At this time last year I never would have thought I would be working with teachers all around the world on so many different projects. Forget about that feeling of isolation I used to feel due to working in international schools… The world of web 2.0 has opened my eyes to so many possibilities that I can’t even imagine going back to life as it was only a few short months ago!
So, in the interest of collaborative spirit, here’s a brief roundup of the middle school technology integration projects I’m currently working on:
What an amazing group of educators! All so enthusiastic and passionate about education and technology. I am learning so much from them already. Check out the blog, wiki, International Voices netcasts and sign up to the Google Group to be part of the conversation!
Way back in November, I decided to make an effort to connect international school technology teachers around the world to share resources and collaborate on projects. I will admit I haven’t done much in the last few months because I’ve been so busy, but Jennifer Cronk and I are finally back in action and ready to work! We are process of re-organizing and re-structuring the space around the ISTE refreshed NETS (or iETS/GETS) to make it easier for teachers to identify projects and resources that they need. We are hoping to compile examples of successful tech integration projects at the middle school level along with the supporting materials (websites, handouts, job aids, whatever teachers use to facilitate that project). If you’re interested in being part, please let me know!
International Teen Life: collaborative poetic documentaries produced by 8th grade students examining their lives in our global society. My colleague, Jabiz Raisdana, our grade 8 English teacher, and I are working with 4 different classes around the world (Clarence Fischer in Canada, Jamie Hide in Columbia, and Lee Ann Baber in the US). This project has grown totally organically from the students over the past few weeks. Basically we set up the main idea, started the student wiki and they have formed their own groups (via the wiki, across continents) based on their interests. Now we have a truly flat world production line in place, where different aspects of each project are made in different schools – from storyboarding in Cartegena, to poetic verse and photography in KL, to filming in Virginia and editing in Snow Lake. Talk about education for tomorrow!
1001 FlatWorld Tales: collaborative, never-ending story using wikispaces. I’m just in the process of getting our 7th grade English teacher, Gin, on board with this project initiated by Clay Burell at Korea International School. Our seventh graders haven’t had much exposure to technology this year, so I’m really excited to get them started on such a unique way to integrate collaborative technology into the writing process.
Comparing our World: collaborative wiki investigating the similarities and differences of the lives of our students. This one is just getting started (thanks to Chris Craft) and I’m hoping it will be a quick and exciting introduction to wikis for my seventh grade IT class. We only have 9 weeks together and we’re already busy with designing logos in FreeHand and creating electronic portfolios with Dreamweaver. We need something fun and interactive to spice up the class and this will be perfect!
Video Voices: collaborative iMovie and wiki project with Chrissy and Lynn from New Zealand, set up through Jen Wagner’s Online Projects 4 Teachers program. This one hasn’t started yet, but we’re looking to collaborate on a some sort of cross-cultural video presentations. This project will be with my IT class, so we are going to finish it up with an online wiki tutorial for iMovie. Sadly, I’ve just discovered that YouTube has been banned here at school, so we will posting our videos to another service, most likely blip.tv <she says, crossing her fingers that she won’t discover that one banned as well when it’s time to upload>.
Have I mentioned that I love my job? Not only do I get to teach fantastic students, but I work with enthusiastic, passionate teachers that are willing to try new things every day! And the best part is that I teach 3 of my own classes, with 2 free blocks to collaborate with other teachers at the middle school level. I develop or find interesting projects, propose them to the class teachers, and then get to have fun with the kids while they work. What could be better than that?!
Image 1: http://worldmapsonline.com/images/KR/kr-1664-woth.jpg
Image 2: http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/_img/1001-nights-03259.jpg