where anyone around the world can visit and blog within 2 minutes. As soon as the 29th February begins in Tonga, the blog will open and 48 hours later when February 29th finishes a few miles east it will close. The result will be documented in one place and will be a showcase of the power of audience.
The Feb29th.net project is open to bloggers worldwide – and is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the power of blogging with your students, and within your school community.
To find out more about this exciting initiative, follow the links below!
I, for one, am looking forward to participating on the day!
A great wake up call to all non-English-born-speakers. To make a blog in two languages (or more) is a fantastic tool for teachers from countries with another primary languange than English. On one hand to target the young pupils and their parents, on the other hand to target teachers and schools around the world for collaborative matters.
Two new blogs have been born in Denmark and Greece:
Science teacher Michael Ljunggreen from Vonsild School in Denmark has started a new blog with students´ science experiments written in both Danish and English. SCIENCE PLAYGROUND http://sciencepg.blogspot.com/
German and English teacher Effie Kyrikakis from Winners Education in Athens, Greece has made both a blog: http://winnerseducation.blogspot.com/ and a wiki: http://winnerseducation.blogspot.com/ in both Greek end English.
It could be great to hear comments on the pedagogical thoughts about this from both bilingual teachers and English speaking teachers. It could also be great to hear if anyone know other bilingual blogs, wikis etc. as examples.