In the Beginning … Global Classroom 2011

Considering where Global Classroom has taken us over the past 6 months, I think it’s time to reflect on my involvement in the original Global Classroom Project, which began in April 2011.

Global Classroom 2011 was a fantastic learning experience; marking the first time I’d ever worked on a global collaborative project, and the first time my Grade 6 students had ever directly connected with other children around the world. We had no idea where it would ultimately lead.

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A Global VoiceThread – Kids talking to kids.

The project centred on Deb Frazier’s Grade 1 students’ VoiceThread, where children around the world posted and responded to each-other’s questions about national animals, culture, languages, school life, technology, and sports. What made the project so fascinating for the students (and for the teachers) was its’ authenticity. We had real kids sharing their questions and voices with authentic global audiences.

 

My students enjoyed listening and responding to the younger students’ questions, and some went to great lengths to share their knowledge and learning. I know in retrospect that some of the answers were a little long for the Grade 1 children, but I’ll never forget those little moments …

The 5 hilarious attempts to sing the Australian national anthem …. the former international school student sharing her ability to speak 6 languages (4 fluently) … and the sheer jealousy when my students discovered “those American kids had iMacs and iPads” in their classroom!

 

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In addition to the VoiceThread, my Grade 6’s created EduGlogster posters about their home cultures, quickly realising that my students came from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, and spoke a total of 11 languages. The authentic learning purpose, and engaging nature of the technology, made this project an incredible success; and proved particularly motivating for my Indigenous and academically weak students, who were able to make invaluable contributions to the Global Classroom project.

 

 

After the project ended, I suggested that we create a wiki archive, with the intention of providing a central place where we could share our students’ work and classrooms with the world. This wiki was built by the six teachers involved in Global Classroom 2011, and considering our lack of prior experience with wikis, proved to be a very positive learning experience for all of us.

You can find our first Global Classroom wiki here: http://globalclassroom2011.wikispaces.com.

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We’d love the hear your feedback in the comments below!

 

 

How One Tweet Initiated A Global Partnership

I’d like you to meet Deb Frazier, a Grade 1 teacher from Ohio, USA.

You’ll find Deb on Twitter as @frazierde, and she blogs at Primary Perspective.

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Deb and I have yet to meet face-to-face, yet over the past few months, we have become global partners, and good friends, through our close collaboration in building The Global Classroom Project.

I first met Deb in May 2011, through Twitter; and looking back, it seems it was meant to be. Deb was relatively new to Twitter, and was interested in extending her students’ learning beyond her classroom walls.

I was a second year teacher, and relatively established user of social media, about to embark on a 4 week relief placement in a Grade 6 class – the first class I’ve ever been able to call my “own”. Following the success of my first global project in March 2011, when I ran the World Water Day International LinoIt Project, I was keen to further experiment with web 2.0 tools in education.

And then, late one night, I came across a tweet and a blog post which would change the course of my career:

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The Global Classroom Project (2011) was born …

 

Deb Frazier, from Ohio, USA was looking to connect her Grade 1 class with children around the world via VoiceThread. As Deb blogged here, the idea was born in the minds of her students; yet it was Deb’s vision, and use of social media to connect with fellow global teachers which made it a successful global reality.

As I prepare to explore the development of the Global Classroom Project over the past months, and my role within it, over this upcoming series of posts, I am still struck by the simple fact that Deb and I met, and collaborated via social media and Web 2.0 tools.

We hear so much negativity about social media in education, yet this global collaboration, this global partnership bears testament to how connections made through social media can change our
worldviews, our teaching, and our students’ lives.

And to think that it all started with One Tweet, and One Blog Post …

Imagining a World of Global Collaboration (#GlobalEd11)

“ A small group of thoughtful people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  Margaret Mead

Comment shared at our #globaled11 presentation

On November 15, 2011, I was lucky enough to present alongside Deb Frazier, and members of the #globalclassroom team at the Global Education Conference 2011; sharing our Global Classroom 2011-12 wiki community with the world.   
 

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Attended by around 25 teachers, from Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America, this presentation was a fantastic opportunity to share, and reflect upon, the incredible efforts of our #globalclassroom teachers in making global connections, establishing projects, and enabling their students’ voices to be heard on the world stage.

 

If you’d like to watch our recording, please click here:

https://sas.elluminate.com/site/external/recording/playback/link/dropin.jnlp?sid=2008350&suid=D.7D57122AD0470DC1245CEB99286023

 

 

Global Classroom is already making a significant impact on the lives of students and teachers around the world.

We’re imagining a world of global collaboration.

