For this post, we were to watch a live session and explain which ideas “stuck” with us from each of the 3 experts. I am going to summarize my favourite points and include links to their blog posts.
For all presenters, I loved the way they talked about bringing in outside experts.
Heather shared one specific experience where her class Skyped an expert who was studying polar bears in Churchill, MB at the time. I LOVED that after the conversation they had with Andy, the students were inspired and a meaningful project developed because of it. Polar Bears Student Action
Heather also spoke of her students presenting their work to a global audience. This is something I have heard of before but I liked the different mediums she spoke of, especially the radio station 105thehive (and maybe I just liked this idea because it is something new to me).
Lastly, I was not aware of Padlet (formerly wallwisher) and love the resource as it allows students (and me!) to easily keep track of interesting things we think of/find. I have already tried it out and it is absolutely user-friendly.
Although Heather was the one speaking about the Our Day project, I found it on Clarence’s blog (which she mentioned we would). This project is awesome. I loved watching the original Our Day video and was just as excited by reading about Clarence’s plans for creating the same project with his class and other classrooms around the world. In reading the comments on the blog post, I learned that teachers from all over had contacted him to be a part of this (Thailand, New Zealand, Japan, Washington (US)). It made me wonder how those teachers had found this blog post and if he had previous connections to them? The internet is an amazing thing for bringing people together when in reality they are hours of travel away.
Similar to this (in some ways) is a photography project I came across. A photographer took photos of children around the world with their most prized possessions: Toy Story. I would likely use the photos in the classroom to get students think about values.
One of Royan’s suggestions was that it is not our responsibility to “force” collaboration to happen. Rather we must create a space for collaboration and let it happen naturally. Loved this idea!
Royan also spoke of a tool that he has his students use: Thinking books. These are a great modification of a typical journal as it is a space for students to be as “messy” as they want as they are documenting their learning (I say messy because these don’t ask students to stay ‘between the lines’ – literally and figuratively). Through jotting notes or sketching about their experiences, these individuals are able to build connections and find meaning in their learning.
After browsing Royan’s blog for over an hour (seriously – I couldn’t stop) I have decided to post some links to my favourites of his blog posts (not an exhaustive list – had to quit looking before I spent my whole night on it):
My Students Rapping (seriously cool dude)
Don’t Call it ‘Gym” (Mark would like this one..)