Last Book Circle- Connected from the Start

Chapters 7 & 8
Reaching out and connecting with students in other countries and asking them questions is a great way for kids to learn by comparing and contrasting their differences and similarities first hand. Students making videos of their classroom and other students from so far away responding is a great learning opportunity.
I have a couple of IPads in my classroom and I think that I may have my students make a video of what our class is like and put it into I Movie. I am not so sure about adding it a YouTube account. I guess I am still a little freaked out and protective of my students and negative comments. I may start by emailing the video to another class in our school district and see how it goes.
So now I know what a wiki is. Hmmm not sure if I am going to try that one right now, have plenty on my plate already. So many ways to connect! Oh….. Google Docs is a Wiki, I use it for adult stuff, but have not had my students use it yet. I use google docs and have a google drive account. I can’t say that I am totally proficient at it but I do like how it enables teachers and students to collaborate on projects and documents and is easily accessed via the cloud.
The author discusses some applications that she has used in class to connect with other classes or to share what they learned from them. For instance, Wordle, was used to make a word cloud (like we did on the first night of class) to show what kinds of breakfasts people ate. Storybird, was used for writing a story with another class collaboratively. So many applications I want to try!
It was also good to hear that things did not always go well for Cassidy and that like all teachers, sometimes things don’t work and we learn from our mistakes. I also like that she says she does not connect just for connecting’s sake but for a defined purpose to promote learning. She encourages teachers to take risks and try new things and be flexible and ready to jump on teachable moments. Great book!

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