One of my professional goals this year is to open up the learning experience for my students by using technology to connect them with the world. The global collaborations my students have been experiencing have far exceeded my expectations. The four walls of my room are only an illusion, and I now realize that the world is a classroom for my third graders. We have had video chats with classrooms around the USA, including Hawaii, to discuss read aloud books, to learn about healthy eating and sustainability, and to share what peace means to us. My students are learning about time zones, regional differences and similarities, and most importantly, that they global citizens.
The collaborations and connections my students have made through face to face video chats and social networks have shown them that they can communicate with students of different ages, cultural backgrounds, and languages. My third graders come to school excited and energized, grinning from ear to ear, and totally invested in their learning.
Through Skype, iChat, and Edmodo, http://www.edmodo.com/home, my students are able to share ideas and learn from each other and students from far away. Geographical distances become inconsequential thanks to technology. My classroom walls are fading away and endless possibilities are emerging.
Here are some projects you may want to consider joining this year to invite the world into your classroom.
Rock Our World- http://www.rockourworld.org/
Global Read Aloud- http://globalreadaloud.wikispaces.com/
Skype the United States- contact Jan Abernethy- firstname.lastname@example.org
These are only a few of the many global collaboration projects that are available to educators. Skype in the Classroom, http://education.skype.com/, provides a platform for teachers who want to find or create connections with other classrooms around the world. My students and I now realize that our four classroom walls are only an illusion. The world beyond is at our fingertips.