Global Classroom Lead Teacher Awards 2014

We’d like to formally congratulate the Global Classroom Lead Teachers for 2014.

The Global Classroom Lead Teacher awards were created in 2012 to recognise teachers around the world who have made an exceptional contribution to the development and success of #globalclassroom communities and projects. These awards are based on collegial nominations from the online global education community, and nominees were formally acknowledged at our ‘Looking Forwards, Looking Back’ webinars, held last weekend.

Lead Teachers were nominated for their:

  • Significant contributions to the professional learning of teachers around the world through blogs, Twitter, and other social media platforms
  • Inspired efforts to enhance their students’ learning through their global connections
  • Creation of innovative, pioneering projects which showcase new ways for teachers and students to connect, learn, share, and collaborate globally.


Lead Teacher Award recipients will receive a one year subscription to Oddizzi, an award-winning online resource for 4-11 year olds that brings the world to life. With over 1,000 pages of written content, video, images, maps and games it is a fantastic resource that supports geography, social studies and global citizenship. Oddizzi also has a unique tool called ClassPals that helps connects classrooms around the world. To view our Oddizzi film click here:



Anne Mirtschin (@murcha)

Anne is an inspiring advocate for flat classrooms, regularly participating in global projects. Her students, from primary to Year 12, have been actively involved in a variety of projects over many years. She has also been an invaluable supporter and mentor within the #globalclassroom community, and her support is greatly appreciated.

Celia Coffa ( @ccoffa)

Celia has been inspirational leading our school as a 21st century contemporary learning research school. Celia helped us establish blogging, skype, quad blogs, a yammer and EDMODO community throughout the school. She has set up global collaborations through the Student Blogging challenge for the past 3 years, and has supported students around the world in establishing their blogs.

Celia was instrumental in beginning and running the Teach Meets in Melbourne, and has been a guest presenter at numerous schools and conferences, sharing her passion for using technology to engage and enhance the learning.


Karen Stadler (@ICT_Integrator)

It is hard to describe Karen’s award winning Traveling Rhinos project, but we tend to agree with the rave reviews from participants, who call it “the epitome of a global project”. What else can we say? Karen recently won the ISTE online learning award and received her award while attending the 2014 ISTE Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. While in Atlanta, Karen was able to personally connect with many of the members of the GCP community.


Heidi Hutchison(@heidihutchison)

Heidi Hutchison personifies a Global Classroom teacher. She has created two very successful global PBLs (Malala Project and the One and Only Ivan), and contributes to the larger global community through her blog and on Twitter. She presented at Global EdCon 2013, hosted and co-founded with Bianca & Lee Hewes the U.S. version of Project Swap Meet, hosted numerous Twitter chats, and is now delving into the world of leadership with a focus and mind to helping administrators be more forward thinking in regards to global citizenship.

Louise Morgan (@MrsMorgansClass)

Louise has been an amazing organizer and promoter of the Global Classroom project. I admire her stamina, energy, and dedication to the success of the projects for teachers and students.  We would like to thank Louise for her recent promotion of GCP during ISTE 2014 in Atlanta. Louise presented an Ignite session during Global Ed Day and also prepared a poster session where many Global Classroom participants gathered and shared their experiences.

Kathleen Corley (@kathleencorley)

Kathleen set up a global Edmodo project between Windsor Primary, Arlington Heights, Illinois, Dalkeith Primary, Perth and St Thomas More CPS, Margaret River. This project was a beautiful collaboration for Grade 1-2 students and their teachers, helping them learn about their similarities and differences through sharing information about our schools.


Laurie Clement (@LLClement)

Laurie is actively involved in Social Media and providing global opportunities for her students. In 2011 she created her Skype in the Classroom account and as a result has connected with over 30 classes around the world. She initially began engaging her students in Mystery Skype Calls and immediately began to see the excitement in her students. Shortly after she created global projects with a colleague in Brazil, that she initially connected with in one of her mystery class calls. They began engaging their students in global projects and soon after developed four projects and invited schools to join from across the globe. This past year they hosted four projects which included students from over 10 countries and 3 continents. Aside from these projects, Laurie is actively involved in promoting global connections through G+ and Twitter.



Aaron Brzowski and Garrett Wilkinson (@ProjectPurus)

Aaron and Garrett, both just recently graduated from high school, are the founders of Project Purus. Project Purus is a non profit organization with mission  to provide education through clean water. These passionate, young, social entrepreneurs have recently shared their passion and story during the Global Ed Day conference at ISTE2014 and during Podstock14.

Aaron and Garrett worked closely with Robyn Thiessen’s class, mentoring, inspiring and educating her students from January to May of this year. This summer, Aaron also went to Nepal to meet Govinda and the students of SAV School, where he taught English and witnessed the positive effects of Project Purus first hand!


