This quarter I have been focusing on setting up all of my IT exploratory (9-week, introductory) classes with international partners. My sixth grade students are thoroughly enjoying collaborating with our partner classroom in New Zealand and my seventh grade class has just started communicating with Mr. James’ class in Texas. Last but not least, my eighth grade class is a Sounding Board for The Horizon Project.

The interesting thing about these global collaborations is that the students are not only picking up the new tools quicker each time, but that they are coming to expect new, exciting, international scope to everything we do. They are no longer surprised to arrive to class to find me talking to an empty classroom (because I’m chatting on Skype with another colleague), they aren’t jumping out of their seats with excitement (well, not as much as they used to) when we video conference, and they don’t even bat an eye when I show them something new and exciting like YackPack. These are the tools they are expecting me to use. These are the tools I need to use to engage them. They’re clearly ready and waiting for all of their teachers to catch up….

I’m curious, what are you doing to create engaging projects for your students?

6 thoughts on “Creating Engaging Global Projects

  1. Hi,
    I’m an ICT teacher in Norwich, UK. Like you, I’m really keen in putting a global dimension into our lessons.
    We’ve got links with schools in France, USA and China and regularly use them for our research or as a real audience to communicate with.
    I’ve set up an edublog for students to add comments to at . I’ve also got lots of resources and ideas on my own website at

  2. Nothing at the moment. I am still trying to figure Web 2.0 out. It will be one of my summer projects. That being said, much of Web 2.0 does not readily lend itself to foreign language education, unles of course the partner school speaks the language one is studying and vice versa.

    IMHO, wikis and podcast and blogs become contrived if not used for real purposes. In other words, students putting up their work on a blog or a wiki, or creating a “lesson” as a podcast, or text-messaging verb conjugations to a partner across the classroom using a cell, while all fun and engaging, are just that. Not sure exactly how much actual language learning is going on.

  3. Alex,

    Thanks for those links! I have bookmarked them and will be back for more :) Let me know if you’re interested in setting up any collaborations with us in Malaysia (until June) or Thailand (starting in August).

    Miss Profe,

    I’ve got a whole post just for you out today ;)

  4. Dear Ms Cofino,
    Thanks for the open architecture of your teaching style and for your authentic constructivist / enquiry led / learner centered philosophy.
    I am a veteran teacher who has recently completed 6 credits at NYIT Educational Technology MS. I am eternally grateful for the hope, inspiration and practical knowledge you have cultivated in my novice construct of integrating IT across my elementary Social Studies Curriculum. You exemplify the Gold Universal Standard of Teaching. After I have some classroom projects up and running, I hope to join the linked /tagged community trail.
    May God continue to richly Bless you and your husband,

  5. @Researchmonk,

    Thanks so much for the kind words. I’m so glad my posts are helpful to you! Looking forward to seeing the work that you do with your Social Studies classes!

Leave a Reply

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

CommentLuv badge