I’m really enjoying my interaction with #ccGlobal, the connected classrooms project (more details at http://connectedclassrooms.wordpress.com/). From my initial contact with Liam Dunphy (@LiamDunphy) and Pam Moran (@PamMoran) on Twitter back in early July, I have progressed to participating in a couple of Google+ hangouts to discuss ideas. These discussions have resulted in the start of a number of projects to connect classrooms globally. To support the #ccGlobal project a Ning has been set up at http://ccglobal.ning.com/. Participation in the Ning is for members only (DM your email address to me @pamelaaobrien if you’re interested in becoming a member). I still can’t quite believe that I’m now dropping things like Nings, G+ hangouts etc. into my normal conversations!
Anyway, on to Global Celebrations and Festivities. Through my interactions on Twitter and Google+, I have had some great conversations with enthusiastic educators across the world. My daughter is 8 and is in 3rd class in school. One wish that I have for her, and for my son, is that they will get exposed to some of these fantastic opportunities to connect with kids in other countries. During a conversation with Michael Thornton (@mthornton78), a teacher in Charlottesville in Virginia, the possibility of creating a connect between my daughters’ class and Michael’s class was mentioned. Michael has very successfuly used Skype with his students to connect with children all over the world (see http://mthornton78.wordpress.com/ for more details) so I was hoping that we could have a Skype session between the two classes. I spoke to my daughters teacher last week and, while she is hesitant in her use of technology, she is very keen to get involved. Once I got the go ahead I started a twitter conversation with Michael and Global Celebrations and Festivities was born, with input from Roy Mitchell (@roygmitchell), Ira Socol (@irasocol) and Liam Dunphy. This for me is the real power of Twitter, a conversation over the course of approx. 2 hours on a Friday night in Ireland (which was early evening in the US and early Saturday morning in Sydney) has resulted in a project that I for one am really excited about. The conversation continued on Saturday morning (Irish time) with others joining in the discussion.
So the plan is to have a Google+ hangout, which will allow us to connect up to 10 classrooms, to discuss the traditions surrounding celebrating various holidays during the year. Our first hangout is scheduled for Halloween to allow the children to tell each other how they will celebrate Halloween. The intention is to follow up with further hangouts during the year for other holidays. To support the hangout, we’ve discussed various ideas such as the students creating cards which they could post to other classes, sharing artwork virtually etc. I’m sure that as the project develops, the classes will be connecting in lots of different ways. As I’ve already said I’m really excited about this project and can’t wait for the first hangout :-)
As always please share your thoughts, ideas and expressions of interest.