Global Connections

 

I m very interested in finding out about connecting with schools around the world ready for when I start my career in teaching. This would provide children with the opportunity to learn about the world beyond where they live and where they visit; some children may not have experienced beyond their home town.

I have just become a member of Students of the World to try it out! The aim of this site is to make penfriends, enabling children to discover new cultures, share ideas, stories, send postcards, practise different languages and potentially arrange exchanges.

The Best School Websites with clips of their content and links; these could be very inspirational!

Another site providing the same kind of service to link schools across the world is:

This teacher from Texas sums up all the advantages of connecting schools globally, and also recommends further sites that enable you to do this, such as Classroom Champions. I have explored his website too which is full of ideas, resources and apps!

eTwinning has also been recommended for facilitating international links so I have taken the opportunity to explore their site. It offers a platform for teachers in European schools to communicate, collaborate and develop projects promoting school collaboration in Europe through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) by providing support, tools and services for schools. Once you have registered you can get in touch with other eTwinners to share ideas, learn together and plan future collaborative activities in which there are some great tools to assist you – this presentation explains everything:

 eTwinning allows students to take a leading role in ownership of the project, giving them responsibility which will enhance their self esteem as they will feel an important part of the community and the school. Teachers have found that the engagement in the project also has a positive impact in other subject areas and can especially engage boys e.g. many boys love football, and they are able to use this interest to link to different countries.

One of the areas for improvement identified by Ofsted for the school I am attending on 2A placement included raising cultural awareness. I have taken the opportunity to liaise with the deputy head on this matter and express my interest in being involved in a project whilst on placement. Up to now, the project has only gone as far as contacting the children’s parents to gain permission for the children’s involvement in such a project and also to find out about any family links to other countries. I will be suggesting the use of eTwinning and will keep this post updated with the progress of the project.

***If you have any experience of connecting with classes globally I would love to hear your thoughts!***

 

Digital ‘I Spy’ Book

Haiku Deck is free app for the ipad that I was intrigued to explore to see if it would be suitable for use with children and to find out exactly what it has to offer. Here is the production of my initial exploration:

I love the fact that it is extremely simple to use but allowing you to customize your project by altering themes, text formats, backgrounds and layouts. Images can be imported from the web or from your gallery/camera roll, charts and graphs can be created and notes can be made public or private. The only drawback I found was that imported images are automatically used as backgrounds; you cannot insert smaller pictures to accompany parts of the text. However, I would still use this app in the classroom and will now attempt to create a resource suitable for EYFS/KS1.

Firstly, I chose a theme for my book – Pirates. I collected a selection of lego characters, jewels and skulls as I believe these relate to young children’s interests, especially boys. Using the ipad I took photographs of one set of objects (Lego characters) and put this image onto a page in the app along with some accompanying text. Then, I added another page on the app and inserted a second image containing the Lego characters and some jewels along with further text. The third page contained a third group of objects; skulls, mixed amongst the Lego characters and jewels along with some more text. You can add as many pages as you like!

Thinking about it, this would actually be a lovely way of producing a Learning Journey for each child in the class as you can keep updating it as often as required.

Using Haiku Deck to create an ‘I Spy’ ebook on an iPad was an enjoyable activity; it can be used to create resources for use with children, or could even be used by children for them to produce their own work. Children will benefit from such a creation as it encourages visual discrimination and aids counting skills, however, this app could be used to create an eBook or slide show about any topic – the content is easy to add! This app would be ideal to use with the children as it is really simple to use and they could create books about the topic they are currently learning about, or to summarise a topic which would provide excellent summative assessment evidence.