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Creating Global Learners! Projects That Knock Down Classroom Walls!

With the technology we have today, a one-room classroom should no longer exist! All of our students are capable of being or becoming global learners. We have the ability, using any, or all, of the Web 2.0 tools available, to knock down our classroom walls, and allow our students the chance to collaborate with students in their state, or the world. During the 2010 school year, I took advantage of many resources, SKYPE, Epals, Kidblog, (in conjunction with comments4kids), and the various Edmodo communities. All of these resources allowed me the chance to reach out to teachers all over the world, and have their students interact with my students. This year I am going to add Collaborize Classroomas another tool to extend my classroom.

Here are two projects that I have already joined, and one I have created. I’m excited! Please feel free to add your class to any of these projects!

1. Mystery State Skype project - This project is run by a teacher I met on Edmodo. Our classes were pen pals, and she and I had a chance to meet F2F at the ISTE convention in Philly. Teachers set up a Skype conference and use information they have researched, to guess what state the other class is from. This can be done with all the teachers who have signed up. When your call is done, you can continue your collaboration with any of the teachers throughout the school year!

2. Global Read Aloud project 2011 - This is my first time being involved with this project, although it is not the first time it has been done. The Global Read Aloud project is exactly what it says. A book is chosen, and students from all over the world interact to discuss this book. The project is divided into a K-3 book, and 4th and up(“Tuck, Everlasting”)The teachers choose the media they wish to guide discussions, Skype, online learning platforms, email, glogs, the sky is the limit! I believe this will be a wonderful learning experience for my class!

3. ” Penpals Who Write” project - Teachers who are interested in having their class WRITE another class, please sign up and connect! Web 2.0 is acceptable, but you must write letters, that’s part of the experience. I had two pen pal classes last year and it was a wonderful experience. Not only did we interact using Web 2.0 tools, but we actually wrote letters and mailed them to each other. Have you ever witnessed the excitement of a student when they receive their letter? How about the anticipation of waiting for the next one? Priceless! This was definitely a project that opened their world and helped improve their writing skills. You can also join the group I have created on EduPLN.

If you know of a project for the upcoming school year, please add it! Let’s move those walls!

Share Global Classroom Projects!

Originally posted on "Diary of a Public School Teacher!"

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Comment by Lisa Mims on August 30, 2011 at 8:37pm
Thanks for sharing these very interesting projects Rita!
Comment by Rita Oates on August 30, 2011 at 5:44pm

Here are a couple of great projects created by teachers to knock down classroom walls. The links below each go to more information on the projects, all posted at ePals:

The safety unit inspires students to take a deeper look at what causes road accidents. Based on their own research, and comparing road safety in other countries, children learn and become aware of the dangers in our streets. Teams present their proposals to classmates and their colleagues from around the world. Saving lives is the most important aspect of our project and children need to be educated so they may become better citizens in the future. (Organizing teacher in Israel; participants in schools in Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Puerto Rico, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, and USA: California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Pennsylvania.)

I Know My Region is a project aimed at connecting students in the United States that are studying regions with each other. Students generally learn about the five regions of the United States from their textbooks. This project allows the students to learn about each region from the students who live there. Using Virtual Field Trips, the classrooms collaborate and learn the unit objectives together. As the unit progresses, the students become more familiar with their collaborative partners, allowing the relationship to move from parallel learning to true collaboration when provided the opportunity to exchange questions that they have. In the end, the students will videoconference to discuss what they have learned during the unit and answer the region specific questions for each other. In addition, the students create a project (something that can be shared digitally) that demonstrates their knowledge of their region. The project aims at highlighting the information that is not necessarily found in a textbook, or information that is special but not necessarily well known, such as a special park or lake.


As a computer resource specialist and ePals coordinator, I use ePals to inspire teachers to use technology in engaging ways to help their students develop higher level thinking skills. With ePals from around the globe, we complete long-term, short-term, and one-time exchange projects. Our students exchange email letters, snail mail packages, postcards, handcrafted greeting cards, electronic cards, and so much more.


Pledge to knock down classroom walls this year!

Comment by Lisa Mims on July 8, 2011 at 2:42pm
Thank you Shawn. I love to share, why keep everything to myself? :)
Comment by Shawn Blankenship on July 7, 2011 at 1:06am
Excellent title: Projects that knock down classroom walls.  You have created a model classroom on how to become globally connected.  Thank you for sharing and please share new ideas and projects in the future.
Comment by Lisa Mims on July 6, 2011 at 9:31pm
Thanks Bill!
Comment by Bill Burkhead on July 6, 2011 at 8:43pm
Hi Lisa, I am impressed with what you have accomplished!  If any teacher or administrator has any doubt about the power of technology in connecting with other teachers and students from around the world, they need just read your post and accomplishments.  Thanks for sharing.


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