Connecting Classrooms through Skype

It all started with a simple comment on a blog. Recently, I started reading a blog of another international school teacher’s blog in Saudi Arabia through the two writing teachers slice of life challenge on Tuesdays. I found out that she was also a fifth grade teacher. I left her a comment, asking if she would be interested in collaborating with our class. After a few e-mails, we decided to create a google document where we would write questions for each other. So we had our first Skype session this afternoon (morning for them).

It was great as my students learned about their life, culture and school in Saudi Arabia. We also shared about our lives in Korea and our school. I think one of the funniest parts was when we taught them some words in Korean (hello, teacher & student) and when they repeated it, my students did the Korean “oooooooh” in unison. They were so impressed by their good pronunciation! Towards the end of our Skype session, one of my students asked me if we could ask them what book they are doing for their read aloud. We didn’t have a chance to ask them, but it seems like it could be a good topic to discuss the next time we Skype with them!

Here are some more resources for finding global collaboration opportunities!

Skype in the classroom

Epals global community

ilearn

The Global Read Aloud

Global Collaboration Project

Earth, as Seen by Astronauts Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans and Harrison Schmitt from Apollo 17

Connecting to the world through Skype!

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The Global Read Aloud Project

One of the things that I love about technology is that as an international teacher it allows me to connect with classrooms all over the world! One of my professional goals this year was to find more opportunities to connect and build relationships with other teachers and classes outside Korea through the use of technology.

This past September, through the Global Read Aloud Project, I connected with classes from Canada, Arizona, Wisconsin, Australia, and more. It was really fun for my students to connect with all these different students while reading the same book, Tuck Everlasting. We communicated through edmodo, skype, wikispaces and blogging.

I know it’s a bit early, but I would highly recommend you start thinking about whether you want to join and sign up for the Global Read Aloud Project 2012 here!

The Progressive Story Project

As international teachers, Jee Young and I are constantly looking for ways to be involved with other schools in other countries. Last year, we attended a yearly teaching conference in Seoul (KORCOS) and learned about the Progressive Story Project. To summarize it simply, five classes are partnered to write one story, and each class is responsible for illustrating their section of the story. They also record their section of the story on voicethread.

Karen Ditzler started this project several years with a couple classes in an elementary school district in the USA. Since then it has spread, and this past fall classrooms were represented from a total of 10 countries and 29 States… 289 classes altogether!

When my second grade class took on this project last Spring, our story started with a class in Australia and ended in Pennsylvania, USA. It is a great and easy way to incorporate technology into the classroom, and there is a chance that the classes you are paired up with will be in your same time zone, giving you the chance to skype with each other. Which is how my students made several Australian friends! We were able to have a couple of “skype dates”, and talk about the story we were writing together, we also had the chance to share things about our perspective countries and cultures. The students loved it.

I am a visual learner, and because of this I feel it necessary to include my students’ illustrations from last year, their story turned into a mystery and our section was describing “the suspects”. I will leave you with this:

  

and remember… two apples a day will keep your students happy^^