Saturday, September 6, 2014

Fostering Global Connections

Cross-posted on Technology for Learning Blog

September is a great time to plan global projects. 
Here are a few I recommend to teachers.

1) International Dot Day

Although the title says "day," the concept extends far beyond. Numerous ways to connect based on the Dot Day phenomenon exist.

Check the International Dot Day site.

These videos offer a quick overview of ways to connect.

Two Libraries One Voice DOT Day Celebration

2) Global Read Aloud

This amazing project, going into its fifth year, connects classes through literature. Visit Pernille Ripp's blog, Global Read Aloud blog, to keep current, and follow the project through Twitter, Edmodo, and other channels.

Here's a run down on the books for this year's project.

And a whole bunch of Peter Reynold's books, which Pernille lists:

For those using Twitter, the hashtag #gra14 will put you in touch with others.

3) Comments For Kids on Twitter

You don't need to be on Twitter to search with #comments4kids, but if you want to share your class's or students' blog, you need an account to post links.

Check these twitter posts for a sampling.

4) Blog Rolls

Once you find other classes to blog with, use a blog roll, making it easy for your students to find the other classes. When visiting other classes' blogs, look for their blog rolls for further connections.

Here is a sample of a blog roll from one teacher's class blog from 2013-2014.

5) Skype in the Classroom

Perfect way to find classes, guest speakers, and virtual field trips. 

Find lesson plans, participate in a Mystery Skype, and even check the Skype in the Classroom Facebook page.

6) Google Mystery Hangouts

This Google Community is another way to find classes to do mystery location video calls.

Also, check the Mystery Location Call Google Community to make quick connections with teachers and others looking to link up for class projects.

7) Quad Blogging

The Quad Blogging project has been around since 2011, and every year teachers sign up to participate with three other classes, with each class responsible during the weeks of their cycle. It is a great way to share information about cultures and geography, and learn about the beliefs of people who live in other parts of the world.

8) Voice Thread

VoiceThread as an online image, voice recording, video recording, and drawing app that makes it easy for classes to collaborate. The educator's account is free, and the classes can use a teacher's account to make connections. A VoiceThread Google Community posts periodic updates.

9) Special Projects Centered on Subject Areas

Here is one example from the math area. Click on the image to play the video.

The possibilities for connecting one's classroom globally increase daily as the technology continues to find its place in classrooms worldwide.

Personally, I use the Twitter hashtags #globaled and #globalclassroom to keep current of projects as they develop and to learn about conferences focused on making global classroom connections.

Sample of some recent tweets from #globaled:

How important do you believe it is for us to integrate global connections into our teaching? Does your curriculum allow for the possibilities? If you have connected globally, leave a comment to tell how an to extend the conversation.

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