Tag Archives: Global

Get Back-to-School with the 2012 Learning 2.0 Virtual Conference

20 Aug

Uniforms are neatly hanging in bedroom closets. School supplies are flying off shelves. Yellow buses are getting reacquainted with neighborhood streets. This can only mean one thing…

It’s time to go back to school!

Of course, this is not just an exciting time for students. This is a time for us as educators to dream of educational ideals and new beginnings, to imagine the next great learning adventure. It’s a time to take a chance and try something new in order to make a difference in the lives of our students.

This week, I encourage you not to dream alone.  In the midst of the hustle and bustle of back-to-school, I encourage you to take advantage of a unique opportunity to dream alongside educators around the world through the Learning 2.0 Virtual Conference.

As part of Connected Educator Month, the Learning 2.0 Virtual Conference is “a global conversation on rethinking teaching and learning in the age of the Internet.”  From August 20-24, the conference will feature powerful interviews and keynote talks from experts like Howard Gardner, Yong Zhao, Heidi Hayes Jacobs and Sugata Mitra, as well as a diverse offering of concurrent sessions.  A full schedule of the conference can be found here.  And the best part?  Participation is free!

So, check out Learning 2.0 and join me in kicking off the new school year by building a new dream for improving student learning by harnessing the amazing technological resources of the Internet age!

7 Ways Technology Can Enhance Your World Read Aloud Day Celebration

2 Mar

With World Read Aloud Day just around the corner, it’s not too late to use your technological resources to enhance your celebration and bring reading to life for your students. Here are seven ways to do just that!

1. Guest Readers & Audiences – Using Skype, iChat, Facetime or other applications, classes can bring in virtual guest readers. Guest readers come in all shapes and sizes. LitWorld and Kate Messner both provided a list of published authors who are willing to Skype with students on WRAD, which you can find at
LitWorld.org/WorldReadAloudDayChats
KateMessner.com/skype-with-an-author-on-world-read-aloud-day-2012
Yet, guest readers can also be students’ parents or grandparents, volunteers from local businesses or organizations, or even students and teachers at other schools. If you would like to connect with other educators who are interested in Skyping for WRAD, visit this wiki created by John Schu and Shannon Miller – ChangeTheWorldStoryByStory.wikispaces.com/Skype+Schedules+and+Projects.
By the way, don’t miss out on the opportunity to allow your own students to serve as the Guest Readers for other classes or schools as well!

2. Podcasting – Get your students excited about reading by using voice-recording applications to record themselves reading aloud. Vocaroo.com or the Voice Memos app on various iDevices are simple ways to implement this… or use a more robust program like Audacity, Aviary or Garageband, which would even allow students to add mood music or sound effects to their productions. Play these finished masterpieces for the class or publish them online to share with others!

3. Talking Avatars – Using the voice recording function at Voki.com, students can use their voices to create an avatar that can read aloud to the class. Whether Abraham Lincoln is reading the Gettysburg Address or a cat is reading Carl Sandburg’s famous Fog poem, this activity will delight students of all ages.
Bonus: Students can read their own poems and compositions aloud as well! Check out this elementary Voki project by Samantha Lewis that promotes literacy and writing through Dr. Seuss inspired rhyming poems.

4. VoicethreadVoicethread is a dynamic digital media tool that will allow your students to write or record comments. For World Read Aloud Day, create a Voicethread with slides for various figures of speech or genres and allow your students to read aloud to audio or video record examples that they discover in literary works. (Learn more about this tool’s potential at Voicethread.com.)

5. Digital Storytelling – To celebrate both reading and writing, consider allowing the students to create Digital Storybooks using the Web 2.0 application, Little Bird Tales. This application allows students to compose a written piece, draw original illustrations and record themselves reading the book aloud. Best of all, they are easy to share with the class, e-mail to parents or paste on your class website.

6. Puppet Shows or Reader’s Theater – Lights! Camera! Action! Bring reading to life with a little drama! Use your document camera to create live or recorded Read Alouds of Reader’s Theater or other works with engaging images of student-created popsicle stick avatars, finger puppets or other manipulatives. For example, read Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar with a large popsicle stick avatar of the caterpillar and real versions of the red apple, two green pears, a cupcake, a single leaf and more.

7. Video Book Reviews – Students can use a webcam, Flipcam or Doc Cam to record a review of a favorite book, including sharing illustrations and reading their favorites passages aloud.
Bonus: Upload these video book reviews online and connect their URLs to QR codes (qrcode.kaywa.com) that can be printed and affixed to the cover of the book for other students to watch throughout the school year!

Using Technology, you can easily use your World Read Aloud Day event to ignite a passion for reading in your students and allow it to spread far beyond your classroom walls.

World Read Aloud Day takes place on Wednesday, March 7th. For more ideas, activities resources, visit LitWorld.org/WorldReadAloudDayActivities. You can even download their original picture book, New Day, New Friends, to share with your class!

World Read Aloud Day 2012

27 Feb

The countdown has begun… Only nine more days until the 2012 World Read Aloud Day!

Sponsored by LitWorld, World Read Aloud Day is “about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another, and creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology.” (via LitWorld.org)

So, how can you participate?

First, register your class at LitWorld.org to participate as part of this amazing global event to promote literacy.

Second, plan Read Aloud activities for your class or school, whether students are reading their own writing aloud, inviting a guest reader, or using technology to connect your readers. (Check back for WRAD 2012: Part 2 this week for a great list of class WRAD activities!)

Third, consider contacting an author to Skype with your students.
– LitWorld has partnered with dozens of authors who are excited to read and share with your classes on March 7th. That list can be found at http://litworld.org/worldreadalouddaychats.
– Author, Kate Messner, shares a list of authors who may be willing to Skype with your students at http://www.katemessner.com/skype-with-an-author-on-world-read-aloud-day-2012.

World Read Aloud Day 2012 will be a powerful opportunity to get your students excited about reading… and celebrate their place in the global learning community. So, what are you and your students going to do to participate??

Keep checking back this week for further resources for World Read Aloud Day (3/7)
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Joining in the Skype Across America

4 Mar

When I heard of a group of 4th and 5th graders who were trying to Skype with a class from each of the 50 states, I jumped at the opportunity to participate. And sure enough, as soon as I shared what we were going to be doing with my own group of 4th graders, they were beside themselves with excitement to represent our state.

The school doing this project made it easy to get involved. They sent us a set of questions ahead of time, set a date and time, and shared a link to their blog where they were tracking their virtual travels. In response, my students worked in pairs to answer each of the questions, then brought their responses together. As a group, we evaluated all of the responses until we came up with what we felt was a full and well-rounded view of Florida.

But that wasn’t all, my kids took it a step farther, bringing in props, clothes, and pictures to better explain each of their responses. And this was the best thing that could have happened to their motivation and interest in the 4th Grade Florida History Standards. They were so proud to share their history and culture that they were not only willing, but begging, to have extra time to research topics like the Kennedy Space Center, the Everglades, or St. Augustine. Most even extended their learning and research to home as well.

We are proud to be a part of Ascension Lutheran’s Skype Across America project. Check out the blog they wrote about talking with us… Or consider following along their epic virtual journey!