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.

Celebrate the National Day on Writing With Author Kate Messner

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o4925_rangerintime_4cc_zJoin New York Times “Notable” author Kate Messner on an inspirational journey through the process of writing a book.

During Messner’s live Google Hangout, students will learn that published authors go through the same process as student writers when creating a book, including brainstorming, researching, planning, drafting and editing.

Messner will also share how authors, editors, copy editors and illustrators work as a team to publish a book. Best of all, students will leave the event with not only a new appreciation of the writing process, but also with the confidence that anyone can tell a story!

Time and Date

Tuesday, October 20, 2015, at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time / 16:00 GMT  (on Google Hangout (40 minutes)

Find out when this is in your timezone here

Before the visit

Download and try a FREE student activity on writing inspiration in the classroom. If you’d like, you can also read one of Kate Messner’s books. The virtual event will focus on the Ranger in Time chapter book series.

During the visit

Come with questions for the author – we will take questions from the crowd.

After the visit

Extend the learning with a FREE downloadable student activity.

Register Here! 

To download pre/post visit activities, and to register your class to participate in the hangout, please visit the registration page here:

http://www.weareteachers.com/grants-contests/giveaways/join-us-for-a-virtual-author-visit-promotion

Curriculum Links: English Language Arts & Literacy, Grades 3–5

About the Author

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Kate Messner is an award-winning author whose books for kids have been New York Times Notable, Junior Library Guild, Indie Bound, and Bank Street College of Education Best Books selections. The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. was the winner of the 2010 E.B. White Read Aloud Award for Older Readers.

Kate also spent 15 years teaching middle school and earned National Board certification in 2006. She lives on Lake Champlain with her family and loves spending time outside. To learn more about Kate and her books, please visit her website, http://www.katemessner.com/.

#globalclassroom Chat: Local is Global!

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Where is my family from? Why don’t we throw trash on the ground? Where does our tap water come from? Where do you live compared to where I live?

If questions such as these regularly peak the curiosity of your students and drive inquiry-based learning, then you are already connecting the local to the global in your classroom. As teachers embrace global education initiatives, the focus often goes beyond their own communities, states, and countries. Students learn about cultures and climates around the globe, they explore and find solutions for global issues, and connect with organizations and other classrooms in far off countries. But what about local topics, issues and events? How do they connect to the global and how do they have implications that go well beyond the local?

For this month’s chat, let’s focus on the idea that local is global and global is local. We want to hear about how you and your students dive into local issues, make authentic connections between right-here-at-home and far-far-away, and engage in your own community while going global.

Questions

Q1: How/where do you make local connections – to people, organizations & issues? What is the benefit of such connections? #globalclassroom

Q2: What local issues have global significance? How have you connected the local to the global? #globalclassroom

Q3: How can we take local action on larger global issues? What does this mean for our students? #globalclassroom

Q4: How has a global issue helped solve a local one? What resources did you use? #globalclassroom

Times

Based on past experience with the #globalclassroom chats, we are trialling an adjusted chat timetable, with two (rather than three) chats typically starting on the second or third Saturday of the month. The sharing and learning that comes from these discussions enriches our practice and the learning experiences of our students. We hope that you will join us!

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

Chat 1 ~ Saturday September 19, 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 September 19, 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 on September 19, 2015. Use #globalclassroom and join in on the conversation!

Celebrating International Dot Day 2015 #dotday

International Dot Day

Next week, on September 15th, we are looking forward to celebrating International Dot Day, a global celebration of imagination and creativity, which this year is set to involve several million children from over 112 countries.

From the Dot Day website:

International Dot Day, a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration, began when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on September 15, 2009.

The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark”. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe.

Last year, my young students at Iona Presentation PS in Mosman Park, Australia created dots using DoodleBuddy on their iPads, which we shared in the video below.

When I went to ISTE in Philadelphia earlier this year, I was delighted to meet Peter Reynolds and Terry Shay in person, and I’m very much looking forward to celebrating #DotDay 2015!

How will you celebrate? 

Register at http://www.thedotclub.org/dotday/register, and check out the gallery for inspiration. Share your students’ creations with the hashtags #dotday and #makeyourmark