January’s #globalclassroom Chat – Dream, Do, Make!

 

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The quote above appears on the website of Michael Graffin, the founder of the #globalclassroom chat, and I think it is perfect as we dive into this month’s chat topic related to makerspaces in education. The idea that students can be inspired, that they can dream of ideas, and be provided with the space and materials to actually explore, design, create, and turn their ideas into reality is a wonderful one and it is no wonder that so many educators have embraced it. Here’s to dreaming, doing, and making!

Whether they are corners in classrooms, separate rooms, special labs, or workshops, makerspaces are not brand new, they aren’t rare, and they continue to pop up in schools around the world. These spaces can look very different and the activities that take place in them can vary – robotics, electronics, woodworking, and more – but the fact is that the ideas and resources out there today are never-ending. But what is common in all of these makerspaces is that students are exploring and designing and doing. They are interested, they are engaged, and they are learning.

When brainstorming ideas for this month’s chat focus, Michael said, “In the past year or so, words like makerspace and STEM have become prominent in many educational discussions, and indeed, in my own school in Western Australia. I’m curious about what these terms mean in your countries and your schools – and this chat is dedicated to exploring global perspectives on maker education.”

So without further ado, here are the questions we will focus on during January’s #globalclassroom chats:

Questions

Q1: How would you define the term #makerspace & what does it look like in your school/ country? #globalclassroom

Q2: Do you have any photos of your #makerspace to share here? (Attach a pic to a tweet, share a blog post w/ pics, etc.) #globalclassroom

Q3: What kinds of #makerspace projects or challenges do you run or participate in?#globalclassroom  

Q4: Are you looking to connect with international #makerspaces? What might this look like?#globalclassroom

Times

Check below for the time that best fits with your zone:

Chat 1 ~ Saturday, January 23, 2016

10:00 UTC (Europe/Asia/Australia)

  • 5:00 North Carolina, 10:00 London, 12:00 (noon) Cape Town, 15:30 New Delhi, 18:00 Perth, 21:00 Sydney, 23:00 Auckland
  • Click here to find out when this is in YOUR timezone.

Chat 2: Saturday, January 23, 2016

23:00 UTC (Americas/Asia/Australia).

  • Saturday night USA – 15:00 Los Angeles, 17:00 New York and North Carolina
  • Sunday morning – – 07:00 Perth, 10:00 Sydney, 12:00 Auckland
  • Click here to find out when this is in YOUR timezone.

We hope to see you online for what is sure to be an engaging sharing session. Use #globalclassroom and join in on the conversation!

The Caretta-Caretta Global Project- a new and exciting awareness idea

Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta-caretta)

Hi everyone! We are so excited to launch The Caretta-Caretta Global Project!

Aim
The aim of the project is to help raise global awareness on the serious threat the loggerhead turtle is facing. Our little turtle, Neptune the Caretta2, will travel around the world along with its diary to inform everyone of its plight. At the same time, the issue of plastic garbage thrown in beaches or discarded at sea will also be discussed as it’s one of the threats for the caretta-caretta turtle (and not only!).

Ages
Any age

The project
– Share your school details in the project participant form https://goo.gl/NDbUO9
-The participant classes will in turn get the project package, which will eventually travel around the globe, by mail.
-The package will contain Neptune the Caretta2 the progect diary and QR codes for a great informative video and spreadshhets for class and home discussion.
-After learning Neptne’s history and his species plight, the class can help him by spreading the wold in the local community any way they can imagine. A lot of great ideas have been discussed. Make a street demonstation with banners, create a video and show it to the other school classes, create banners and go from class to class to inform on the Caretta-Caretta plight….not even the sky is the limit to our innovative ideas!
– Each class will have a page in the project wiki, https://caretta2globalproject.wikispaces.com/
where they can share all their exciting ideas, photos, videos, etc
-Neptune the Caretta2 and the project diary will stay with each class for 2 weeks, during which time they can contributeideas, drawings, etc.

Let’s all link hands to save Neptune the Caretta2 and his family and make our home a better place!

Global Classroom Chat – Explanations and Empathy: Addressing Tragedy and Controversy in the Classroom

‘Tis the season when many people all around the world celebrate a wide variety of winter holidays, spend time with loved ones, and ring in a new year. Although this time is filled with such joy, the reality is that tragic events, sad stories, and controversial issues don’t take a holiday and our daily news feeds, whether we access them via television, radio or the internet, are filled with current events of this nature.

As educators, part of our responsibility is to provide a safe environment for our students – a place where they not only feel physically safe but where they also feel free to ask questions, seek answers, and share their thoughts. Sometimes the things on their minds are related to complex current events and we find ourselves struggling as we work to overcome our own nervousness or discomfort, figure out how to address such topics, and determine how best to help students navigate those not-so-happy but real discussions.

With this month’s chat, we want to focus on resources you use and approaches you take when addressing controversial or tragic issues in the classroom. Let’s share so, rather than shying away, we can ensure that all students have the resources, tools, and support to help them understand and work through their own thoughts, feelings, and opinions related to such topics.

