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

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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.

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 CourosInternet Safety Information for Parents by Pernille RippWhy the Internet is like the Mall: Internet Safety Lesson by Pernille RippAnother Acceptable Use Policy FormParent Release Form for Publishing Student Work OnlineParent Release Form for Publishing Student Work Online PDF
Using Skype to Collaborate
Learning Beyond Walls: 21 Skype ResourcesVideo: 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 EducatorsGlogsters 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 EducatorsYoung 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 schoolsKidblogs for schools
Web 2.0 Tools to Embed into Wikis and Blogs
VoiceThread Tutorials and Tips for EducatorsGlogster Tutorials and Tips for EducatorsVoki Tutorials and Tips for EducatorsDigital 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.
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What are your ideas for integrating Skype into the classroom?

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