"Creativity is contagious, pass it on." ~Albert Einstein

Monday, August 6, 2012

Connect Your Classroom

“Teaching students about the world is not a subject in itself, separate from other content areas, but should be an integral part of all subjects taught. We need to open global gateways and inspire students to explore beyond their national borders.” 
~Vivien Stewart, Becoming Citizens of the World, Educational Leadership

One week until school starts!  I am sure your summer "to do" list is all checked off and you are as anxious as I am for a new year.   Hopefully you explored some new tools or ideas to incorporate into your curriculum as well.  If not, I would love to challenge you to connect your classroom to the world this year.

Yes, I know it will take some time on your part (if you are an #aurorahuskies I look forward to helping you do this) to find resources and people to connect with, but isn't it worth it for your students?  

One of the easiest tools to connect your classroom to the world is Skype.  My Skype contact list has grown exponentially since I started incorporating it into my curriculum last year.  There are teachers all over the world that are looking to connect their classrooms as well.   Here are some of the ways that I have used Skype in my classroom:
  • Skype question and answer session with an App developer .  Students created a Google Document and listed questions that they wanted to ask the developer.  It was an amazing learning experience full of fascinating information.
  • World Read Aloud Day-I had readers from all over the world Skype in to read books during the day to K-5 students to promote global literacy.
  • Mystery Skypes-A very engaging, geography based question and answer session with another class. 
  • Skyped with a Park Ranger at Yellowstone-Students were amazed they were speaking to a "real" park ranger!
  • Skyped with a former student that now lives in Japan.  We learned lots of great information about the culture of Japan.
  • Skyped a student while she was on vacation in Hawaii.  She shared her experiences with us and gave us an awesome tour when it was freezing cold here in Nebraska. 
  • Skyped with partner classrooms about a Voicethread project we collaborated on pertaining to landmarks in our respective states. 
It's nothing earth shattering, but it was very engaging and authentic experience for my students.  Your students will be using this tool (if they are not already) when they are in the workforce.  Don't you think school is a great place to learn how to properly use this tool?

Skype in the Classroom is a great resource to get you started.  You can view projects that other educators have posted or even create your own.  It is so easy to use.

You have a little time left before school officially begins.  Get signed up, look for projects. Create a project.  Do something to connect your classroom to the world this year and enjoy the experience!

As the student stated in the video, "You can learn anything when your school is connected to the world."  What are you waiting for?  

No comments:

Post a Comment


authorHusband, Dad, Son, Brother, Teacher, Coach, Learner, Catalyst, Collaborator, Creator, Contributor, EdTecher, DIYer, Tinkerer, Golfer, Exerciser, Gardener.