OK. I’ll admit it. I came to find all of these fabulous social media and international collaborative project opportunities at a point which I had limited access to classes, only via other teachers. That being said, I often feel like I would like to sink my teeth into some hugely collaborative project, or even just be associated with one. There’s been a lot of talk, or maybe I should say, I am reading a lot of writing about:
- Rigor: How do we allow students to achieve flow-the right balance of challenge and stress to optimize learning in our classrooms?
- Relevance: Are we teaching with the values, thoughts, feelings, and experiences of our students in mind?
- Relationships: Are we respecting students’ lives and cultures?
- Results: Do we have measurable, tangible results that represent our ideas and goals?
as they relate to individual student motivation. A truly collaborative, either locally or globally, project stands a great chance of really getting at those four elements if done well.
So, in an effort to further my selfish aims to be associated with a collaborative project, I offer this: one of the teachers with whom I am working on designing curriculum for our new writing and critical thinking class sent me the following email:
I am interested in incorporating the idea of a global classroom into several of my units. I know there are sites that are dedicated to hooking up educators so that they can participate in these kinds of exchanges with their classes. I just don’t remember what they are or how to get them. I kind of remember someone, it might have been you, providing us with some links that let classrooms from various corners of the world work together on a common project. I am very interested in reaching out to several teachers across the globe and linking up. At minimum, I would like to give our students access to the differing perspectives that naturally arise out of geographical differences.
She’s talented and extremely capable of pulling this off. We worked together back in November of this year to Ustream her classes Just One Less Summit, which some of you out there were able to attend virtually. Here are some samples of what she plans to do next year:
- Food Wars: based on Salt and Fast Food Nation
- Mental Fitness: How mentally fit are you?
- Question Authority: Media Literacy: How can I identify the underlying messages in mainstream media?
- Disconnected: I Text, Therefore I am: • How have humans communicated throughout history?
• How and why is communication different throughout the world?
• What is the impact of human communication on a given society?
• What are the benefits and drawbacks to different forms of communication?
• What might human communication be like in the future and what factors will influence these trends?
First off, you can’t imagine how jealous I am of this group of teachers to be able to teach a class that lets them answer these types of questions, but also how jealous I am of these students that they get to wrestle with such cool content. If you are interested, or know of someone who might be interested in some form of collaborative project under these unit topics or others like them, please drop me a line in the comments below. This is a 7th grade class (12-13 year old students).
Somebody, please help me realize my dream..