Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Global Collaboration Resource- Around the World with 80 Schools

Have you considered connecting your classroom with another classroom around the world? Are you studying communities, temperature, time, weather or holidays?  Can you think of some questions that your students could ask students in other locations to gather data on these topics?

What about literature. Would you be interested in discussing a book your class read with another class in the world? Wouldn't it be interesting to get the perspective of the American Revolution from a school in England? Are you collecting data for a project? Could you ask questions of someone in a specific location to retrieve that data?Have you used Google Earth? Would it be engaging for your students to take a virtual field trip on Google Earth and then video conference with a school in that location?

There are endless possibilities with regards to video conferencing in the classroom. It has never been so easy either. Most schools around the world use a simple service called SKYPE. www.skype.com. Skype is a free video conferencing software that anyone can download. Once you create a username and download the software you are ready to connect to the world.

There is an online project called AROUND THE WORLD WITH 80 SCHOOLS that started this year. The goal of the project is that classes that chose to participate will attempt to connect their class with 80 other schools around the world. The project is very well organized.  There is a wiki that provides all of the information necessary to get started. There is a spreadsheet available online that provides all of the contact information for schools that have decided to take part in this.

What i like about this project is the simplicity of this. Although connecting with 80 schools  may seem overwhelming, they are recommending no more then 5 minute conversations. The wiki has a nice outline of ideas broken up by time. I copied some of it below.

Here is a suggested timeline:

  • Hello (15 sec)

  • Intro of School 1 (school/geographic location) (30 sec.)

  • Intro of School 2 (school/geographic location) (30 sec.)

  • School 1 shares (1 min)

  • School 2 shares (1 min)

  • Data collection Question (30 sec.)

  • Goodbye (15 sec)

Take some time and read through the WIKI. There is some great information on there. If you are interested in starting to video conference in your classroom please let me know. I will be happy to assist the entire way through.

Around the World with 80 Schools  wiki ------aroundtheworldwith80schools - home.

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