Global Classroom Lead Teacher Awards – Nominations now Open


Source: Shutterstock

The Global Classroom Lead Teacher Awards provide a community based recognition of those teachers quietly working to change their classrooms and the world … with a particular interest in those who never receive official recognition for their efforts.

In a slight change from previous years, this year we are inviting nominations of global education leaders working both within, and beyond The Global Classroom Project community.

We are looking to acknowledge the quiet achievers, the risk takers, the innovators, the lead learners – who, in their own small way, are helping to create a better world. 


Nomination Criteria

We invite global educators to nominate their colleagues, and emerging student leaders, for a Global Classroom Lead Teacher (or Lead Student) Award. We respectfully discourage self-nominations, as these are intended to be community awards.

Nominations must provide detailed evidence of the nominee’s contribution in one or more of these areas:

  1. Teachers’ professional learning: Through blogs, twitter chats, global education conference presentations
  2. Students’ learning: through active participation in global projects
  3. Exemplary contribution to a K-12 #globalclassroom #globaled project
  4. Development of innovative global education projects which showcase new ways for teachers and students to connect, learn, share, and collaborate globally.

Please provide as MUCH detail as possible, as your nomination will be incorporated into the published comments. Nominees will be formally acknowledged at our ‘Looking Forwards, Looking Back’ webinars to be held in late July / early August 2014; and will receive a special award badge to display on their blog or website.

Nomination Form



Connect to the World Through Blogging


If you haven’t considered blogging with your students, now’s the time! It’s a wonderful way to connect with the world through writing, reading, and responding. You can blog along with any of the Global Classroom projects to enhance learning and collaboration.

I’ve taught fifth grade for the past 14 years, I have never found a more powerful approach to teaching writing than blogging. It creates an authentic audience, and kids actually want to write. I have an easy step by step guide to starting off on a good foot.

Click the title in blue below for a more detailed explanation with resources.


1. Make paper blogs to teach blogging. Here’s the lesson plan:
Paper Blogs: McTeach lesson

2.  7 Random Facts About Me To teach what information can be on a public space, and what can not.

3. Establish Blogging Guidelines.

4. Quality Comments

5. Start with small assignments

6. International Dot Day: How will you make a difference in the world?

7. Include parents

8. Connect with a couple of classrooms

9.Let them explore with color and style to personalize their blog site

10.Don’t grade! At least not at first.

11.Blog at least weekly                                                                                                         

12.Be Patient

Here’s a great article about the State of Blogging:


There are more resources linked here.

Global Classroom Lead Teachers 2012-13


We’d like to formally congratulate the Global Classroom Lead Teachers for 2012-13.

We are proud to work with such an amazing group of international educators, who are shining examples of teachers who “connect, learn, share, collaborate and lead globally”.

This year, our Lead Teachers were nominated by the #globalclassroom community and @gcporganisers, recognising their special contribution to the development and success of the #globalclassroom community.

Over the course of 2012-13, our Lead Teachers  have made:

  • Significant contributions to the professional learning of teachers around the world (through our blog & Twitter chats)
  • Inspired efforts to enhance their students’ learning through their global connections
  • Assisted with the development and maintenance of the #globalclassroom online learning spaces
  • Created innovative, pioneering projects which showcase new ways for teachers and students to connect, learn, share, and collaborate globally.

New and experienced global educators alike, we highly recommend adding our #globalclassroom Lead Teachers to your PLNs.


Anne Mirtschin (@murcha)

Anne has long been an inspiration; tirelessly mentoring and supporting global educators around the world. Her efforts to share best practice in global education have been very well received by the #globalclassroom community, and added great value to our monthly Twitter chats. Thanks Anne!

Kerry Muste (@kerrymuste)

Kerry is one of the few #globalclassroom Lead Teachers I’ve actually had the pleasure of meeting face-to-face. She is rapidly emerging as an ICT and global education leader here in Western Australia, and has already made a rich contribution to our organisation.

Pru Thomas (@pruthomas)

While we’ve had Flat Friends exchanges as part of the #globalclassroom for some time, Pru’s Flat Rosie project (2012) took them to a whole new level. Flat Rosie was one of the most popular projects we helped promote last year, and we hope that she will return, in some form, in the future!


Cathy Beach (@beachcat11)

Although Cathy has just retired after many years of teaching, she is an inspiration and should be an example to those new to the profession. Cathy embraced technology and brought it into her classroom so that her students could benefit from connected learning and was keen to try anything vaguely tech-related. She also participated in The Travelling Rhinos Project with gusto, resulting in her students making various meaningful contributions.

Karen Lirenman (@KLirenman)

Awarded the ‘ISTE Kay L. Bitter Vision Award’ earlier this year, Karen has become an integral part of the #globalclassroom community this year. We are proud to work with such a passionate and innovative early-childhood educator who works to make a difference for her students.

