So why did I decide to make my class participate in the Global Read Aloud Project, 2013?
I know it requires effort to set up blogs, edmodo and twitter accounts. It takes patience to locate schools and establish and maintain connections. It also takes a sizable proportion of students' classroom time, learning how to tweet and blog and introduce themselves. Essential agreements for blogging and making comments also need to be addressed.
So why go through all this trouble specially when it takes up a huge chunk of our time?
Julie Lindsay and Vicky Davies, authors of Flattening classrooms, Engaging Minds, state that "Visionary educators realize global collaboration is not an extra but a pedagogy." It is our job as educators to provide engaging, real-life, authentic situations for our students. The fact that this experience extends beyond geographical borders and ventures across seas, makes it so much more appealing. How can you have a world class education without the world!
We keep talking about the 4C's for 21st Century learning: Collaboration, Creativity, Communication and Critical thinking. Our students need choices. They need opportunities for success. Web 2.0 tools provide the perfect opportunity for students who grapple with presentation or have trouble creating a final product. The GRA13 provides the sublime opportunity for educators to introduce various web 2.0 tools which scaffold students' learning and allow them to present their ideas about the content to a global audience.
Creating learning engagements and assessment tasks using the internet, books, and secondary sources are great! They allow us to help students develop the 4 Cs. This experience can be enhanced considerably if we allow our students to reach out and learn from the world around them.It helps them develop a unique perspective about space, people and time!
This, most certainly, cannot be duplicated in the classroom. As Lindsay and Davies claim, technology breaks down barriers and help students understand cultural differences. It creates global citizenship.
As an educator, I think we need to start asking ourselves how can we provide global opportunities for our students.
The Global Read Aloud Project allows students the opportunity to collaborate with the world, engage in creative projects, think critically as they answer questions and make predictions for a global audience while communicating, using the latest available technology. All the 4Cs are neatly packaged and presented in a nutshell.
The perfect opportunity for educators. And of course, thank you Pernille Ripp, a teacher in Madison, Wi, for setting up the platform :)
So dear educators, waste no time. Carpe diem!