There was a time when becoming officially ‘twinned’ with a school in another country or writing painstaking ‘pen-pal’ letters in faltering French represented the full extent of the connection students were able to make with their peers around the world. But thanks to the advent of social media and education technology, the sky is the limit when it comes to creating enriching and mutually beneficial inter-continental relationships between classrooms.
Here are a set of fantastic resources to help educators get started in reaching out and making global classroom connections…
An award-winning social network for global citizenship, Taking it Global connects over 3200 schools in 136 countries with exciting collaborative global projects. Focused primarily on young people over the age of 13, the company promotes global awareness and understanding between cultures. It gives young people around the world the opportunity to connect and mobilize on an international scale, to join forces on important issues and create collaborations and campaigns.
TWICE (Two Way Interactive Connections in Education) is a K-12 video conferencing organisation that supports collaborative communication between teachers, students and technology coordinators. Its great project, CAPspace enables classrooms across the globe to link up and learn together. Working as a social networking tool for videoconferencing, it allows teachers to upload potential projects or collaboration ideas and connect with other educators who think their classes have something in common or could work together on a particular topic.
Another project from TWICE, this fantastic initiative celebrates the joy and power of reading on an international scale, matching classrooms with partners using teacher profiles. Once matched, classrooms from across the globe exchange and share reading materials and activities, celebrating the power of the written and spoken word to transcend boundaries. It’s not only available in English, but other languages too!
iEarn (The International Education and Resource Network) is the world’s largest non-profit global network allowing teachers and students to use education technology to collaborate and connect on group projects that “enhance learning and make a difference in the world”. Reaching an impressive 30,000 schools and youth organisations around the world, it engages over 2 million students daily in collaborative projects. Having created a safe online environment, the platform allows schools to connect directly, integrating online projects on different topics and curriculum levels into their classroom.
A great tool for teachers, as well as hosting an annual conference, this great web platform holds regular discussions, has a lively forum and encourages teachers to connect and collaborate across countries and borders.
What are your experiences with creating a global classroom? What tools have you found beneficial to connecting with schools around the world? Let us know in the comments below.
Image courtesy of Flickr, DonkeyHotey.