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.
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.
We are looking forward to an amazing year of global learning and collaboration!
We hope you can join us!
Deb Frazier (@frazierde) – Project Creator
Ohio, United States of America
Michael Graffin (@mgraffin) – Project Coordinator
Perth, Western Australia