Making Global Connections October 2017
Have you wondered how to connect your students with others around the world? How does this connect to instruction in the classroom and why is it important?
Global interactions show all of our different cultures, perspectives, and life experiences. Hopefully, the communication will allow us to learn common interests and shared experiences with those outside our environment.
Connecting to instruction can be as simple as using maps to explore geography to collaborating on storytelling. Making Global connections are a part of Virginia’s Computer Science standards and are at the Infusion level of the NKCPS Framework. Global connections do not need to be separate from instruction but an integral part of extending learning.
Pernille Ripp, the creator/ educator of the Global Read Aloud project identifies 7 steps to starting a global connection in this ISTE Article:
Find your passion and purpose. Passion drives the energy and dedication you’ll need if obstacles present themselves during the course of the project. Consider where something will naturally fit into your day because you already have a lot of passion for it.
Pick a focus. Will your project support reading, writing, speaking or another component of instruction? Narrow your focus to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Similarly, decide in advance how much time you have to dedicate to the project. First-timers should start small.
Check in with students. Make sure that your students feel comfortable sharing their thoughts with others outside their classroom or school. There are times when students don’t want others involved, and educators should respect that.
Similarly, be sure students are actually ready to collaborate and can mind their manners.
“You need to have a community in your classroom before you set them loose in the world,” Ripp says. Do they know how to behave on a Skype call? Have you practiced working together, say with an in-class project, to avoid student embarrassment or awkward situations during a live collaboration?
You gotta believe. Believing in your idea is essential for getting others on board. Your conviction will convince others to spend time doing the project.
Find your people. Educators should be connected so that their students can be connected, Ripp says. To make your project work, reach out to your PLN on Twitter, Facebook, Skype in the Classroom, email or even just a face-to-face conversation. If no one jumps on board, it’s time to rethink your idea.
Dream a little. If your project concept is a little loose when you start seeking collaborators, that’s OK. True collaboration means all partners have a say in the project. As the creator, you should be prepared to figure out the details with your partners. “So you have to have a dream and an idea of what it may look like, but do leave room for others’ dreams as well,” Ripps explains.
Let go. There will be times when things don’t go according to plan. Count on it. That happens with learning and teaching. Allow your project to take its own path and resist the urge to shut it down if it takes unexpected twists and turns.
Where to make connections:
A website for making global connections with video set up by the Kind Foundation. This site had all the information and tutorials to get you and the students started connecting synchronously.
New Google oriented website from an educator and Google Innovator. Teachers sign up and go to the “find classes” page to filter and make connections.
Make connections and explore the activities from the news feed. Filter by age and class size. Teachers can connect before setting up a project and filter by age. students will collaborate directly with other students within the teachers set up classroom.
Two educators source of connections with large range of projects students can participate in throughout the year, including Global Read Aloud and Global Collaboration Day.
Penpal schools has been connecting for many years. Asynchronous projects focus on reading and writing collaborations.
Tools to use to connect:
MeetingWords - text only
If you are using a desktop computer you need:
A webcam (the IPEVO document camera will work)
USB plug-in Microphone
Always test first!
Take the leap and learn more about Global Education by participating in Global Education conference Online (free)November 13-16
“7 Steps to Starting a Global Collaboration Project.” ISTE, www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=608.