Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Global Classroom - Are you in it?

Families can connect across the world despite thousands of miles separating them. My own in laws use skype or face time to see their Granddaughter in New Zealand. This free and accessible technology in making its way into people's classrooms but not to the extent it could. Consider this...

If it is possible to speak to people anywhere in the world with an internet connection then for your next project on...

  • Rainforests, connect with scientists studying it.
  • The Romans, call a class in Rome.
  • Atomic Particles, hangout with someone at CERN.
  • Volcanoes, skype with a class in Hawaii or Iceland.
  • Stonehenge, send someone with a smartphone to the site during your lesson.
  • Hamlet, message an actor playing the part at a theatre in Stratford-on-Avon
  • Sikhism, video call a Gurdwara near you or in India!

There are existing channels to start setting these opportunities up for your students.

Google Hangout

Google Hangouts have recently been separated from their social media site Google+ to allow better access to under 13s and students in schools. The connected Classrooms project provides a schedule of virtual fieldtrips so classes can get some of the value of a trip for free.
If you are more interested in using Google Hangouts to connect your class with other classes around the world then that is not a problem. On Google+ there is a community dedicated to bringing educators together who want to use hangouts for their class to meet other classes.
Example of teachers using the Google+ community to connect their classes
For some guides to getting started with Google Hangouts (private calls between specific people) or Google Hangouts on Air (public broadcasts that anyone can view, use #eduonair to search social media for opportunities to connect) have a look at the following links
Guide to Hangouts on Air

Skype

On twitter Skype have an account called @Skypeclassroom and educators can connect their classes. For more information click here.

Let me know if you are interested in connecting with other classes or particularly any High School/Secondary classes in UK.

Enjoy

Ben Rouse



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