This #globalclassroom story comes to us courtesy of Kimberley Rivett (@krivett1), and Room 14 at Point View Primary School in Auckland, New Zealand.
Flat Stanley came to visit our school today! We had read the book, made our own Flat Stanleys and posted them to Pennsylvania, USA. We had even created a wiki for our buddy class and us to use as a shared space. We had joined Edmodo, creating groups for us to communicate through.
But when those gorgeous little Flat Stanleys arrived in a huge envelope with letters full of curiosity about our lives, suddenly, the world became a lot smaller and the term ‘going global’ had come to our classroom.
The children shared their Stanleys, showed them around the room, compared letters and questions and then dived onto Edmodo, full of more questions and lots of things to comment on and say. We have watched videos from each other, we have recorded voicethreads and vocaroos which were very funny for us all to listen to – comparing accents and colloquialisms as well as contrasting differences in school uniforms and other things they observed in the background.
There can be no value placed on these experiences. Who knows how far into the future it will impact? My class talk of nothing else and look forward to each message and comment, racing into the classroom each morning to check on the websites. Many of them are spending time at home going onto Edmodo and showing their parents what they are doing. There are photos everywhere and intentional learning about online spaces, communication, collaboration, curiosity, friendship and much, much more.
In our school, we talk about the importance of ‘a class without walls’, and this certainly illustrates how true that is in the digital age. The passion my class have shown through just a little Flat Stanley from Pennsylvania really shows how much our global context impacts on children. They have become interested in the history of our area – a subject formally ‘boring’ to them. But now, because it has an authentic learning context, the children realise that the history of where they live and come from is a part of who they are and of immense interest to others.
The American Stanleys are off having adventures with my class at the moment and the NZ Stanleys are in Pennsylvania having fun with their ePals there. Their journeys will come full circle when they return to us in a month or so, but the learning from this experience will continue for far longer than that.
Do you have a #globalclassroom story to share?
We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with making global connections, and engaging in global collaborative projects.
Please tweet @mgraffin or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll help share your story with the world!