So…have you ever wondered what is happening in a classroom in another country? In a country far from you, or near you, but cannot easily visit? I have a heard a lot of instances where teachers have connected to classrooms in countries they could not easily have the chance to visit if they wanted to. And it is super easy! What you need is a computer with an internet connection (and permission from your school administration)! If you do not have it, there are many other ways as well.
- Social media. If you are on Twitter or Facebook, or something similar, it is already a step in the right direction. I never thought I could make so many connections with teachers from all over the world, when I first joined Twitter. So if you are connected on any type of social media, there are surely educators out there who would love to connect to your classroom, through:
- Skype. It is free and it is super! Your students will love seeing the people at the other end of the webcam – it gives more immediacy.
- Wikis and blogs. Invite other teachers and their students to write articles on your wiki or blog (which are also for free). Plan projects together. Some educators I appreciate and admire have made these global connections. You can read about Naomi Epstein’s global project on her blog Visualising Ideas and all the super things she does with her students! Arjana Blazic is another star teacher in Croatia, whose blog Traveloteacher is full of these projects! I have just one link from her many here for you to read. Eva Buyuksimkesyan and Alex Francisco, based in Istanbul and Portugal have made such a fantastic collaboration between their classes on their wiki! Shelly Terrell, the person behind the 30 Goals Challenge, has a blog and wikis with a multitude of such projects – you can literally spend hours reading about her work with kids.
- Good old-fashioned mail. Younger children really enjoy writing letters, notes, making drawings, taking pictures and sending them to other schools around the world – and receiving them, of course! Receiving real objects from other children around the world excites them and love seeing how other schools in the world work, how life is and so on.
Have you got any other ideas? I am sure you do! Feel free to add them.