A Global Learning Community is Born

As we look forward to the official webinar launch of Global Classroom (2011-12) in two weeks time, we’re celebrating the creation of our project blog with a post about the origins & vision for the Global Classroom Project.

Our Beginnings

The Global Classroom was born in the minds of Deb Frazier’s (@frazierde) young students:

“Our first grade class [in Ohio, USA] was thinking about the ways people around the world meet their needs. We began to do some research, diving into books about various cultures.

While sharing new learning about India, Puju, whose family is from India, commented “My dad says that’s not really true.”

From there we knew we needed more than books.

We needed to talk with people in other cultures to really discover the many ways in which they meet their needs.”

And thus, the Global Classroom came to be … Deb published a blog post on Primary Perspective, and shared it on Twitter. A few retweets brought together 6 teachers from 5 countries, and led to the creation of an amazing global project:

“Through Twitter, we worked collaboratively to connect our classrooms using one single VoiceThread.To date, this VoiceThread has had over 1,000 views and nearly 200 comments from kids all around the world! Not too bad for a project which was developed and ran for only four weeks due to the end of the American school year!

The power kids felt in being free to question their learning gave them ownership and motivation. The questions and the voices of children gave Global Classroom authenticity.

VoiceThread and the Global Classroom Wiki made a powerful impact on kids around the globe!”

A New Direction: “From little things, big things grow …

After the completion of our 2011 project wiki, organised by Michael Graffin (@mgraffin) from Perth, Western Australia;  thoughts turned to the future … Where would we go next? Would we find any other teachers interested in joining? What projects might we run?

We created a Google Doc, and shared the link on Twitter … and were quickly overwhelmed with the response … as we soon found ourselves on the cusp of the biggest project of our careers!

Our Vision for Global Classroom 2011-12

Global Classroom currently represents about 60 teachers (and 1300 students) from 18 countries and 6 continents.

As we shared in our participants’ Manifesto, we believe this project has the “incredible potential to promote cross-cultural understanding; build teachers’ ICT expertise, and enable our students’ voices to be heard by authentic global audiences”.

And now, as we reflect on our origins and future … we feel we are witnessing the birth of a new global learning community; run by teachers around the world. In short:

“We are building the collaborative spaces, resources, and global network to enable teachers and students to share, learn and collaborate on a global stage.”

Spreading the Word

We’d love to welcome new K-12 participants from around the world (particularly from Asia, Europe and Africa), and we’d appreciate your help in spreading the word … in your schools, local communities, and online social-networks.

To find out more, please read our  “How Can I Get Involved” page, and visit our Global Classroom 2011-12 Wiki. Thankyou!

We are looking forward to an amazing year of global learning and collaboration!
We hope you can join us!

united statesDeb Frazier (@frazierde) – Project Creator
Ohio, United States of America

AustraliaMichael Graffin (@mgraffin) – Project Coordinator
Perth, Western Australia


9 thoughts on “A Global Learning Community is Born

  1. Engaging students and helping them to look out into the world – wonderful possibilities! Thanks for providing both the inspiration and the means!
    Regards, Deb (Sydney, Australia)

  2. So excited to see where this all goes. Michael and Deb, thank you for inspiring us to connect and reach out to each other. If I can accomplish one thing this year, it will be that students consider viewpoints different from their own and grow and stretch their thinking and writing as a result!

    • Hi Kyle & Marissa! Thankyou for your comments 🙂

      Breaking out of the educational isolation that is so typical of my home town, here in Perth, Western Australia, has been one of the best things I’ve ever done.

      It is wonderful to see my little dream about transforming Deb’s Global Classroom idea into a “global learning community” becoming a reality. It is inspiring to see so many people making connections, and beginning to form educational relationships which stretch across the globe.

      And this is just the beginning.

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