Over the past two years, I’ve been involved (off-and-on) with an International Sister Classes Project involving teenage Intermediate ESL/EFL classes around the world. We’ve had a blog where students have shared online presentations, like Voice Threads, and commented on them back-and-forth.
It’s been a good experience for the students and for me. Let me know if you have an Intermediate English class of students between the ages of 12 and 20 and might be interested in participating in the fall. It would be a very low-pressure relationship — I would envision classes posting VoiceThreads (or similar tools) like we’ve done in the past, and students then exchanging comments.
I thought it might be useful to share other examples of joint “sister class” projects, and of places where teachers can connect with other classes. I just didn’t have it in me today to write much of a description about each one, but they’re all worth a visit.
Here are my picks for The Best Ways To Find Other Classes For Joint Online Projects:
Without a doubt, I’d start in two places:
One is by reading Kim Cofino’s blog post A Step-by-Step Guide to Global Collaborations, viewing her slideshare presentation Connecting Across Continents, and reviewing the resources she has posted on her wiki.
The other would be to read Sue Waters’ post Looking For Global Projects For Your Students? Sue highlights a couple of exciting collaborative projects, including Bringing Us Together, a project that she and Sue Wyatt have begun; and Silvia Tolisano‘s Around The World With 80 Schools project.
Here are some others worth checking-out, too:
iLearn says it is “the world’s largest non-profit global network that enables teachers and youth to use the Internet and other technologies to collaborate on projects that enhance learning and make a difference in the world.”
Here’s a good blog post, including additional resources, on connecting to other classrooms. It’s by Julie Lindsey.
The U.S. Department of Education also has an extensive list of collaborative projects.
Rafiki is a new (to me, at least) site that connects teachers, students, and classes to others around the world.
eLanguages is another organization that helps teachers connect with sister classes around the world for learning projects.
You can read a little more about some of these sites in the comments section of the Dangerously Irrelevant post titled Help wanted: Sites that connect classrooms across the globe?
Connect All Schools is a new organization with a zillion education “partners” and describe their purpose this way:
to connect EVERY school in the United States with the world by 2016. Through the Connect All Schools interactive website, schools share stories using text, photo and video about how they are currently connecting their students to the rest of the world through such activities as student and teacher exchanges, global issues curricula, video-conferences and “Exchanges 2.0,” the use of new media and communications technologies to expand, extend, and deepen international cross-cultural exchanges.
I tend to be a bit wary about anybody who thinks they’re going to do something with every school in a few years (I get reminded of No Child Left Behind), but it could be a good place for classes to share some of their activities to an authentic audience. The site gives the impression it will also help connect schools to other classes around the world, but I couldn’t find any details on that. Assuming they are indeed going to provide that resource, I’ll tentatively add them to this list. Exchange 2.0 – Technology-enabled International Interaction is the title of a new guide they’ve published.
Connecting Classrooms with Skype comes from Peter Pappas’ blog. It offers good advice.
United Classrooms is a site where classes can connect with “sister classes” throughout the world.
As always, feedback is welcome.