Great big thanks to Nadene Mathes, who took us through the projects she has been working on with her First Grade students, connecting with students in Europe and collaborating on some excellent work. Her work really exemplifies the power of connecting with other classrooms and teachers: her students got to experience life in a culture separate (but similar!) to theirs; they exhibited excellent digital citizenship skills and picked up many good habits that will sustain through their school careers.
Please check out the sites where you can see the work of Nadene’s students:
To find classrooms and teachers that are looking to connect, try the following sites:
(MLTI’s Epals page: http://www.epals.com/connects/usa/maine/)
Also try Google Earth Community – try looking under the ‘Education’ forum:
Great places to find teachers on Twitter (thanks to Richard Byrne for this information):
The Flat Classroom project is inspiring in so many ways, and gives a great view of how large collaboration projects can grow. The site has much to explore and learn from:
Some tools that were mentioned as a means to connect included iChat, Skype, and Voicethread. In addition, using wikis to collaborate and blogs to host information are great tools for students to get involved with. Check out wikispaces and edublogs for free wiki and blog hosting.
Other means of sharing work:
Thanks to all those who took part in the webinar. Please get in touch if you have any further comments or questions.
This webinar will focus on the connectivity of our classrooms: getting our students in touch with other students, educators and experts outside of our school buildings. There is tremendous learning to be gained from discussions and collaborative work with people outside of the immediate environs. Differing perspectives, language practice, sharing lifestyle and culture information can all lead to a rewarding experience for students.
I will be joined by my special guest Nadene Mathes, first grade teacher at Atwood Primary School. She will take us through a project her students worked on with students in Europe, helping us to understand the work that goes into connection projects and the benefits her students gained from taking part. The webinar will also look at places to get started on connection projects, some ideas for ongoing projects and tools that can be used to smooth the way.
The webinar will take place on Thursday, March 24, at 3.15 and again at 7.15. To register for the webinar, click on the ‘Webcasts’ tab above and follow directions.
Image by superkimbo on Flickr, used under Creative Commons License.
There is a reason that engaging and well-built games sell millions of copies. Students of any age can spend hundreds of hours in a single game like Plants vs. Zombies. By taking a look at the specific reasons that make a game compelling and applying them to our curriculum we can help shape our units and lessons of any subject area into an activity that can compete with the millions of other distractions out there.
Come join us Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 3:15 or 7:15 pm as we look at the simple yet profound ways that zombies can make you a better teacher. To register for this webinar, select the Webcasts tab at the top of the page and register for the time desired.
From World of Warcraft to Farmville virtual worlds are all around us. While being mainstream in the entertainment industry for years, interactive virtual worlds are starting to gain traction in the 21st-century classroom.
Many recent surveys suggest that nearly 99% of young people play video games. This indicates an entire generation with skill and ability navigating this relatively new interactive medium. Using virtual worlds, educators can tap this wealth of experience to provide a unique platform for interacting with information. Educators now have the ability to create custom learning environments that are not feasible (let alone possible) in the real world.
The unique qualities of virtual worlds can provide opportunities for rich, sensory, immersive experiences, authentic contexts and activities for experiential learning, simulation and role-play, modelling of complex scenarios, a platform for data visualization and opportunities for collaboration and co-creation that cannot be easily experienced using other platforms.
This webinar will introduce participants to virtual worlds, how they are currently being used in classrooms, and suggest next steps to teachers looking to integrate interactive virtual worlds into their curricula. We will also be talking with Mary O’Brien, third grade teacher at Manchester Elementary School, about her experiences in virtual worlds.
There will be two sessions as usual at 3:15 and 7:15 on Thursday, January 6th. For information and to register, please choose the WebCasts tab at the top of this page.
This week’s webinar in the Writing Process series will be a departure from our journey through the stages of the process. Instead, we will take a look at how students are using social technologies to communicate through written language, both in and out of school. Whether it’s through email, chat, blogs, texting or social networks like Facebook and Twitter, our students are engaged in this kind of writing every day. How can we help students use these powerful new tools effectively and ethically?
Sherry Connally, Principal of Rangeley Lakes Regional School, will be the guest host. Sherry recently completed her doctoral dissertation, An Exploration Of Maine Middle School Teachers’ Use Of Social Technologies. She will discuss her findings and talk about ways that teachers are helping students learn to communicate, collaborate, and build relationships through social media.
We will look at some examples of ways teachers can leverage interest in this type of communication to help students improve their writing, and we will share resources for doing this. As always, we will encourage participants in the webinar to share their experiences and resources so we can learn from each other.
Please join us Thursday, April 1 at 3:15 or 7:15 pm. You can find links for registration and information about how to access these sessions by clicking on the Webcasts tab at the top of this page.
Illustration by Ann Marie Quirion Hutton based on an original by Maarten Korz, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic license.