Easy way to give our classroom a gift and it is free!
Quick one time (per computer/email) way to bring new technology into our classroom.
Going Global: Connecting Communities
My middle school students are amazing! They are a part of a small rural school district that strives to achieve on all levels. Like many rural communities, we have been effected by the lingering economic situation. Our school has a very high rate of students participating in the free and reduced lunch program. Many families have lost their income because of businesses closing and jobs being scaled back. A majority still do not have Internet access at home. Resources at school have also been cut drastically because of declining enrollment when families look for employment elsewhere. Hope within our community has declined as well. With all the hardships, our students still see their classroom as a place to grow and connect. Sharing the world with them using on-line projects has shown many that there is hope and possibilities, not only to help themselves and their community, but to help others that are less fortunate then themselves.
Students in my classroom have been introduced to the wonders of technology. This introduction has started a movement of learning and motivation. Growing up in a rural community, my 6th graders have had limited interaction with other cultures, geographics, and experiences. Skype, Twitter, Blogtv, and ePals are just a few of the programs we have interacted with. Each virtual visit not only gives us new insight to the lives of people around us, but also has given us the opportunity to share with others about ourselves. Our latest adventure will be to travel the world into 80 classrooms through a program using Skype. Having a multi-media center and computer available throughout the day will help make these activities a regular occurrence, instead of having to wait our turn in the media lab. Just being able to check in with our ePals on a regular basis will help the students think outside their daily rural experiences and go global!
I have seen the on-line projects create a spark among my students. Emailing back and forth with students in Asia, talking with an author on the east coast through Skype, and sharing their activities on the class blog, has opened the world to them. They no longer feel land-locked in the Midwest. Seeing this spark of hope is why I am asking for a classroom netbook and multimedia system. Lifelong learning happens when the world is readily available at students' fingertips! Hide