The Amazing Power of Ed-Tech On Connecting Classrooms
These days, teachers are making use of online tools to connect classrooms on a global scale. There are several ways that teachers are utilizing technology to connect their students in a way that is education-centric and organized, to classrooms in other areas of the country and around the world.
There are quite a few benefits to this global teaching approach, but many teachers wonder if it is worth the effort. Research has shown that it is worth it and can enhance global mindsets, technological literacy, and communication.
We will explore the different technologies that teachers are using to develop global collaboration for classroom projects.
Global Read Aloud
Around October of every year, teachers worldwide register for a very simple project – they all read a book out loud. Initially, the project began with just 150 learners and has expanded to include more than 1 million participants.
Over six weeks, every teacher reads the same book, chosen on a per-grade basis. These books are selected very carefully, through a pseudo-democratic process that involves networks of prior readers.
The Global Read Aloud team tries their best to also get the author to talk with the classrooms reading their books. The program is quite open, and there are many resources available on its website.
This initiative is based in Europe, allowing any European school to connect with any other school using web-based, bespoke technology-driven from the eTwinning Portal. The project currently pairs up more than 190 000 schools, and eTwinning features over 74 000 projects that range from Iceland to Reunion Island.
Not only is this technology an opportunity for communication, but it is also a fully-developed platform that offers teachers a set of tools with which to create global collaboration projects for several subjects. They are also able to share their projects with other teachers.
The International Education and Resource Network, also called iEARN, was one of the first online tools for collaboration in education and was founded in 1988. At the moment, it has more than two million students taking part in projects globally, every day.
It is a non-profit that attempts to match its goals with that of the UN’s Sustainable Goals. Their projects aim to always contribute to students developing a global mindset and becoming more empathetic, responsible, and aware of the global community’s challenges.
Pedagogue – an SMLS
An LMS (Learning Management System) is a platform that helps instructors organize and manage educational materials online and conduct online courses. They help streamline the learning process and are used by K-12 schools, school districts, higher education institutions, and more.
A Social Learning Management System takes the traditional aspects of an LMS and merges them with social media aspects. Pedagogue is an example of an SLMS and connects teachers and students through chats, groups, gamification, and more.
We have only scratched the surface when it comes to technology and its impact on the globally-connected classroom. There is so much more to be discovered on Ed-Tech and connecting classrooms.