Flat Connections Global Project: creating opportunities for authentic communication.
Participating in the student Flat Connections Project has created many opportunities for authentic communication for my ESL students.
Having roles in global teams as leaders and researchers as well as co-creating videos and eBooks on complex and challenging issues has led to conversations not only between students in Australia and America but within the classroom and between teacher and student.
We have learnt together how to successfully use technology for global collaboration: Ning, chat and blogs, WikiSpaces , Google docs, eBooks and YouTube. Students have come to me outside of class to help them best support their team mates in America: asking for clarification about the meaning of messages and in turn how can they can communicate with clarity to be better understood. Online co-creation brings about an authentic need for literacy that cannot be created by doing assessment tasks that are purely marks driven.
This week I’ve been watching recordings of sessions from the Global Education Conference: a free week-long online event with sessions from educators and innovators from around the world. The presentations and discussions have been recorded and can be downloaded providing an accessible professional development.
It has opened up my thinking about how to embed global collaboration into my curriculum. For fantastic short lessons that use current issues, blogs, Quadblogging, Google docs, Skype and Google hangout watch Ann Michaelsen’s session on creating a Global Classroom.
Ann’s blog, Teaching Using Web Tools, has her lessons and links to her student blogs.
Global connection creates the motivation to communicate and to be good at it.