Laurie Renton (@RentonL)

There have been times when I have wondered if Laurie ever sleeps, as her boundless enthusiasm for the #globalclassroom chats, classroom blogging, and Peru appear to know no limits. We’d like to thank Laurie for her rich contribution to our online community, and in particular for her incredible support of the #globalclassroom chats.

Robyn Thiessen (@RobynThiessen)

Robyn is a natural global educator whose Global Genius Hour is a perfect example of a relevant and authentic global project. She has impressed many through her active participation in our projects, twitter chats, and community spaces, and her #geniushour project continues to receive positive, worldwide attention.

Sarah Thompson (@smrthompson)

We’re not sure how many #globalclassroom folk know Sarah, but you will certainly know her work. Sarah has been a key member of our 2012-13 wiki management team, and we are very grateful for her giving up her time and expertise in support the behind-the-scenes management of the #globalclassroom community.


Stefan Nielsen (@snskole)

Having the unusual distinction of connecting the Global Classroom with Antarctica, Stefan, and his bunch of Grade 2 students, helped make our year. We highly recommend exploring Stefan’s bilingual class blog at


Tasha Cowdy (@tashacowdy)

Perhaps the most extraordinary Kindergarten teacher we’ve ever met online, Tasha constantly pushes the boundaries, connecting her young students with the world. We wish Tasha all the best for her new job in Russia, and highly recommend her work to any early childhood teachers interested in building their own global classrooms.


Brenda Hallowes (@bhallowes)

Over the past year, Brenda has become a model #globalclassroom teacher; actively contributing to our online community spaces and working to build longer-term collaborative relationships with classes around the world. She has become a valuable contributor to the #globalclassroom chats, and we are proud to have her as a member of our community.

Karen Stadler (@ICT_Integrator)

It is hard to describe Karen’s Traveling Rhinos project, but we tend to agree with the rave reviews from participants, who call it “the epitome of a global project”. What else can we say? Except that we think this project is going places …


Nick Corben, South Korea (@NickCorben)

Nick is one of our new #globalclassroom teachers based in SE Asia, and he’s been nominated for his involvement in the Travelling Rhinos project, where “he set aside his regular curriculum and dedicated so much time and effort to raising awareness amongst his students”. As Karen commented, “his students were totally engaged and produced amazing work! I had a fantastic Skype session with his class too!”


Rawya Shatila (@raywashatila)

Rawya is a shining example of a caring, dedicated educator who helps her students “learn with the world, not just about it.” Rawya made a fantastic contribution to our recently published Global Classroom feature article, and has quietly helped transform teachers’ and students’ understanding of the extraordinary people and culture of the Middle East.


Luke Dyer (@dukelyer)

Despite the rural setting of his school, way down in New Zealand, Luke’s class made a truly staggering contribution to the Travelling Rhinos Project. They drew up a petition and raised far-reaching awareness by having articles published in TWO local newspapers! We were extremely proud to see how a new #globalclassroom teacher took a project, and used it as a springboard to make a real-world difference, beyond their classroom walls. We look forward to working with Luke next year, and wish him all the best for his new job in China!


David Karnosack (@DKarnoscak)

Here at #globalclassroom, we try to provide teachers with the online spaces to connect, learn, share, and collaborate globally. With a very busy year on Skype, David has been one of our most active #globalclassroom teachers of 2012-13, and thoroughly deserves his nomination for Lead Teacher 2012-13.

Donna Roman (@donnaroman)

Those who have been lucky enough to meet Donna online, or face-to-face, know her to be a wonderful and inspiring global education leader. Working with Lisa Parisi, she won the ‘2013 ISTE SIGOL Online Learning Award’ for their ‘Natural Disasters’ project. We’re hoping to work more closely with her in the year to come!

Heidi Hutchinson (@heidihutchison)

Over the past year, Heidi has proved to be an exemplary #globalclassroom teacher, drawing upon the community resources and support to launch her first (and very successful) global project – the “Malala Project”. This project was one of our first student-led investigative projects which responded to current, real-world issues, and we look forward to seeing many more in future!

Kyle Dunbar (@edtechdunny)

Kyle has had a busy year, organising and leading the Flat Classroom Virtual Book Club in early 2013. She remains one of our few active #globalclassroom secondary teachers and we can’t wait to see what she creates in 2012-13!

Louise Morgan (@MrsMorgansClass)

Over the past year, Louise has become a key #globalclassroom leader and project manager, who tirelessly seeks to “lead up”, and support other teachers. We’d like to thank her for her tireless dedication, leadership, and creativity – which has come to underpin our organisation.

