I work with students in a very rural setting of Pennsylvania. I am looking to build some connections with other classes around the world to foster a bigger world view for my students. I have lots of cool ideas of how we could collaborate, if you are interested, drop me a message.

Views: 28

Comment by Susan on September 23, 2009 at 6:42pm
I am interested in collaborating. I would love to participate in a long distance debate or dialogue with your class via skype. We are also looking for a class to respond to our class blogs.

Let me know if you are interested. I teach 8th grade U.S. History.
Susan
(In Texas)
Comment by Ian Snyder on September 26, 2009 at 2:05pm
My kids are only in second grade. There might be too much of an age gap there? What do you think?
Ian
Comment by Jonah Salsich on September 26, 2009 at 3:03pm
Ian,
I teach 3rd grade in CT. I'm always up for collaboration! We have a class blog and have some collaborative projects in the works for science (habitats/rainforests), social studies (Native Americans), and math (making kites in the spring - also connects to social studies as I collaborate with schools around the world).
I'd love to hear some of your ideas!
Jonah
Comment by Dr. Rita Oates on September 30, 2009 at 9:17pm
ePals is one of the global collaboration sites embraced by the Pennsylvania Classroom For the Future (CFF)program. I taught a summer online class for tech trainers, paid by PA Dept. of Education, to help implement wider use of ePals SchoolMail and global collaboration in Pennsylvania classrooms. Many of those in the class were in rural PA and were very excited to bring the world to their students through ePals collaborations.

Some primary classes (K and grade 1) are doing "picture blogs" through ePals SchoolBlog too. Students in a grade 1 class in Wisconsin are "twinning" with a grade 1 class in China that is learning English as a second language. They take photos of things around the school and community and write simple sentences about them. School lunches look pretty different!

If your district is blocking ePals, please suggest that they look at the TRUSTe certification, which guarantees a higher level of protection of information. Any website that has it will have it on every page. You can click on that and find out more about this higher standard. Or I would be happy to talk with them about any issues they might have. I'm a former district ed tech director, and all social learning sites are not the same. Student safety and privacy of student information are very important to ePals.

I also recommend a new book from ISTE, Global Education: Using Technology to Bring the World to Your Students, by Laurence Peters. He recommends ePals for young students to get started in global collaboration, especially using one of the projects.
ePals offers:
* classrooms to collaborate with (use Classroom Match)
* free collaboration tools (SchoolMail and SchoolBlog)
* project plans, such as "The Way We Are" to get you started

Good luck to you in seeking to share the wider world with your students! It's a terrific experience!

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