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iPads in Primary: Does 1-to-1 Make a Difference?

Posted by on Jul 2, 2012 in Creating Global Classrooms, Making The Shift, Voices, Web Tools That Deepen Learning | 16 comments

Management of our iPads is more of a hassle than I had anticipated. But it is clear to me that these devices ARE making a difference. When I see the students’ engagement, their learning, their sharing and their pursuit of their passions, I can’t help but be convinced that these devices have the potential to transform my classroom.

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Our Skype Adventures: Creating Connected Learners in a Global Classroom

Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Creating Global Classrooms, Less Teacher, More Student, Making The Shift, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices, Web Tools That Deepen Learning | 24 comments

Skype enables students to connect, collaborate, and communicate with students across the globe. It creates an opportunity for students to learn from each other, to have authentic audiences for their work, and to meet musicians, authors, and others who can further their learning. The possibilities are truly endless. Skyping is no longer a novelty — a once-in-awhile special event. It’s becoming a routine part of being an effective 21st century teacher.

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Distance Learning: How I Engage Students

Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Creating Global Classrooms, Less Teacher, More Student, Making The Shift, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices | 2 comments

Another major a-ha for me as an online teacher is the dynamic and potential for group involvement. When I describe what I do to people who are, shall we say, “not connected to the world of web culture,” they are amazed. “You mean the kids can see you and hear you? Don’t they get bored?” Well, if all they did was listen to me teach, then yes, they would get bored. Wouldn’t you? Which is why I make sure that my classes do not involve lecturing.

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Distance Learning: Closer than It Looks

Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Creating Global Classrooms, Less Teacher, More Student, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices | 3 comments

During my time as an online educator, I’ve used a variety of video conferencing platforms. I have taught students in public schools, Catholic schools and Jewish Day Schools and complementary schools. The technology is powerful, but there is something that catches my eye each time I run a session: it’s the human reaction to these technology-supported events. I think there is a need, in today’s wired world, to connect to another person far away, living a different, yet somehow similar life.

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Connected Test-Taking: Is It Cheating?

Posted by on May 3, 2012 in Creating Global Classrooms, Making The Shift, The Compelling Need for Change, Voices | 6 comments

Students sit in the test-taking room, with full access to computers and wireless connections. As they work on national exams, they can be seen accessing the internet from time to time. Are the results from this testing going to be corrupted because these test-takers are not isolated from global information resources? Cheating — or high-tech cheating, as it is called today — what is that exactly? And is it really a problem? Do our old-school definitions of cheating need rethinking?

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Magic and Serendipity in Our Global Primary Classroom

Posted by on Apr 24, 2012 in Creating Global Classrooms, Global Communities of Inquiry, Less Teacher, More Student, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices | 9 comments

It was magical learning about a place my students had never before heard of and will probably never see for themselves. Learning that was totally led by the students and their interest in that classroom in Greece. And that learning will continue. The children in Greece, too, have questions for us to answer. More magic. More serendipity. I love my connected classroom.

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