Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Global Collaboration Projects Using Internet Tools in the Classroom

As discussed in the pervious blog, global collaboration is a wonderful way to integrate technology in the classroom as well as help students work with other students from around the world. Through doing this, students can learn to work with students from other cultures and countries as well as learn about the differences and similiarities they share. One way to enhance global collaboration is to do so through a project and even through integrating one of the many tools that they internet now has to offer.

One project that I feel would be valuable in a regular education classroom in the United States would be to communicate with a classroom in another country, such as in China. A valuable project would be to learn the Chinese language or at least some common phrases. This could be done through connecting with a classroom in China (possibly older as high school students in China do speak English) on Epals and through using the Internet tools of Skype and WiziQ.

The Set up: After finding a classroom to connect with, the teacher could have students view an introductory lesson on the Chinese language on WiziQ, which is an education forum with tutorials and classes on a variety of subject matters. Students could learn the basics and then connect with their penpal from China via Skype. This internet tool can allow for a video conference so that the Chinese students can teach the classroom new words and help the students in the US classroom practice whatever they learned. Such a collaboration project can be temporary or even go on for the entire school year.

Overall, I think this would be a vauble project to implement in the classroom. Not only would it teach a second language to the students, but it would also increase exposure to another culture, to the internet, and to various internet tools that students may not have explored before.

To explore the websites/tools mentioned above, visit the links below.




Global Collaboration

Global Cooperation is a great way to integrate technology in the classroom as well as expose students to different cultures and ways of life. While viewing different Global Collaboration sites, I came across two that I looked at more indepth. These were Center for Innovation in Science and Engineering Education and Epals. While these sites were created on the basis of collaboration worldwide, they have many similiarities and differences.

  • Both include projects that classes from around the world can join.
  • Outside resources are included for teachers.
  • Projects can be alligned with curriculum as standards are listed for all of them.
  • Collaboration can occur across a variety of grades and ages.


Center for Innovation in Science and Engineering Education

  • Collaboration strictly through projects listed on the site's webpage.
  • Projects are designed only by the authors of the webpage.
  • Projects are based on science and engineering only.
  • Detailed teacher resources are included.
  • Navigation is limited to only a few specific main links on the webpage.


  • Collaboration can be through projects or can be found via country (such as a penpal system).
  • Projects on the webpage are both created by the authors as well as through various teachers and their classrooms.
  • Projects encompass a variety of subject matter.
  • Resources are provided not only for the teacher, but also for students and parents to explain the collaboration project.
  • Student work can be uploaded.
  • A variety of links for navigation throughout the site.

Both of these collaboration websites can easily be implemented in the classroom. The Center for Innovation in Science and Engineering Education could be used in a science classroom (K-12 and even higher education) to work on a long-term science project. This can be used to further emphasize the principles of science such as examining, hypothesizing, sharing/analyzing data, and drawing conclusions. Having other students from around the world to share with can further enhance this online project. Epals could be used for something as simple as a penpal experiement. The teacher and/or students can select an equivalent age group and country to communicate with online. Discussions with such "epals" could be structured, such as having students discuss a typical school day or forms of transportation, or could be unstructured as well. Overall, global collaboration in the classroom is a great way to use technology. In addition, it can help open the eyes of students to differing cultures, values, and beliefs.

To visit the Global Collaboration websites described above, visit the links below!

Center for Innovation in Science and Engineering Education


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Videos in the Classroom

Incorporating technology into the classroom is important, and using videos is one easy way that educators can do this. Through viewing various video sites such as You Tube, Teacher Tube, and Videojug, educators can select videos that they can learn from themselves and also find videos that they can present to their students.

While looking online at video sites, I came across science experiements on Videojug. One such science experiement was "How to Suck an Egg into a Bottle." This had a video that demonstrated the science experiement as well as written directions that outlined the materials needed and the steps to follow to implement this experiement effectively. Such an experiement could be performed in the elementary or special education classroom. If I were to use this video, I would show it to students and then have them perform the experiement themselves using the steps in the directions. There are also many other experiements listed, and these videos could be shown as well followed by the teacher having the students perform the experiement by themselves. The great thing is that most of the science experiements on Videojug are accompanied with directions, so a teacher can easily have students perform this experiement in the classroom!

Reasons Why to Love Being a Teacher!

While adding new blogs to my Bloglines account, I decided to read over the blog "So You Want to Teach?" As I scanned through this blog, I came upon a past blog entry that piqued my interest. It was entitled "50 Reasons to Love Your Job as a Teacher." This was a wonderful entry as it can be read by both the new teacher and the experienced teacher and provide inspiration.

Below are some of the reasons that I liked the most:

  • The ability to help children achieve their best
  • The thrill of a good and well thought out lesson is incomparable
  • I enjoy all of the funny stories that my job provides, my job is never ever boring
  • I get to work with books, which I love
  • I honestly and truly believe that teaching is what I was born to do; maybe God really does plan our lives and if we follow that plan we will be very happy with our lives
  • I get to explore stories and try new ideas and encourage others to do the same
  • I love sharing the excitement of a good book — when I introduce it and start talking about it with excitement, the students can’t wait for me to start reading; when it’s time to stop reading and begin our next lesson, they beg me to read “just a little more”
  • Watching the students grow year after year

Touching the lives of others is so rewarding, and teaching does just that!!

To view this blog article, click here: