9/6/2012 By: Andrew Churches
Best edtech practices from around the planet
Technology has enabled us to push back the classroom walls and
stretch our virtual arms across the globe to shake hands with
students almost anywhere. Social media sites like Facebook
reduce the distance between countries as more people join these
communities (there are now over 900 million members) and
as more devices provide instant connections (more than 200
million people access Facebook via mobile devices). Our students are
residents of these virtual worlds, and technology gives them access to a
wide range of experiences, places, teachers, and students.
Some of the most successful global education projects I have seen
simply require access to a shared space online. One of the best sources
for collaborative global projects is Flatclassroom Projects. This site
links classrooms across the planet and provides a defined set of goals
and objectives that match well with many subject areas. These goals
help teachers as they work with their students. The site also offers a
certification course for flatclassroom teachers.
Global project learning opportunities are diverse and provide huge
opportunity to interact with students in different cultures as well as
renowned experts and leading teachers. But, like everything, there are some
considerations. Before you begin, consider the following:
Do your school or district’s network policies allow access to wikis, Skype,
and social networks (e.g., Facebook or Ning)?
What are your school’s policies on providing online access for students,
sharing images and data, and protecting their
Do you have suitable and compatible
software, hardware, and infrastructure to enable
connection and sharing?
All of these projects should be deliberate
and considered. They are hugely beneficial,
but do require careful identification of goals,
proper planning, establishing acceptable
norms, and setting expectations of behavior
and suitable reflection.
Read more of Andrew Churches’ work at
TOOLS FOR GLOBAL LEARNING PROJECTS
Skype for Education: http://education.skype.com
Wikispaces: ad-free wikis for education http://www.wikispaces.com/content/teacher/
Wetpaint wikis: http://wikisineducation.wetpaint.com/
Ning: http://www.ning.com Social networking (this service has a cost)
Facebook Groups: This feature can potentially be useful, but
check your school’s policies first.