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Global Classrooms

Most of my learning in the past couple of years has come from online interactions. Through conferences, blogs, Twitter, Skype… I have made some wonderful connections and broadened my thinking enormously. I have shared ideas about teaching and learning with educators on every continent. I have interacted with interesting people who have made me think in different ways about big ideas in education, about the world and about myself.

What’s taken place in my own learning should apply to students too. I know the days of just learning in a room with walls are over. Just as I have expanded my learning sphere, so can they…

Last week I thought it was exciting that some of my Year 5 students were teaching Hebrew to a 15 year old in Colorado. The fact that a group of Year 6 students was coming to talk to kids in India at lunchtimes was amazing. This week, it’s becoming ordinary. We’re getting to used to it! Both groups had conversations today and they are beginning to take the lead themselves. I try to stay out of the way as much as possible.

I asked Manish at the SOLE in Maharashtra why he’d enjoyed talking to the kids in Australia. He thought for a minute, then typed ‘We have a common thing which is talk freely with another childrens.’  Isabella and Liat  in Melbourne said, ‘Instead of learning about them, we talked to them. It was fun to talk to people who we thought were completely different and find how similar they are to us.’

Right now Year 6 at my school are learning about our Asian neigbours. The central idea of their unit is ‘Acquiring an understanding of our geographical neighbours develops a global perspective’. What better way of promoting such understanding than through kids talking to kids. So far we have organised a group in India and a group in Thailand with whom the students will interact. More to come…

It’s a model for what learning can look like. Should look like. I’m hoping gradually it will become commonplace. Groups of students learning from and with other kids anywhere in the world. Learners on different continents sharing, debating and discussing. Kids communicating and collaborating across the globe.

And it’s not even difficult to achieve.

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About whatedsaid

Teaching and Learning Coordinator at an IB PYP school in Melbourne, Australia. I'm a teacher, a learner, an inquirer...

Discussion

6 thoughts on “Global Classrooms

  1. Thanks for the stellar examples of connection and community, Edna -

    I’ve been wondering a lot about policy regarding transmitting kids’ likenesses. What’s policy like in your school system?

    I keep hitting a wall in this area this year. Keep prodding me, Coöp.

    Best,
    C

    Posted by Chad Sansing | November 16, 2010, 9:02 pm
    • Parents are informed at start of year that photos of their kids might appear online for educational purposes. They are invited to opt out if they prefer not to permit it. We rarely have any objections. If it’s not official school content, we don’t name the kids or the school.

      Posted by whatedsaid | November 17, 2010, 2:22 am
  2. Do your students participate in Model United Nations? It’s a great way to meet other students from around the world and learn about international issues. You can learn more about Model UN at http://BestDelegate.com.

    And given the title of this post, you should check out the Global Classrooms program — http://www.unausa.org/globalclassrooms

    Posted by Ryan | November 16, 2010, 11:28 pm
  3. Edna, I appreciate the spirit of what you are saying here, in addition to the detail. Education should be the practice of freedom (relates to Kevin’s post), using all tools available to wake up and become more conscious. That’s what the new tools have meant for you, that’s what they should mean for kids. That’s a Paulo Freire idea: education for “conscientizacao.” I love the way you start your analysis with you.

    Posted by Kirsten | November 18, 2010, 8:18 am

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  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Global Classrooms « Cooperative Catalyst -- Topsy.com - November 16, 2010

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