Six Ways to Turn Your One-Computer Classroom Into a Global Communication Center

Six Ways to Turn Your One-Computer Classroom Into a Global Communication Center

In the 21st century, the connected classroom is no longer a privilege. It is a right. Fortunately, more and more school systems are bringing their students out of the past and into the present with a basic internet connection, laptop, and projector. With the right building blocks in place, teachers will be positioned to transform their classrooms from disconnected spaces where learning happens in isolation to global communication centers. Here are the building blocks for success that you should put in place for effective change.

Eight building blocks for successful technology integration
To follow are the building blocks that school leaders and teachers must work together to provide for successful integration of technology into the classroom.

  1. Support teachers in using technology for professional purposes.
  2. Provide teachers with support for securing interactive digital content.
  3. Encourage teachers to partner with students to integrate technology into learning.
  4. School principal must lead by example.
  5. Embed technology integration into teacher and leader evaluation.
  6. Support student acquisition and use of technology in schools.
  7. Work with students to develop responsible use policies.
  8. Secure appropriate permissions from students and their parents.

As schools put these building blocks in place, they will be able to work to support real transformation. Below are 6 ideas that teachers across the globe are implementing to transform learning in their classrooms.1. Connect home - school

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Blogs / Websites
  • Students update status and parents can respond
  • Notes for class updates
  • Photos to capture student work
  • Videos to capture lessons and student presentations
  • Events to share upcoming activities
  • Embed live current event feed into class or school site
  • Share lessons and student work

2. Connect students across the globe

  • Blogs / Websites
  • Comments for kids
  • QuadBlogs
  • Flat Classroom Project
  • Global Classroom Project

3. Connect students with experts

  • YouTube's new education site
  • Khan Academy
  • MathTrain.TV
  • Skype in the Classroom
  • Visit to learn about topics in a variety of content areas.
  • Learn math from an internationally acclaimed math teacher.
  • Learn math from other kids
  • is helping teachers connect with experts to help their students learn.

4. Connect with the World with Livestreaming

  • Use a tool like UStream to bring the world to your class and the class to your world.
  • Stream your class science experiment to the world and connect with other classes who are doing the same thing.
  • Act out historical figures from your culture via UStream
  • Stream book reviews
  • Learn from teachers
  • Have students stream presentations
  • Follow a livestream in the wild to bring remote places into your class and watch, rather than read about it in a book.
  • Stream chicks hatching over the weekend or a break.
  • Invite other classes to watch and do the same with historical figures from their culture.
  • Share the book report live or via video with parents and other students reading the book.
  • What do you want to learn? Stream in a teacher from anywhere in the world and provide a lesson.
  • Contact those who can make up a real audience and invite them to watch.
  • Invite learners to be teachers
  • Let your students create a show or create a lesson to teach others something they're good at.

5. Connect with the World using Twitter

  • Know how to use hashtags to connect with others who share your passions and interests.
  • Use to collect your tweets.
  • Use Twitter Fountain to review and share tweets and images about you, your class, or a topic of interest.
  • One tweet can connect you with others across the globe

6. Connect with Those Who Don't Speak Your Language with Translation Tools

  • Google translate lets you speak or type to translate and it will provide text or voice to allow anyone to communicate with other language speakers using their preferred method.
  • Use translation tools to convert your blog to another language.
  • Google Chrome will automatically identify and translate websites.
  • Translate historical or current events in Wikipedia to see views from the perspective of those who speak another language.

More than a decade in to the 21st century and school life needs to match the real world we are preparing students for. Real world success requires connected classrooms and global learners who have the world at their fingertips and know how to connect, communicate, collaborate, and connect with their neighbors around the world.

You can use the following presentation to help get others on board.

Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book
Teaching Generation Text.

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.

Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several books and her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Tech & Learning.  

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.