Saturday, May 19, 2012

Teachers Teaching Teachers About Global Projects

What a great name for a virtual conference, TeachersTeaching Teachers about Technology! This conference title spoke to me immediately. This is exactly the kind of collaborative climate I try to create in my own work with teachers, and here was a virtual conference I could participate in that would expand the circle of teachers teaching each other to a national and global level. And, if you've read The Best Conference I Ever Attended Without Leaving My House, you know my love for online conferences. Here was a chance for me to give back by sharing a topic I'm passionate about! I quickly tweeted my #globalclassroom tweeps and asked who else would like to co-present about The Global ClassroomProject.

Two great colleagues jumped on it: @tdallen5 and @Elle_Gifted. We co-wrote the presentation over Google Docs, not the least deterred that we lived in three different states: Virginia, Illinois, and Mississipi. I also contacted some teachers I’m lucky enough to work with in my own school division ( and to see if they could participate as well and speak first-hand about their experiences with global learning projects. Despite calling @tdallen5 an hour earlier than she was expecting me once (darn those time zones!) and at least one teacher being thwarted from participating by state testing, we are set to present Tuesday, May 22nd at 2:30pm EST. And, of course, none of that would have been possible without the help of @mgraffin who not only connected us in the first place, but proofed our presentation and helped us connect with even more resources!

In addition to loving the fact that putting together this presentation was in itself a global project, it was a great chance to reflect again on why I am so passionate about global projects. Listening this past Thursday to one teacher practicing online with the moderator (in Michigan), I was reminded how much we have to gain by letting students communicate with their peers around the world.

Communicating with others fosters self-reflection

  • American students were stunned to learn that their friends and Hong Kong were planning to study over their winter vacation
  • Two girls connected about how hard it is to change when you get headed down the wrong track

Students rise to the occasion when there is an authentic audience

  • English Language Learners in the United States practiced their speeches over and over again to make sure that their friends in Hong Kong could understand them
  • Students revised their “finished” writing when they knew students elsewhere would be reading and listening to their work

Teachers grow from global collaboration too

I am so grateful to Global Classroom Project for:
  • helping me create a PLN where I can send out a tweet and end up presenting with peers across the country in a virtual conference
  • providing a place where teachers can create their own project and connect with teachers across the world
  • keeping me motivated and inspired to make global project a part of as many classrooms as I can

And, finally, for helping teacher teach teachers about global projects!

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