If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know I’m always talking about the power of global connections. In my ideal school, kids would be connecting at any time of day with people anywhere in the world to further their inquiries. They’d be independently Skyping with kids in other place to share learning and exchange ideas. But for now, interactions initiated by teachers are at least a starting point.
On Friday I’ll have another opportunity to talk online about the experiences we’ve had so far at my school. It’s for InnovatEd Conference in Memphis, USA, and I love the idea of presenting via Skype about kids connecting globally in just this way. We haven’t been able to do much of this in the past couple of months, due to tech difficulties resulting from our move to a new building. However we’re almost back in business, so if there’s anyone out there who’d like to connect in May for a Year 4 unit on understanding other cultures or a Year 2 unit about how schools are organised in different countries, please let me know.(The age of the students doesn’t need to match.) Skype is great, and Voicethread works well if we need to connect asynchronously due to inconvenient time differences. If you have never done this sort of thing, here’s a good place to start!
Meanwhile here’s an example of where one of my own online connections has led…
It was wonderful to meet face to face and exchange ideas today with @megangraff , who I met on Twitter. She’s a teacher librarian at a PYP school in Singapore, visiting Melbourne to see friends. Showing her around our school, discussing similarities and differences, having her input in one of our meetings about report cards, it felt as if we had known each other for ages. She’s moving to Tanzania later this year to volunteer as teacher librarian at the School of St Jude. She has promised to stay in touch so that we can try to find a way to connect our students to provide an opportunity for some great learning on both sides.
As one of my students reflected last year, ‘Talking to people is much better than learning about them’!