Questions

Q1: What controversial or tragic topics, issues, or events have been addressed in your classroom this year or in the past? #globalclassroom

Q2: What resources & tools have you found to assist you with addressing such current events and topics with your students? #globalclassroom

Q3: Have you ever experienced backlash from others as a result of such classroom discussions or activities? How did you respond? #globalclassroom

Times

Check below for the time that best fits with your zone:

Chat 1 ~ Saturday, December 19, 2015

10:00 UTC (Europe/Asia/Australia)

  • 5:00 North Carolina, 10:00 London, 12:00 (noon) Cape Town, 15:30 New Delhi, 18:00 Perth, 21:00 Sydney, 23:00 Auckland
  • Click here to find out when this is in YOUR timezone.

 

Chat 2: Saturday, December 19, 2015

23:00 UTC (Americas/Asia/Australia).

  • Saturday night USA – 15:00 Los Angeles, 17:00 New York and North Carolina
  • Sunday morning – – 07:00 Perth, 10:00 Sydney, 12:00 Auckland
  • Click here to find out when this is in YOUR timezone.

We hope to see you online this weekend. Use #globalclassroom and join in on the conversation!

Fostering Intercultural Connections Through Digital Learning: The EveryWorld Initiative (@knowmyworld_org)

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“The new understanding I came to about the world was that everything isn’t the same as their world.”

– Yu’pik student in Alaska/Mexico Digital Exchange

This kind of critical thought transforms a student’s world when sourced from a global interactive experience with other students from all over the globe.  Imagine two classrooms, one in the Tundra and one in the Desert, working together through email, video chat and the latest apps to expose and understand their similarities and differences through environmental, social and cultural questions. The possibilities are endless. This is what a Know My World facilitated digital exchange provides for teachers and students: the skill and knowledge necessary to explore and transform attitudes and awareness through project-based learning.

The EveryWorld Initiative was born of a desire to bring the exchange experience to a wider base of schools around the world. In a Know My World exchange, trained staff pair classrooms in two different countries and then work closely with them throughout the entire process. In collaboration with the paired teachers, our facilitators create an opportunity not only for dialogue between the two groups of students, but ultimately, a collaborative project that teaches academic content at the same time as building social, emotional, and cultural competency. These projects have ranged from creating a virtual museum showcasing the local environment to evaluating the impact of pollution to researching and reflecting on poverty.

After completing an exchange, a student from the Philippines wrote:

“This exchange created a global classroom. It is awesome to discover that we can actually create a digital platform where students from different parts of the world can learn together in a friendly manner.”

At its core, that is what Know My World is about: fostering mutually respectful and collaborative relationships between students in different parts of the world that allow them to grow personally as well as academically.

With the EveryWorld Initiative, we are excited to be bringing intercultural education to a wider audience. The EveryWorld Initiative is a scholarship program, allowing schools around the world to engage in fully facilitated Know My World exchanges. Scholarship winners will be matched with another school to develop a collaborative project that interweaves academic content with social emotional learning and cultural competency. The scholarship is open to students between 5th and 12th grade, and it can be done in any content area (even math!).

Know My World has partnered with two organizations to make the EveryWorld Initiative possible. Our Ed Tech partner is Wizer.me, a dynamic app that allows teachers and students to design collaborative worksheets that include elements such as graphs, videos, charts, and surveys. We also have a Social Impact partner, The Concordia Project, whose mission focuses on the empowerment of women through workshops, advocacy, and micro-accelerators for female entrepreneurs in developing regions.

With the help of our partners, we are thrilled to be opening the door to more intercultural collaboration, social emotional learning, and meaningful conversations in classrooms around the world. We hope you will join us! We encourage teachers from all countries to apply, so please help us by sharing this unique opportunity. The application for the EveryWorld Initiative is open until December 14, 2015. Go to our website for more information, including the link to the short application form.

 

Celebrating Four Years of the #globalclassroom Chats!

Can you believe that this month marks the four year anniversary of #globalclassroom chats? For me, these chats have been a welcome addition to my monthly routine and I have enjoyed being a part of them since May. But for some, like the founder and creator of these chats, #globalclassroom chat runs much deeper! Let’s hear from Michael Graffin himself:

Four years ago, a young Australian teacher woke up in the middle of the night with an idea… What if globally minded teachers could come together on Twitter to discuss issues, brainstorm projects, and find new connections? And what if we ran three (now two) chats to ensure that all international teachers could participate? In the years since, new #globaled chats have been created; however, we were the first, and for many years, the only Twitter chats for global educators. To this day, we remain one of the few, if only, chats which run twice to ensure global coverage.

Over the past four years, the nature of Twitter relationships and conversations has been changing. As the creator of the #globalclassroom chats, and a connected educator, Twitter changed the course of my life and career. Yet, what are the experiences of new Twitter folk and emerging global educators? There are now so many online spaces to join, and more Twitter chats than we can reasonably keep track of or add to our calendars. How can we navigate this medium while ensuring that what and how we tweet adds value to the global education community?

