Category Archives: Global Classroom Project
It’s a new year with so many new possibilities!
In November last year I launched a new Global Classroom Project at school and it went national and global on 7 December.
Inspired by this photo that I took of five rhinos drinking in unison at a waterhole in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, in July, I had five small rhino soft toys made out of genuine African fabric (one side shweshwe and the other an African print). Each rhino was given a truly African name (through a competition amongst our students). These rhinos are on their way to classrooms far and wide – one to South African Schools and then into Africa, one to Australia and New Zealand, one to Canada and America, one to America and South America and one to Europe and Asia. Through global connections I have made in the Global Classroom Project and via Twitter, I have sourced schools to send the rhinos to and currently have 33 classes signed up for the project which will run until December this year, or longer. (It is similar to a Flat Stanley project, but this time with Travelling Rhinos).
Each class will host the rhinos for a week or two and in that time the teacher is asked to educate the students about the rhino situation (in the world, but especially SA), they are asked to dispel the myth that rhino horn is medicine and then they are asked to get their children to contribute to a class page in a wiki that I have created (I have put together information they can use and provided websites for more information). They can write letters of appeal/make videos/do art work – anything which gives the children a voice in the fight against rhino poaching. They are then asked to send the rhino on to another class in their country. Of course they must also document the visit with photos and we will track each rhino’s journey on a Google map. The rhinos will travel for the whole year (or more).
The motivation behind my project is to educate and to use the children’s voices to highlight the gravity of the problem to other countries. After all, it is their children and grandchildren etc. that we want to save the rhinos for, and we rely heavily on tourism in South Africa, so I believe we can make a difference in this way.
Ultimately, once we have many classes participating and contributing, I would like to bring the project to the attention of the powers that be in government. I’m not sure how or who yet, but I have time to work that out!
To find out more about this project visit the wiki: http://saveourrhinos.wikispaces.com
Visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheTravellingRhinosProject
Follow us on Twitter: @travellingrhino
On Friday afternoon, 16 November, I took part in the Global Classroom Project 2012 -2013 launch presentation, which was one of the presentations in the Global Education Conference 2012, a free online conference connecting educators and organisations worldwide. It started on Monday, 12 November and ran around the clock for five days!
I was invited to take part by Michael Graffin (@mgraffin), co-founder of the Global Classroom Project and I was truly honoured to do so. I spoke about why global interaction and collaboration in education is important and I also reflected on her own project, Crazy Crazes, which is currently underway (http://crazycrazes.wikispaces.com) and other highlights of 2012. Four of our Grade 4 pupils also shared their experiences and they did so well. I am so proud of how well they spoke and how they handled themselves! This was a wonderful opportunity and we were very proud to promote our school on this global platform.
This excerpt from Michael’s post in the Global Classroom Project blog, brought a lump to my throat:
To read more about the presentation and listen to the recording, look here.
At the end of the presentation Michael Graffin announced the inauguration of the annual “Global Classroom Lead Teacher” Award, which recognises teachers who’ve made an extraordinary contribution to the development and success of the #globalclassroom community over the past year. Imagine my surprise when I saw my name on that list, along with 25 other amazing, dedicated teachers from around the world! Brenda Hallowes from Cotswold Preparatory School in Port Elizabeth and I were both named – the only two teachers from Africa!
So now I get to add this lovely badge to my blog:
Please pop on over to the Global Classroom Project blog and see what amazing connections are being made and how, as a #globalclassroom community, we can make a difference to the way in which our children learn and how they see themselves as global citizens of the world!
(In the background is Gerry the Giraffe. He is a work in progress, being created from cooldrink cans)
Elkanah House had a special visitor last week – the Global Classroom Memento Scrapbook. This scrapbook book is on a journey around the world, visiting classes and schools. Each school that it visits on its journey is asked to contribute to the scrapbook in some way and both Mrs Oosthuizen and Mrs Stadler created pages showing global connections made over the past year. The scrapbook, which is the brainchild of Michael Graffin, a teacher (and co-founder of the Global Classroom Project) from Perth in Australia, has visited Bucharest in Romania, Blackpool in England, Elkanah House in Cape Town. It is now on its way back to Perth where it will be showcased at the Australian Computers in Education Conference (ACEC2012) in October. After that it will continue on its journey around the world!
Here are the pages we created:
We are so proud to have taken part and contributed to this wonderful scrapbook.
