Thursday, August 1, 2013

5 Things To Do To Get Your Class Connected Before School Begins

I strive to inspire and develop the skills necessary for my students to succeed in the 21st century.  My students are encouraged to create, collaborate, communicate and motivate in my classroom.
If you step into my classroom you will quickly find out that we are a classroom with no walls.  Video conferencing, blogging, creating videos and books, teaching and learning from other peers in the classroom, in the school and in the world about what they are interested in is embedded into the daily instruction of my classroom.  The results of this purposeful connectivity is that my group of grade1/2 students have begun to develop a global perspective of issues that could not have been authentically discovered if they were solely engaged in books in our classroom.  I have not done this alone, using different forms of social media such as Skype, Google Hangout, Kidblogs, Twitter, Youtube and participating in global projects have transformed my classroom into a connected classroom.

You can have a connected classroom too!  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Create a class Twitter account -  The benefits of having a classroom Twitter account are endless.  From learning from others, sharing their learning with a large community of peers to receiving encouragement and feedback.  It is a quick and easy way to start connecting with others right away.
  2. Get your class blogging - If there is one way to empower your students to write and to give them an audience to write for, this is the way to do it.  
  3. Sign up for The Primary Blogging Community - If you already have your class blogging, sign up for The Primary Blogging Community.  They will get to check out what other classes are doing on their blogs and receive a ton of comments from other kids around the world! Sign up here.
  4. Sign up for the Global Read Aloud -The premise is simple; 4 books are chosen depending on the age of your students. You pick one of the books to read aloud to your students during a set 6-week period and during that time you try to make as many global connections as possible. sign up here.

5.  Sign up for a Skype account - connect with other classes through video from around the world while sitting in your own classroom.  Download Skype here.  Find other classes to connect with and projects to explore using Skype here.  

All you need to do now is try ONE.  Sign up for one of the above suggestions before you are back to school, before you have lessons to plan and work to assess.  Don't wait for tomorrow.  Do it now, I am sure once you see how your students respond to connecting and collaborating with the world instead of just in your classroom, you won't look back.  Get your class connected now, you won't regret it!


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