Let’s Go Global!

Last night on our WOW2 webcast, we had an impressive set of teachers with us to describe their plans and involvement in global projects for this academic year. Kristin Hokanson was effusive in her enthusiasm for using web 2.0 tools and getting teachers connected and involved. Her “Connected Classroom” wiki is very impressive – check out the video she has embedded in it.

Cheryl Lykowski, with whom I have been corresponding for a few months now, has just won an award for her impressive work on a master’s thesis project involving her students (in Michigan) in a podcast project with teachers and students in Colombia.

Another teacher whom I had invited, but was not able to join us last night, is Jennifer Meagher, a teacher who involved her Sherbrooke Qu├ębec high school students in a collaborative project with teachers and students in Uganda using the tools and environment from TakingITGlobal. Although she has since moved to another province in Canada, she is an enthusiastic proponent of global partnerships and knows of several classes around the world that are seeking partners this year.

While on the local level in my own setting I know of few teachers who are flattening their classroom walls to communicate and collaborate with students outside of their immediate environment, I am encouraged that this is changing. Opportunities for global collaborative projects abound and the tools of the Internet have never been easier to use!

Other projects/portals worth mentioning: Life Round Here (by Chris Craft), The Global Education Ning, and Teachers Without Borders.

IMPORTANT!!! If you have a great project that has used WEB 2.0 TOOLS, Terry Freedman asks that you would fill out this form so he can show off best practices examples with the upcoming Coming of Age – 2nd Edition. Please consider doing so – this way we can all share our students’ great work using these neato tools.

Below is a slideshow of a presentation I recently gave at the Literacy and Learning in the 21st Century conference in New Brunswick. I include slides of my own three teenagers who each use the Internet in very different ways – yet in ways that I believe are typical of our generation of youth today. All three of them are using tools and environments which permit them to collaborate and share with others not in their own immediate location. I included them in my presentation to demonstrate how teenagers are using the Internet as a means of communication and collaboration OUTSIDE of educational purposes. They do so easily and naturally, not because they are “geeks” (they would quickly cringe at that label!), but because that is how today’s teens are having fun and getting connected with their friends.

Check out the other portals mentioned in the slideshow if you are looking for an Internet Project or Global Partnership this year!

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