TOGETHER, in a small way, we are working to make this world a reality.

 

*The original version of this post was published on The Global Classroom Project blog on November 16, 2011.

My Edublogs Awards 2011 Nominations


My PLN has been a source of support, learning, and encouragement, and along the way, I’ve met many wonderful new people, made new friends, and discovered some invaluable online professional learning resources.


Today, I’m taking the opportunity to nominate a few of my favourite sites, blogs, and resources for the
Edublogs Awards 2011.

 

The purpose of the Edublog awards is promote and demonstrate the educational values of these social media.  The best aspects include that it creates a fabulous resource for educators to use for ideas on how social media is used in different contexts, with a range of different learners while creating an invaluable resource of the best-of-the-best on the web!network

http://edublogawards.com/


BEST NEW BLOG

Teaching the Teacher: http://traintheteacher.wordpress.com/

Stephanie (@traintheteacher) found me on Twitter some months ago, and I soon discovered her insightful blog (established Jan 2011) where she has shared her experiences, reflections, and learning as a student-come-beginning teacher.

We need more student and beginning teacher bloggers like Stephanie; as by sharing our stories, frustrations, learning, and achievements, we can build informed community understanding of new teacher experiences, and better aid their entry into the teaching profession.


BEST GROUP BLOG


Edublogs Teacher Challenge: http://teacherchallenge.edublogs.org/

With out a doubt, the Teacher Challenge blog is one of the BEST online professional development resources for teachers on the internet today. Written by teachers, for teachers, this is relevant, informed PD at it’s best. It has helped me improve my blogging skills, and build my PLN.


BEST ED TECH / RESOURCE SHARING BLOG


Education Technology and Mobile Learning:
http://educationaltech-med.blogspot.com/

There’s always something interesting in Med’s blog feed, and I’ve always appreciated the incredible effort he puts into his visual explanations of the latest education technology tools and resources. Educational Technology and Mobile Learning remains one of my most frequently bookmarked blogs in my Diigo library.


BEST TEACHER BLOG


Stump the Teacher:
 
http://stumpteacher.blogspot.com/

While I follow many amazing blogs, my stand-out teacher blog for 2011 just has to be Josh Stumpenhorst’s "Stump the Teacher” blog (). Josh’s blog has taught me a great deal about teaching, and about myself; and his work inspires and educates teachers around the world.


BEST EDUCATIONAL USE OF AUDIO / VIDEO / VISUAL / PODCAST


The Virtual Staffroom Podcast:
http://virtualstaffroom.net/

Chris Betcher’s Virtual Staffroom podcast remains the ONLY educational podcast I remain subscribed to, as his inspirational interviews with leading educators enable teachers to share and learn from each-other – around the world. I have followed the Virtual Staffroom for nearly 4 years, and eagerly await each episode.


Well, these are my nominations for the Edublogs Awards 2011.

I hope they will help inspire and educate others, as they have done for me.

The Global Classroom Project: #GlobalEd11 Presentation

 

Just a quick post to let you know that I will be presenting on The Global Classroom Project 2011-12, with Deb Frazier (Ohio, USA) at the Global Education Conference 2011, on Tuesday, November 15, 2011.

We hope you can join us for:

A discussion about The Global Classroom Project 2011-12; a new online global projects community helping K-12 teachers and students share their expertise, learning, and voices on a global stage.”

We will be exploring our stories and latest global collaborative projects. With contributions from #globalclassroom teachers in Australia, Romania, New Zealand, USA, Canada, France, and Denmark, this is a presentation not to be missed!

For full details of our presentation, please visit our session overview.

When?

We will be presenting on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, at 6AM New York (EST), 11AM London (GMT), 4PM Delhi, 7PM Beijing, 10PM Sydney.

We have attempted to find a time friendly to teachers in Europe, Africa, and Asia, as we strive to make Global Classroom more globally representative.

We recommend finding our session, “The Global Classroom Project 2011-12: A Global Learning Community is Born”  using the official schedule for YOUR time zone.

Where?

To join our presentation in Blackboard Collaborate, please click on this session link shortly before the start time:

https://sas.elluminate.com/d.jnlp?sid=2008350&password=GEC11Part270

We will be publishing the slides, and recording link on this blog (and our wiki) following our presentation.

 

I’m looking forward to sharing how The Global Classroom Project has developed and grown over the past few months, as I witness global dreams becoming global reality. This project is an amazing example of how social media, web 2.0, and global collaborative projects can change the lives and work of hundreds of teachers and students around the world.

I look forward to sharing what’s happening at #GlobalEd11. I hope to see you there!