Tuesday, October 29, 2013

We're Going Global? What Does That Mean?


We going global? What that mean?!
For the past two or so years, many (literally hundreds) of apps, websites, and programs have been introduced to our campus and the most impressive (at least to the curriculum team) are implemented across the district as a supplement to teaching and/or used as after-school enrichment/tutorials. Now the challenge has moved directly to the classroom and the sole responsibility for planning and delivery is the teacher. How will these goals be achieved?  Where do we find resources?  We need information, time, connections...Help!!!!  Here is where professional and personal learning needs to enter the scene.

I have spent the past year diving deep into educational technology and how it can be applied to the classroom setting in order to enhance student engagement and learning.  The year was spent with many professionals who either share the same passion I have for technology or who wanted to know more because they know this thing called educational technology isn't going away. In my quest, the reoccurring theme has been real world, authentic and engaging lessons.

So, my tech goal this year is to go global. Yes, I said go global. What could be more real world, more authentic in our diverse world, and more engaging than learning with others who live,play, work and learn outside our immediate communities.

What could be more relevant and authentic than actually interacting with and learning from other students and professionals around the world?  Reading, writing, science, math, and social studies are taught and learned differently due to cultural differences, language, and economics. Allowing students exposure to these various differences can only spark engagement and provide a path to developing life long learners eager to solve real world problems through collaboration. This is the ultimate goal of going global!

Here are a couple of ideas and projects teachers and I have explored and/or currently participating in:

Pernille Ripp's Global Read Aloud
Blog's on daily weather reports from various locations within and out side our country
Globe Tracker's Mission
ePals
Across the World Once a Week
Mystery Skype 
Google Hangouts with authors and classrooms across country and the world

And all we needed was a few books, web cam, microphone,and a Internet connection. Wallah! Gone Global!