Looking for collaborators on a "First Day of School" project

Since it is "that time of year," I think a great way to introduce kids to the concept of collaboration is to share first day of school experiences around the country and around the globe. My first thought was to do Animoto videos, but I am sure there are many other great ways to connect. Ultimately, it would be great to create a web site or wiki with all of our experiences in one place. I would foresee us talking about traditions, fears, hopes, etc. I think staying with the ages of around 7-11 would be best. This could be a really excellent project!

I am new to the idea of collaboration and trying to learn all I can about web 2.0 technology, so I am very open to any guidance anyone wants to give. I am a third grade teacher in an inner-city school in a high poverty/ high crime area. I am hoping to expose my kids to other cultures in the country/world. Let me know if you are interested!

Tags: Collaboration, first day of school

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Mary, I am so glad to hear from you ! I have been having trouble connecting with people, so to just have some contact with someone is great! This is all very new to me, and there is still a lot that I am learning. What I had thought about was doing an Animoto film (I don't have a video camera) of the first day(s) of school and getting the kids to comment on how they are feeling as school starts (ie nervous, excited, etc). Then, I wanted to compile these on one site/wiki and compare how kids experience the first day of school around the country and world. I do not know if you have any pictures from your first day(s) that would work for this or not.

BUT, since I finally have a contact, there are some other things I wanted to work with a class on. I wanted to look at habitats in different parts of the country/world and how they are different/same. I am in contact with a teacher in Australia who could be part of this project. I also wanted to look at how other governments work in different countries and how this affects the kids. Also, I read your wiki about social issues, and this topic closely mirrors some thoughts I have had. My school is an inner-city school in a high crime/ high poverty neighborhood, and my kids are pretty isolated. They live in public housing, but I want them to see that others in the world struggle to even eat, go to school, sleep under a roof, etc. I want them to see that others in the world live similarly to them and differently as well. Past all of this, I would love to have classes around the globe that we can communicate with (email, voicethread, etc) just to get exposure to people of other cultures (my students--and the whole school except for one student--are all black, and they generally only see other cultures on television).

Please let me know your thoughts on any/all of these. I really hope something interests you and that we might work together! Take care!

Sam
We would be interested here is Salem, MA. We are in the same positon you are -- trying to learn all we can about Web 2.0. We'd love to try a Animoto video, but we don't yet know how to do one, so any direction would be helpful. We have the capability to web chat is you do. Wiki would be new, but on our list of what to learn this year. Give us the format and we'll run with it from out end. We begin school on Sept. 14th.
Last year we communicated with a school in Wisconsin using Twitter. You can set up a closed account, although we didn't. We just diodn't use last names. twitter.com/phoenixschool
Betsye,

Sorry I did not get right back to you. The Animoto video is VERY easy. Just go to the site, and it pretty much does everything for you--literally takes just a few minutes. To do the First Day of School project, all you would really need to do is take a lot of pictures. I have not completely figured out how to add some text to this project, but it should not be hard. I would like us to write about emotions on the first day, as well as any traditions, etc. that the kids might have around the first day. I want to keep this simple since the year is just starting AND I am just learning about all of this stuff! If we collaborate throughout the year, we can do some bigger and better things. In the meantime, I will try to get a blog set up (or wiki? Not sure which will work best for all this!) where we can post our videos/text/whatever. I will keep in touch! This should be fun. Take care!
Although I work in a 7-12 district, is there a way to integrate SKYPE?
Tracy,
I have never used SKYPE, but I am sure I can figure it out. How do you think it might work in this? Always open for advice!
Hey Samuel--great idea, but we're just down the road (I-64) from you in P-town. If you want locals from Virginia, let us know.
We will keep in touch--I am sure there is something we can do!
I am interested in the first day of school project. I am new to all this too. I have never used any of these things but am really excited about learning. I teach in Co Donegal in Ireland. We go back to school this day 2 weeks - Aug 31st. Let me know any more details.

Marie
What about a Wiki or blog? Marie--Ireland sounds interesting. Have you used Animoto? Or, have you made any videos using Movie Maker? It'd be fun to show what the first day of school is like in Ireland and Virginia and trade videos/pictures? Thinking out loud....
I intend using wikis and blogs this year so either would be possible. I think I know how to use Animoto although I have never used it but know nothing about Movie Maker. Would love to try this.
Marie,
I am a 4th grade teacher looking to interact with a class throughout the year. Is 4th grade an interest. What grade level do you have? I am in Atlanta, GA
What do you think? Probably a wiki would be best, so that others can add to it? I have not done either before, but it should not be too hard?

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