Write a blog post about this session. Include some ideas and links you found interesting. Discuss ways you might incorporate these ideas into your classroom.
Global Classroom Response: I got the opportunity to sit in on a webinar with Silvia Tolisano as our guest speaker. She shared with us many different way to become connected with people and places all around the world. These ways are not only ways we can connect individually, but ways we can incorporate these people and places in our classrooms. She covered many different techniques, websites and groups that you can join and be a part of to reach these distant people, however, I will specifically touch base with a few that really stood out to me:
1) Teddy Bears Around the World: This was a project that Silvia put together herself. It is an elementary project for students to learn new traditions and perspectives of kids their age by allowing these teddy bears to symbolize different ‘touring’ teddies around the world. I think this is a great idea for in the classroom, however, is aimed at a much younger audience opposed to high school. It’s a great way to incorporate geography, history, and social studies. Kids are learning to find this information using technology and the internet, yet they’re learning as they read about each “teddy bear”.
2) Around the World With 80 Schools: This group is based simply around the use of Skype, a visual and audiable way of communication over the internet. Silvia shared with us that there are 600 teachers involved in this group so far getting involved with each others schools. A great way to use this in our classrooms is to bring in experts. If you’re covering a specific book in English class, or studying an indepth fossil in Science class, search an expert anywhere around the world that you can Skype into your classroom to discuss the topic with your students. The originality of the teaching technique will grab the student’s attention, and it is someone new that they can get the chance to listen to instead of the same teacher everyday. This also allows student’s to connect with other people around the world.
3) Embedding Geography: This is a way of using Google Geography and showing students maps of the world. After using any of the ways to become Globally Connected, you can place a tick mark on this map of the world to show the places where your classroom has connected with. Student’s enjoy competition and rewards, so one way I think would help student’s want to interact more was if you gave them a set amount or specific location to fill with, say 10 ticks, their interest on completing the task will increase.
One statement Silvia made that really stuck with me was, “If you want Globally Connected students, you must first become a Globally Connected teacher” so true