The Journey of Being a Connected Classroom

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So what is a connected classroom and how do I get my classroom connected?  These two questions seem to be common for many educators today.  More and more teachers are seeking to build and maintain connections in their classrooms.  Establishing a connected classroom doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen without grit and perseverance.

I hope you’re still with me because being a part of a connected classroom gives the learners (and I am including us as  learners) a greater purpose and authenticity in our work, it motivates us and it pushes our thinking.

You may be familiar with this quote~

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

Donald Rumsfeld

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/donaldrums148142.html#UuQeysFEr1kci7Lr.99

We know this is true for adults who have many years of experience, but let’s think about our studens who are just beginning to experience life. Their schema is limited, limited by the people they are surrounded by.  What they learn and how they think is based on the community in which they live and go to school.  As we prepare our students to be leaders of our communities we know their professional communities will reach far beyond the limits of our classrooms, our schools and even the communities in which they live.  Knowing this, as professional educators, we can’t stand unconnected in our professional lives. Not if we are preparing learners to be members of the global community in which they are living.

The journey of being a connected educator begins with the teacher.  I am not a spokes person for Twitter, but I would be remiss not to share the brawn of Twitter in becoming connected.  I know many people at this point begin to nod or curl a lip.  Don’t worry I am not talking about twitter like my teenagers use twitter. I am talking about following other educators and their classrooms.

In my first job I had an employer give me this advice,

“Always surround yourself with people you want to be like.”

This advice has served me well in so many instances and it couldn’t be more suited here. If you want to be a connected educator, follow connected educators and their classrooms. Follow their blogs, their thinking and their journeys. Connected educators share all this and more on twitter. They share tools, struggles and celebrations and they do it for FREE and they do it for OUR kids!  Connected educators are immersed in the voyage and they know the challenges, they are living them, they are overcoming them and they are sharing it all on Twitter!

Happy Tweeting!

Reconnecting with the #globalclassroom

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A small explanatory note from @gcporganisers

In early 2011, Deb Frazier (@Deb_Frazier) and Michael Graffin (@mgraffin) co-founded a small “Global Classsroom” project, which ultimately grew into the Global Classroom Project community as we know it today. As happens with many of us, personal circumstances changed, and Deb was sadly unable to participate in the community for several years.

Today, we can finally say “Welcome home!”

 

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Thank you PLN and #Globalclassroom!  I have shared how much I LOVE my PLN about 5 million times and still I can’t say it enough! I know that I can click on my friendly device and you will be right there ready to share and learn together!  Sure, the members may be different and things went along with or without me, but that IS the beauty of a PLN! We are risk takers, we are collaborators and we are leaders and we are always there or should I say here!

So What Have I Been Doing?

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 12.35.54 AMWell, I haven’t been far, I am physically in central Ohio, USA but I am only a click away virtually.  I am on twitter  @Deb_Frazier and my class tweets  @Frazier1st . I am still blogging on Primary Perspective  and my class of first graders (age 6-7 yrs) on Behind the Scenes in First Grade . My class and I have been active in connecting our class globally and locally, you can see our global learning here.

 So Now What? 

Well, I am overwhelmed with all that the #globalclassroom has going on, there are so many talented and dedicated professional and students in Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 12.38.57 AMour community! I have been clicking around and I think catching up will take a bit of time.  I will continue to click and get acquainted with all the work here in the #Globalclassroom. In the fall when I meet my new class of first graders, I will let them guide us with their WONDERFUL WONDERS  into the #globalclassroom community!

 

Building and Maintaining a Global Perspective~ My Global Experience

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The one post that forever changed my perspective on life and teaching, I can never go back, nor do I want to.

On May 5, 2011 Wanted! A Global Classroom~.was published along with a simple tweet. These humble beginnings led to global connections that are far beyond what I could have ever dreamed possible!

In Awe of Twitter~

Shortly after sharing this post on twitter I was on my way to making connections and building a global PLN. I watched in awe as the connections became a reality. I was new to Twitter at the time and had no idea what to expect. Twitter has amazing people who are there just to support and learn from one another. One such tweep is @mgraffin from Perth, Australia. Michael saw my tweet and kept it alive on the other side of the globe! Michael retweeted my tweet as I slept, making it possible for me to reach the global audience I was seeking.

