Monday, November 9, 2015

Bringing the World to our Classroom and Our Classroom to the World

Using the World Wide Web gives us a global audience for our work, making learning experiences more authentic for students. It also brings the world to us in our classroom, showing a symbiotic relationship of teaching and learning using the WWW as a tool to enhance learning. This morning in the computer lab students showed this relationship, being learners and then teachers for their classmates. They spent a few weeks creating Google Slides of something they learned from Wonderopolis. Today they showcased their knowledge by sharing their Slide presentation with classmates. Students walked around and were tasked with noticing two things: What did you learn from your classmate’s presentation? What did you notice about how their Google Slides was different or similar than yours? #Catlynagent2 mentioned you could learn a lot about your classmates just by the choices they made in setting up their Google Slide show. I honestly never thought about how looking at presentations teach you about the person, but she connected our social studies lesson about how architecture teaches you about a person to our work in the computer lab. Some students used bullets; others used a lot of images, several used a lot of color, while some had a lot of text on a slide.  Students also discussed how Google Slides allows the students to incorporate activities, web links, and videos into presentations. This makes the presentations come alive!

Another way we have brought the globe in the classroom is using the WWW to follow my cousin’s sailing adventure to the Caribbean. From NYC! Last week I showed them the map he is using to update his travels. Feel free to send to send the message if you want to know where he is in real time. He will update the map when he can. He has been sharing his journal with us so we can learn what it is like on the boat, as well as sending us some pictures along the way. Students have lots of questions about his experience. We are able to feel like we are part of the journey just by communicating and following along with him! If we had to wait for letters from him we would be waiting a long time to hear about the adventure. Technology sure has changed our methods of communication!

Sample Journal Entry:
Last night I saw the Freedom of the Sea cruise ship. I believe it has 6000 passengers and 2500 crew.
All 1112 feet of her was lit up like a Christmas tree. She is 125 feet wide and only draws 29 feet of water.
I just can't understand how that ship stays upright. It has about 12 stories out of the water.
Even at 3 miles away it looked enormous.

Today was another glorious day. It was a warm day with a nice breeze and we were able to sail all day without starting the engine. That is a record for us 3 days and no motor- delightful.

We are still trying to figure out the problem with the high pressure pump on the watermaker.
We are all starting to get the beginnings of a beard. The water is holding up well and we have decided to sail directly to Santa Marta and not waste 2 days heading to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. We have about 680 miles to go.

It is getting a little humid down below and with the fuel saving we have made by not using the engine we will run the generator tonight and get some air conditioning.

Dinner was a delicious chicken cacciatore made by a friend.
So far all and all a very nice passage.
Till tomorrow,
Fair Winds,

My cousin is the fourth one from the right in the blue shirt

The WWW makes learning fun as there are more opportunities for students to interact with experts. In reading we are learning about JaneGoodall. Students are discovering tips to save wildlife. Today we visited her website, learning about Roots and Shoots. We watched a TED talk from Jane, bringing her into our classroom. We also tweeted her pictures of us learning from her magazine article we were reading. As a teacher the power of these tools enhances the curriculum. Students are very lucky to afford these opportunities. It creates experiences many of them will never forget. It also provides a foundation for their future. 

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