The Global Classroom was born in the minds of Deb Frazier’s (@frazierde) young students:
Our first grade class [in Ohio, USA] was thinking about the ways people around the world meet their needs. We began to do some research, diving into books about various cultures.
While sharing new learning about India, Puju, whose family is from India, commented, “My dad says that’s not really true.” From there we knew we needed more than books. We needed to talk with people in other cultures to really discover the many ways in which they meet their needs.
And thus, the Global Classroom came to be … Deb published a blog post on Primary Perspective, and shared it on Twitter … bringing together 6 teachers from 5 countries, and leading the creation of an amazing global project.
“Through Twitter, we worked collaboratively to connect our classrooms using one single VoiceThread. To date, this VoiceThread has had over 1,000 views and nearly 200 comments from kids all around the world! Not too bad for a project which was developed and ran for only four weeks due to the end of the American school year!
The power kids felt in being free to question their learning gave them ownership and motivation. The questions and the voices of children gave Global Classroom authenticity. VoiceThread and the Global Classroom Wiki made a powerful impact on kids around the globe!”
A New Direction
After the completion of our 2011 project wiki, organised by Michael Graffin (@mgraffin) from Perth, Western Australia; thoughts turned to the future … Where would we go next? Would we find any other teachers interested in joining? What projects might we run? We created a Google Doc, and shared the link on Twitter … and were quickly overwhelmed with the response.
We have since welcomed no less than 100 Kindergarten – Grade 12 teachers from 18 countries (across 6 continents) into the #globalclassroom community; and now find ourselves on the cusp of the biggest project of our careers.
Our Vision for 2011-12
We envisage the “Global Classroom Project” as an online learning community; providing the collaborative spaces, resources, and global network to enable teachers and students to share, learn and collaborate on a global stage.
As revealed in our Manifesto, we believe the Global Classroom Project has incredible potential to promote cross-cultural understanding, develop teachers’ expertise with technology and global projects, and enable our students to communicate and connect on the world stage.
We represent a broad, global group of educators – working together in primary (elementary) and secondary teams. Some are keen to share and build their global project ideas, while many are looking forward to participating in their very first global project / cultural exchange.
There truly is something for everyone …
To find out more, and to sign up, please visit:http://globalclassroom2011-12.wikispaces.com
To find out more about this year’s Kids Speak VoiceThread project created and run by the first grade students of Deb Frazier’s class in Ohio,US please visit:
Primary Perspective http://deb-frazier.blogspot.com/
Welcome to a world of GLOBAL opportunities! This is going to be an amazing year!
Deb Frazier (Project Creator) and Michael Graffin (Project Coordinator)
Note: This article by Deb Frazier originally appeared on Teaching Village, and is licensed under a Creative Commons, Attribution-Non Commercial, No Derivatives 3.0 License. If you wish to share it you must re-publish it “as is”, and retain any credits, acknowledgements, and hyperlinks within it.