The Global Classroom Begins~

Quickly, teachers like @surreallyno (Romania), @claudiaru (Guatemala), @mgraffin (Australia) and @ICT_Integrator (Cape Town) were joining my first global project! This was an amazing experience and has forever changed the way I teach and my perspective on education and society.

A Whole New World~

The students in my class became familiar with countries around the world and saw themselves as part of a global community. Often kids referred to their friends in Romania or Mrs. Stadler in Cape Town as easily and as frequently as they referred to teachers in our building. As our global classroom continued to grow the students shared more about their daily lives and asked more questions to learn about others. It quickly became obvious (even to my first graders) there were far more similarities than differences in this global community.

There’s No Looking Back~

I knew I could not go back to teaching within my four walls. We had experienced the possibilities of expanding our community, of sharing with others and  bringing others in. The students valued diversity and recognize similarities in other cultures. We learned to see people above all else, we experienced the value of collaborating in a global community. As 1st graders we came to expect to talk with people in Romania, Australia, Cape Town and other countries throughout the world.

Imagine yourself having global connections in first grade! Where would you be now?

Life Presses the Pause Button~

As lives events unfolded I found myself stepping out of this amazing project for a bit, not sure how I could manage my ever changing personal life, new curriculum and the Global Classroom. Fortunately, Michael and the entire Global Classroom community have continued to flourish. As I have begun to dip my toe back into the global waters I find my PLN still here, still willing to connect and learn as one!

You are amazing people!

A New Humble Beginning~

Last week my kids and I began a new global project, Lunches Around the World. We would love to have you join us! If you would like to join us you can tweet us @Frazier1st, tell us what you had for lunch yesterday and send a picture, we will upload your picture into the VoiceThread. We will then invite you to visit the VoiceThread and add your audio comment!

We hope you will dip your toes into our Global Waters! Click on the photo below to view our VoiceThread.

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The Global Classroom has blossomed into a plethora of opportunities, taking on an even bigger reach thanks to the dedication and perseverance of Michael Graffin and the participants of this global community!

You are all amazing educators and are making a difference in our children, our communities and our world~  I can never express my THANKS adequately!

Project Announcement: Kids Speak (K-3 Project)

Another new Global Classroom Project – this time “Authentic Voices of Children World Wide- Kids Speak ~2011-2012”!

Mrs Frazier and her class are once again launching their Kids Speak VoiceThread project. Students will work collaboratively in ONE shared VoiceThread to ask questions and share life experiences that enable the student to grasp the project goals. Students and teachers are encouraged to post questions, videos, documents, and/or photos to the shared VoiceThread. All work will be authentic and child created.

Project Coordinator: Deb Frazier, USA

Duration: September 2011 – June 2012

Grade Level / Age Group: Pre-K to Grade 3 (5-9 years old).

Contact: DM @frazierde on Twitter, email globalclassroomorganisers@gmail.com or leave a comment below this post!

Click on the image below to see last year’s project:

And It Begins … #globalclassroom

Today, we marked the official launch of The Global Classroom Project: 2011-12; hosting a Launch Webinar attended by 20 teachers from Australia, Canada, France, Brazil, and the United States of America. 

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In our Launch Webinar, we:

  • Explored our history, philosophy, and community goals
  • Explained how teachers & students can get involved in the #globalclassroom community
  • Explored the purpose of our blog, wiki, and online discussion groups
  • Hosted a special presentation about Edmodo in Global Classroom (by @tdallen5 & MrsSchmidtB4)
  • Saw teachers making connections with teachers around the world – and in their own backyards!
  • Celebrated the launch of our very first global projects!

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Launching Global Classroom 2011-12

  • Are you interested in flattening your classroom walls & creating a global classroom?
  • Are you curious about the Global Classroom Project: 2011-12?
  • Not sure how it all works? Wondering how you can get involved?

Then, please join us for the Global Classroom 2011-12 Launch this weekend!

Brought to you by Deb Frazier, Michael Graffin, and members of the Global Classroom Organisation Team, this recorded webinar is a fantastic opportunity for you to:

  • Make global connections with other teachers around the world
  • Learn more about our #globalclassroom community & discussion platforms
  • Share project ideas
  • Have your questions answered, and
  • Share the excitement as we launch our first global projects!

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A Global Learning Community is Born

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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!”

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