Lisa Parisi (@lparisi)

When I eventually find a class of my own, I’ll be modelling my global collaboration activities on Lisa’s exemplary record. I am indebted to Karen Stadler for creating the project which turned Lisa into such a passionate advocate for the #globalclassroom community, and am very much looking forward to working more closely with her in 2013-14.

Maggie Powers (@mpowers3)

We first met Maggie when she was working as an education consultant, and we were thrilled to work with her this year when she brought the ‘Global Classroom’ to the early childhood students of her new school. She’s done some amazing work this year, participating in a range of projects, and making a very welcome and positive contribution to our community.

Theresa Allen (@tdallen5)

Affectionately known as the ‘lady who never sleeps’, Theresa is “omnipresent in the Global Classroom world. Any time help is required for a project or a favour is asked she has always come to the fore”. Theresa has been a key leader and #globalclassroom mentor, and her contribution has been deeply valued by teachers all over the world.

Tina Schmidt (@MrsSchmidtB4)

Tina has had a busy year, running Edmodo PenPals for a second year, and exploring new connections via classroom blogging & Flat Stanley exchanges. Tina is a great collaborator and project leader, and we’re thrilled to know she’s been able to use #globalclassroom connections to build closer relationships with classes around the world.

Honorary Awards

Awarded to global education leaders who aren’t formally a part of the #globalclassroom community, but who have been nominated for their inspirational efforts to enable their students and colleagues around the world to ‘connect, learn, share, and collaborate globally’.

Endang Palupi, Indonesia

Endang is an amazing ICT leader and English Language Teacher in Indonesia. She has a passion for providing her language learners with frequent and authentic opportunities to practice their skills with native English speakers around the world. As one of a handful of teachers in Indonesia who use ICT to flatten their classroom walls, we highly recommend adding Endang to your Skype PLN.

Ashley Bowman, USA (@ateach08)

This may come as a surprise to Ashley, but her work has not gone unnoticed by members of the #globalclassroom community. We believe she richly deserves the following glowing nomination:

Mrs. Bowman is a dedicated and passionate teacher who has worked extremely hard this year to ‘break down’ her classroom walls and connect her students to others around the world.

She teaches 5th grade at Community Christian School, a private, Christian school in Florida, and has connected her class with another private, Christian school in Lima, Peru. Mrs. Bowman’s class also began blogging, which is something that no other teacher at her school has even attempted. In addition, Mrs. Bowman has implemented Mystery Skype this year which has enhanced her geography lessons and allowed her students to learn from other students around the world.

Mrs. Bowman was chosen to lead a pilot program at her school this year and to bring in innovative ways to use technology. In a school that has limited technology and resources, I would say she has done an amazing job. Very few teachers in the private school sector receive recognition for their work, but I believe Mrs. Bowman is one who deserves acknowledgment for her efforts this year.

Announcing: Global Classroom Lead Teachers 2012

As I often comment, this amazing online community could not have happened without the support, inspiration, and hard work of an extraordinary group of teachers around the world.

This year, we are inaugurating the annual “Global Classroom Lead Teacher” Award, recognising teachers who’ve made an extraordinary contribution to the development and success of the #globalclassroom community; based on their: 

  • Significant contribution to the professional learning of teachers around the world (through our blog & Twitter chats)
  • Inspiring efforts to enhance their students’ learning through their global connections
  • Assistance with the development of the #globalclassroom online learning spaces
  • Creation of innovative, pioneering projects which showcase new ways for teachers and students to connect, learn, share, and collaborate globally.

We’d like to formally acknowledge:

Anne Mirtschin @murcha Australia
Brenda Hallowes @bhallowes South Africa
Claudia Ozceta @ClaudRu Guatemala
Clive Elsmore @clivesir United Kingdom
Cristina Milos @surreallyno Romania
Deb Frazier @Deb_Frazier USA – Project Co-Founder
Debra Rosenquist @DebraRosenquist USA
Effie Kryikakis @WinnersSchools Greece
Govinda Panthy @SAVSchool Nepal
Jen Hollis Smith @hthehippo USA
Jennifer Fenton @Jennysfen Hong Kong
Julie Simmons @BJacketsFan USA
Karen Stadler @ICT_Integrator South Africa
Kimberley Rivett @Krivett1 New Zealand
Kyle Dunbar @edtechdunny USA
Linlin Tan @tienmimitw Taiwan
Laurie Renton @RentonL Canada
Louise Morgan @frugalteacher USA
Lu Bodeman @lu_bodeman Brasil
Rawya Shatila @rawyashatila Lebanon
Rob Sbaglia @sbaglia Australia
Stefan Nielsen @snskole Denmark
Tasha Cowdy @tashacowdy Japan
Theresa Allen @tdallen5 USA
Tina Schmidt @MrsSchmidtB4 USA
Tom Sale @TomSale United Kingdom