Getting Connected!

Have you ever wondered what life was like outside of your hometown?  None of my multimedia students have traveled outside of the US and most have travel experience limited to the southern states.

How can you travel the world in a US high school?  One class at a time:)

During December, Sue Water’s wrote a post on connecting classrooms through Skype. I eagerly signed up even though I wasn’t sure if we could connect via Skype due to current blocking by smartfilter.  I even purchased an iphone over the holidays to be used as an alternative. You can imagine my surprise after the holidays when I discovered that Twitter had been unblocked.  I quickly contact one teacher I had corresponded with about the alternative to Skype.  The celebration was short lived as Twitter only remained unblocked for about a week:)

Thank goodness I signed up for comment responses to be email to me!  Ann Michaelsen contacted me January 21st through Sue’s original skype post. She had difficulty using Skype due to time differences.  We both corresponded on various ideas.  Ann’s students in Norway are working on English in Social Studies.  They were ahead of us with blogging which served as great examples for my students.

All my multimedia students now have blogs and wrote their first post,  welcome message, Monday. We are working on a photography unit, and the students are excited about adding some of their own photos to their hometown post.  Ann’s students are also writing a hometown post this week.

Due to internet filtering, we are having difficulty correctly seeing Ann’s blog as well as her students.  Our parish unblocked the site, but their is a hang-up with the theme or something.  They are working on it, but it won’t slow us down.  Starting today, my iphone will be used for students to post comments on the Norway students’ blogs.  Many of my students have already stopped by this morning to show me the pictures they took to add to their own hometown post.

It is so exciting seeing the students really light up about this opportunity.  I hope you will stop by to visit their newly created blogs.  You can access them by following the tab, student blogs.  Their hometown posts will vary according to their likes and hobbies.  My students are showing our hometown “Through Their Eyes.”  If it is someone that enjoys the outdoors, then you will probably learn about out trees, hunting, etc.

I am so excited to the world being opened to us through web 2.0:)

8 thoughts on “Getting Connected!

  1. It is exciting, isn’t it.
    This week I have managed to have two Yr 5 classes agree to do some collaboration with Year 5s in Memphis.
    I can’t wait for it all to start – it’s times like this that I wish I still ahd my own class.

  2. Hi Lisa,
    I think it’s great how you’re using Web 2.0 to expand your classroom beyond the school walls. Very few of the students in my school travel much beyond our little town too. A few years ago I took a class to Vancouver and we went to the beach – not one student in 31 had ever seen the ocean! It simply amazes me…

    Seeing what you’re doing has me very excited to start my art/photo class blog in the next month. Perhaps our classes could exchange comments at some point before June? Let me know if you’re interested!

  3. I really like the concept of ‘Through their eyes’ – this is transportable across many applications for blogging.

    I’ve been using Skype for ementoring for the past 12 months or so and find it to be the most useful of tools for flexible contact. A strategy I tried last year was to be in Skype for a Monday morning – sort of like an open office – and folks in my mentor group could just drop by using the text chat. Once there were a few gathered we would initiate a voice chat.

    BTW I am still learning from the 31 day challenge and connecting with other bloggers.


  4. Hey Colin!
    Yes, it really is exciting. The students are loving it. They have to comment to Ann’s class using my iphone because their blogs are currently blocked through our internet, so their errors are greater in comments. But at least they are getting the experience.

  5. Hi Errin,

    I know what you mean:) I hope to really pull in more geography and history to my class. We would LOVE to exchange comments with your class!!!


  6. Hey Coach:)

    One of my students love writing and poems. For their hometown post, she wrote a poem. It was GREAT! I love the various views they have. Glad you are still enjoying the challenge. I need to update my last week. Hopefully Ill get to it soon!


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