Thursday, November 29, 2012

Connecting with ...

Image above: A multi-cultural class in Australia. Why not turn every class into a multicultural class by connecting with the world through technology. .

Related sites to the Spatialworlds project
Spatialworlds website
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
'Towards a National Geography Curriculum' project website
Geography Teachers' Association of South Australia website
Humsteach blog

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Where am I??
Adelaide, Australia: S: 34º 55' E: 138º 36'

Using technology to connect

A recent article titled 'How to learn in the 21st Century' by Rita Oates follows on nicely from the last Spatialworlds posting on the Interconnection concept.  What better way could there be than have the students actually connect with students from around the world.  No longer do we have to just talk about other parts of the world, in a geography class, we can electronically interact, talk with and even see others from around the world in real time. In the article Rita says:
"Schools and teachers must be challenged to use the tools and techniques of today, not the ones of the past. Learning in the 21st century requires critical thinking, adept use of technology, and global collaboration, and we should offer all these to our students on a regular basis. Let's make the best possible uses of the new tools available to us so that our students are better prepared to participate in the global community."
The article provides some great ideas to engage students in meaningful learning using the technologies listed on this posting. For example:

"Teachers can assign students in small groups or pairs to search the site's list of teachers from 200 countries and territories for a classroom with which they might connect. An automatic translator on the ePals site enables students to communicate with students in China, Korea, Japan, or other countries whose language they do not know. Students in the two classes could use the free SchoolBlog to post questions and photos that they can set to be visible to the two classes only. A rich international discussion can arise from simply comparing one's school and community with that of another. Students can also share their stories by creating documentaries about their schools, homes, and communities. For example, students in rural Senegal, working with the CyberSmart 21st Century Initiative, created these videos documenting their daily lives."

Here are some of the great resources now available for students to connect with other students around the world. This list is by no means exhaustive but it is a start on the software/sites and link conduits available for classrooms to connect (mostly freer!)

Connecting to the global community. Safely connect with classrooms around the world for collaborative, project-based learning. Finding a classroom to link with through this site.
A collaboration story  

Global SchoolNet's mission is to support 21st century learning and improve academic performance through content-driven collaboration. We engage educators and students in meaningful e-learning projects worldwide.

* Taking it Global is the world’s largest online community
TakingITGlobal's mission is to empower youth to understand and act on the world's greatest challenges.

This site supplies students with the tools they need to blog about anything they like. Get the pupils involved, blog with another school or take part in writing challenges. PrimaryBlog makes it simple to share, fun to write and keeps pupils engaged.

The World's most popular education blogging service. Edublogs lets you easily create & manage student & teacher blogs, quickly customize designs and include videos, photos & podcasts - it's safe, easy and secure.

* SchoolBloggers
 A free "school-driven" blog engine, with special features and monitoring tools for principals, teachers and class assistants.

Using Skype to connect.  Find a school to Skype from the list. Here is a blog with advice on using Skype to connect classrooms.

Connected Classrooms is a school project that allows classrooms to connect with other classrooms from all around the world. Teachers may register their class on the site to begin the project.

Free and easy to use.  To be safe make the settings as you require. Spatialworlds uses this Blog service.

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