See the original blog post here: http://t.co/wC3qsc7
Cross-posted here: http://goo.gl/4BFuQ
Skype is just amazing! Now for those of you who have travelled extensively or lived abroad, Skype might be nothing new. I am, however referring to it in an educational context. It is truly amazing. If you are keen on flattening your classroom walls and making your students true global citizens, then Skype is for you. Let me elaborate…
Today one of our Grade 6 classes had a Skype session with a Grade 6 class from Vonsild Skole in Kolding, Denmark. As an extension of their Grade 3 Stories project, they got to read their stories aloud to their Danish peers who listened attentively and applauded each story after it was read. Albeit that we had poor video quality, the sound was good enough to get the message across and the whole experience was great fun. There was a short question/answer session at the end and this is where the learning happened, where the interest became apparent and where the realisation that they were talking to children elsewhere on the globe sank in. This is really powerful and can lead to great collaboration across the miles. We look forward to meeting up with this class again later in the year, after their long summer holiday, when they have promised to share a project with us.
Read the Vonsild Skole blog post here: http://vonsildskole.blogspot.com/2012/06/6b-listening-to-elkanah-stories.html
In the past two weeks I have also spoken via Skype to a dear Twitter friend Vijay Krishnan aka @bucharesttutor, all the way in Romania, (In fact, my own children got to “meet” him too), as well as a surprise Skype call from contact from the Global Classroom project, Govinda Prasad Panthy who is in Nepal of all places! This man has a story to tell – he started a school in his village and his only form of internet contact is via his mobile SIM card, and he says that bandwidth is extremely expensive in Nepal. I have much respect for him as he dreams of starting an IT Centre in his village. Powerful stuff.
After trying to encourage (without much luck) our teachers to join one of the #globalclassroom projects in The Global Classroom Project 2012, I decided to grab the bull by the horns and create my very own project that linked in with an area of our curriculum. This is what I came up with (the post from The Global Classroom Project blog):
“Karen Stadler from Cape Town, South Africa is keen to get her Grade 4s connected with the global community. Each year the Grade 4s at her school do a Crazy Crazes project where they look at the current crazes in their school, and amongst their peers in South Africa. They also interview their parents and grandparents to find out what was fashionable and the craze of the day when they were children. This project only happens later in their school year (September), but they would like to open it up to the world right now!
They’d like to invite children from classes (Grades 4 – 7; ages 9 – 12) around the world to give them an idea of what is popular and fashionable in their part of the world. They are asking the following questions:
- What games are you playing with your friends at school/home?
- Are you collecting cards/stickers/toys?
- Is there a particular pastime that is popular at the moment?
- What about favourite TV programmes or characters?
- Are there any popular books that you are reading?
- Is there any particular style of clothing or brand that is very popular?
- Any other exciting crazes where you are?
They would love you to share your experiences with them!
Although the American and European schools are coming to the end of their school year, the project will run until June 2013, so there will be time for them to take part in the new school year.
In the meantime, if there are any Southern Hemisphere schools (Australia, New Zealand, South America etc.) out there who would like to participate, feel free to join in!
Please email Mrs Stadler or tweet her @ICT_Integrator if you might be interested in participating in this global learning project, or if you have anything you’d like to share. Alternatively, go to the Global Classroom Wiki for more details about the project.”
So far six schools have signed up and I am hoping for more, especially from South America, Australia and New Zealand. Here’s hoping for a successful project with many global connections!
Are you interested in flattening your classroom walls & creating a global classroom?
Earlier this year I became aware of a conversation on Twitter (where else?) around the possibility of a global collaboration project. I followed it with great interest and saw the idea come to fruition. Deb Frazier (@frazierde) from the USA came up with the project idea and with the help of Michael Graffin (@mgraffin) from Australia, began co-ordinating a small project which has now grown to huge proportions! I was very interested and when the appeal for help when out, I quickly got involved. I set up the project’s Facebook group and am now also a co-contributor on the Global Classroom Blog. Please go over there and take a look.
Over the next year, a range of projects, cultural exchanges, and global conversations involving over 110 teachers (2000+ students) from 25 countries across 6 continents will be hosted. These numbers grow almost daily! There are 3 groups of participants i.e. Grades K-3, Grades 4-6 and Grades 7-12 (ages 5 to 18).
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your class could take part in one of these global projects? All these projects and more, run until June next year, so you don’t have to do anything right now – the school year is coming to an end, BUT you could start the New Year off with a “bang”!! Some of these projects are easy and can run in the “background” while you continue with your year’s work, but they are fun and so educational – your class could be talking to and communicating with kids from New Zealand, Australia, the USA or the UK (to mention only a few). Please click on the links in the blog and take a look at what teachers around the world are doing!
For more information, please go to the project wiki – and while you’re there, sign up for a project!