Learning Beyond Walls: 28 Resources for Your Students to Connect Globally

Part of the Cool Sites series

Many students have yet to ever communicate with another student from outside their city, state, or country? This simply isn’t built into most curricula. Creating successful global citizens should be a goal of all schools. Educational institutions should provide opportunities for students to learn to communicate and collaborate with their peers worldwide!

Why?

Globalization is our current reality. Most companies have established themselves internationally. Foreign policy is as much of a concern as domestic policy. The environment, global warming, the global economy, and lack of resources are international problems requiring international collaboration and problem-solving. However, many students have not adequately learned a second language or learned to communicate effectively with their peers worldwide, much less collaborate with them. International collaboration and communication are skills that are developed with practice and guidance. If you have experienced joining online professional communities, you probably have witnessed that even professionals have problems with collaborating and communicating effectively online. Disagreements ensue and the conversation ends. We cannot afford to end conversations, because the consequences of miscommunication can be deadly and costly.

In a world of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) developing quickly and becoming staples, international communication and communication with these technologies is a necessary skill. The exciting part is that many free tools and resources can help us extend learning beyond our classroom walls and motivate students to collaborate with their peers worldwide.

iGlobal Projects Presentation and Resources

Yesterday, I presented the following resources and Prezi at the recent Tri-State Educational Technology Conference (TSETC). You can view the Prezi below and click on the links to visit the resources. I have also listed the resources below, but you can also visit the Technology 4 Kids: Global Projects Wiki to find all the links and resources.

Where to Find Classes Worldwide to Connect

The Epals Global Community– With classrooms in 200 countries and territories, ePals makes it easy to connect learners locally, nationally or internationally.
Voices of the World Ning– These global projects connect students with voice only in case you are not able to use student images.
Around the World with 80 Schools Skype Group– @langwitches, Silvia Tolisano, started this group to get classes to Skype each other.
Project Peace– Connect with other classes and make videos for peace!
Find Educators to Collaborate with On Twitter!– This is the way I met Ozge Karaoglu who has been connecting her young learners in Turkey with my young learners in Germany.

Internet Safety Information for Parents and Forms

Accepted Use Policy Document by George Couros
Internet Safety Information for Parents by Pernille Ripp
Why the Internet is like the Mall: Internet Safety Lesson by Pernille Ripp
Another Acceptable Use Policy Form
Parent Release Form for Publishing Student Work Online
Parent Release Form for Publishing Student Work Online PDF

Using Skype to Collaborate

Learning Beyond Walls: 21 Skype Resources

Video: A Teacher’s Perspective of Skyping in the Classroom

Video: Students’ Perspectives of Skyping by Silvia Tolisano, @langwitches

Around the World With 80 Schools- Helsinki from langwitches on Vimeo.

Using Wikis to Collaborate

Wiki Tutorials and Tips for Educators
Glogsters From the World Wiki– Join other classes worldwide in sharing their countries’ culture and traditions through interactive posters. Created by @abfromz.
Celebr8UandMeDigitally Wiki– Join other classes worldwide in celebrating their countries’ holidays and traditions. Created by @evab2001 @alexgfrancisco.

Using Blogs to Collaborate

Blog Tutorials and Tips for Educators
Young Clovers Blog– Young learners in Lebanon connecting with kids worldwide. They send their teddy bear to adventures in other countries. You can be one of the classes who gets the teddy bear and blogs about its adventures.
Sharing Our Good News-Greta Sandler’s (@gret) class in Argentina connecting with others worldwide.
Edublogs for schools
Kidblogs for schools

Web 2.0 Tools to Embed into Wikis and Blogs

VoiceThread Tutorials and Tips for Educators
Glogster Tutorials and Tips for Educators
Voki Tutorials and Tips for Educators
Digital Storytelling Tutorials and Tips for Educators

Challenge:

Try any of these resources with your students and get them to learn to collaborate with other classes worldwide so they will be responsible global citizens.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

What are your ideas for integrating Skype into the classroom?

10 comments

    • Hello Noeline!

      What I love about the video is how the children are really interested in the children on the screen. None of the children are misbehaving because they are so curious about learning!

  1. This is so important, we don’t live in a world where we can be isolated anymore, we must know how to communicate and collaborate with those around the world! Have you seen Kathleen McGeady’s global project? It is brilliant! http://primarytech.globalteacher.org.au/2010/10/04/ugandan-global-project-part-two I love seeing these types of projects. Thank you for spreading the word and helping educators introduce more collaboration into their classroom.

  2. I’m so glad you added ePals in there! As much as I love connecting via the WWW, I still think there’s so much that can be gained by connecting in an old fashioned way.

    I’m a postcard fanatic and a teacher myself and after getting so many requests to send postcards to classes, I discovered ePals and postcrossing. These days I get my classes sending postcards all over the world. It’s such a buzz to get post back.

    I decided to try and get more people involved so have set up a little site over at http://www.schoolswaps.net

    At the moment we have a big swap going on, over 40 classes from all over the world connecting up to send postcards. International collaboration by post! Under-rated but still great fun!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *