One of the things I’m looking forward to the most next year is the ability to collaborate globally. As a classroom teacher, I’ve been able to foster connections using tools like skype and hangouts with professionals such as authors and scientists in fields that my students are learning about and are innately curious. Tools like ‘periscope‘ will make it easy to live stream field trips to classes around the world and share them with twitter hashtags and ‘Google Fi‘ will give us worldwide coverage.
Platforms for Connected Classrooms
Traveling Teddy: This is a fun site to dip your feet in connectivist culture wherein your class signs up to take a teddy bear around the world and document it as if it were a member of the community. Rockstar teacher Pana Asavavatana is the brainchild behind this fun program. Signups for next school year start in August.
Flat Connections: This is Julie Lindsay’s site that she uses to connect classrooms around the world to each other through events and projects. She’s a global legend and I just read her book ‘The Global Educator’ for the second time and pleased that many teachers featured I now call my friends!
Empatico: Craig Kemp turned me on to this one and my after school ES ‘Techsperts’ club has been using this for the last few weeks to connect with a classroom in India. We started as a mystery hangout and then moved into empathy building sessions (hence the name) built around prompts such as how you help in your community, to local landmarks, and how students use energy in their homes.
Google’s Applied Digital Skills: This has caught on like wildfire. Google compartmentalized tools of their app suite into tutorials and projects with a specific topic focus (coding, online safety, project management) and targets these projects for a specific audience within schools. As Google in Education has a focus on collaboration, it’s a great way to go beyond basic tool use and highlight the possibilities.
Education to Save the World: This site is also a great blog and Julie Stern breaks down approaches to global learning through inflection points called ‘Concept Based’ approaches to teaching and learning. She does a beautiful job of grounding current problems to historical ones.
Write About: This is a fun blogging platform that I’ve used with students that teaching not only writing, but the art of reading and responding to others as a commenter. The site has really fun writing prompts and as a teacher you can moderate the posts and comments from other students. A great way to start publishing student work to a larger global audience.