I invite you to join Michael, me, and the #globalclassroom chat community for this month’s chat focused on some of these very questions.

Questions

Q1: What is the continuing relevance of Twitter for global educators in our media saturated world? #globalclassroom

Q2: Has Twitter helped you connect & flatten your classroom walls? Share your examples! #globalclassroom

Q3: Do Twitter hashtags & chats add value to your professional learning? Why/why not? #globalclassroom
Times

Check below for the time that best fits with your zone:

Chat 1 ~ Saturday, November 21, 2015

10:00 UTC (Europe/Asia/Australia)

  • 5:00 North Carolina, 10:00 London, 12:00 (noon) Cape Town, 15:30 New Delhi, 18:00 Perth, 21:00 Sydney, 23:00 Auckland
  • Click here to find out when this is in YOUR timezone.

 

Chat 2: Saturday, November 21, 2015

23:00 UTC (Americas/Asia/Australia).

  • Saturday night USA – 15:00 Los Angeles, 17:00 New York and North Carolina
  • Sunday morning – – 07:00 Perth, 10:00 Sydney, 12:00 Auckland
  • Click here to find out when this is in YOUR timezone.

We hope to see you online this weekend. Use #globalclassroom and join in on the conversation!

Global Classroom Chat – Global Projects, Please!

As you may have heard, The Global Classroom Project is making some big changes to the community and to the project submission process. Although we will no longer be creating and maintaining annual project wikis, we are still interested in hearing about and sharing all of the great global project ideas that you come up with and initiate with your students, fellow educators, and partner classrooms. 

With these changes in mind, this month’s chat will focus on just that – your project ideas, both past and present! Come prepared to post about successes, benefits, challenges, and roadblocks while sharing past projects and highlighting or brainstorming new ones.

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We hope that you will engage in this chat, share your ideas, hear from others, and then consider submitting at least one of your projects via the blog’s Project Planning Template.

Questions

Q1: What are your favorite &/or the best #global projects you have created, participated in or heard about from others? #globalclassroom

Q2: What challenges or difficulties have you faced when planning or participating in #global projects? #globalclassroom

Q3: What positives & benefits did you experience as a result of creating #global projects &/or #classroomconnections? #globalclassroom

Q4: What #global project ideas do you have for this year? How will you ensure success & what advice do you have for others? #globalclassroom

Times

Check below for the time that best fits with your zone:

Chat 1 ~ Saturday October 24, 2015

10:00 UTC (Europe/Asia/Australia)

  • 6:00 North Carolina, 11:00 London, 12:00 (noon) Cape Town, 15:30 New Delhi, 18:00 Perth, 20:00 Sydney, 22:00 Auckland
  • Click here to find out when this is in YOUR timezone.

Chat 2: Saturday October 24, 2015

23:00 UTC (Americas/Asia/Australia).

  • Saturday night USA – 16:00 Los Angeles, 19:00 New York and North Carolina
  • Sunday morning – – 07:00 Perth, 9:00 Sydney, 11:00 Auckland
  • Click here to find out when this is in YOUR timezone.

We hope to see you online this weekend. Use #globalclassroom and join in on the conversation!

Global Classroom 2015-16 – A call for new projects and leaders

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Meeting The Global Classroom at ISTE 2015

Since its foundation in 2011, The Global Classroom Project has been constantly evolving. We’ve tried new media platforms, experimented with new projects and community spaces, and worked with some seriously amazing people. And, despite some seriously challenging moments behind the scenes, we’re still here. It is hard to believe, but 2015-16 is our fifth year of operation.

For the past few years, this project community has been run by two people, and last year, due to my difficult personal circumstances, it was run by just one. As much as we love this project, and what we’ve achieved, relying on one or two people to keep this community alive stretches friendships and passion beyond their limits. And as both of us step back this year to pursue new interests and jobs, we have to make some changes to how this project community works.

From October 2015, this project will centre on this blog.

We will no longer create and maintain annual project wikis. If you would like to share a project on this blog, please use this project planning template, and email / tweet us a link (@gcporganisers).

Please include a wordpress.com user ID in your correspondence, as your project will be published a lot faster if you post under your name!

We are seeking to create a core group of advisors and bloggers to maintain this blog, and help new project leaders.

If you can help, please email globalclassroomorganisers AT gmail.com, and include a wordpress.com ID. We would love for advisors and bloggers to post to this blog at least twice between now and June 2016.

With the help of VIF Learn, we are continuing to develop the #globalclassroom chats.

I can’t believe that these Twitter chats, dreamed up in the middle of the night, will celebrate their fourth birthday in November 2015. We would love to work with new moderators, and topic suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Please tweet @gcporganisers or @michellemacumber.

 

Going forward, we may not be as massive a project community as we have been in previous years; however, the connections and friendships we have forged bond us together. We are not lone wolves, we are a community.

And we’re here to help.