Waterford Union High School/University of Wisconsin Madison
I teach World History, American Government, and US History at Waterford High School in Waterford Wisconsin. I also am currently pursuing my Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis Masters at the University of Wisconsin. As a teacher and future administrator, I am interested in using any types of educational software that will help my students learn.
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Another great way to find global classrooms for collaboration is through ePals. The Global Community has more than 600,000 classrooms in 200 countries, the largest K12 global community. You can use "classroom match" to find other teachers (free) and also can sign up for SchoolMail accounts for your students at no cost. You have to write a classroom profile to be admitted to use the service.
ePals has TRUSTe certification, an independent standard for privacy and security. (Not all education sites have it, but it makes district IT directors happy to see it.) You can see lots of other Wisconsin educators who are connected through ePals, or search for another state for your US History students and for other countries for your World History class.
Check the Sept. 2009 Educational Leadership (ASCD) for a great article about 21st century teaching of social studies: How to Learn in the 21st Century.
Your students might enjoy thinking of questions that go beyond the textbook to ask of students in other places.
Also the digital stories already posted on ePals, created by students in rural New Zealand, northern Norway, Turkey, etc. will really provide a fascinating look at what life is like in other places.
All these resources are free. Let me know if you have questions. I am a former teacher trainer and director of ed tech in a large school district, and I love to see teachers get connected!
My name’s David and I’m a history teacher in Queensland, Australia. I use a lot of podcasting and online tools with my classes and am always looking for new ideas.
I host a group on diigo (it’s similar to delicious and very popular with teachers) for history teachers to share links, ideas and resources. It’s at http://groups.diigo.com/groups/history-teachers.
Please come along and join and share any sources or resources you use with the rest of us. See you there.
Ancient & Modern History Teacher
Sheldon College, Capalaba.
Hi Russell. Another staff member and I have been trying to work with web2.0 tools and get our staff on board. However, the success of these tools is only just being taken up by the rest of the staff. For me, I find blogging to be a wonderful tool for my lesson plans, student instructions, feedback and evaluation. It has connected us to so many schools throughou the world.
One of our most successful projects to date has been that of videoconferencing with skype. We have worked with schools in Malaysia, Russia, Boston, Canada, and Connecticut. This is such a great way to learn about culture, geography, history etc. We also had a linkup with Antarctica where a research scientist on the Adele penguins spoke to us from her tent.
Wikis are good to share work with other schools. Wordle is a great tool that many staff like using and voicethreads are being used more and more for links with people in other countries. What have you used or what has been successful for you?
I'm sending out messages to everyone I know right now, and this virtual Ning network is no exception. My name is Andy Pethan. I am a 21 year old student from Olin College of Engineering (near Boston). I am a part of a group of six Olin students who are taking a year off to pursue interests in education, entrepreneurship, design and technology, which brought us to the logical project of a business that designs collaborative software for schools! Our company is called AlightLearning, and this is our "short" project description:
"We are working under the assumption that within ten years, the landscape of modern education will have fully integrated what we now define as new classroom media and tools: video, online collaboration, open source curriculum, and internet-based software. We hope to pioneer a web software tool that acts as a platform for this new media, bringing the power of the web and its tools to students, teachers and parents in a secure, comfortable and innovative environment. More importantly, and unlike many of our competitors, our software will empower teachers to better integrate higher level thinking skills, teamwork, personalized learning, goal setting, reflection, effective feedback and evaluation, and the ability to work with groups across classes and schools to more effectively let students follow their interests and let teachers share their knowledge. Our goal is to have our free software at a pilot middle school by April 15th, 2009."
Our team is currently trying to win an idea competition on Ideablob.com ending 11:59PM central time today. You can find us at http://ideablob.com/3975. Note that winning this contest will raise $10,000, a large and useful sum of money for a web-based company running on “sweat equity” and minimal costs. We would love your support in the form of a vote, but more importantly we'd love your feedback and comments. Our description on Ideablob is short, and even the one above hardly gets at many of the issues we would like to take a stab at solving.
Feel free to email me back, post on my profile, or check out alightlearning.com if you're interested in learning more or getting involved when we begin piloting the software!
With your interest in Education Technology, I recommend you take a look at Wiziq's virtual classroom and authorstream's power point presentation platform. Both are web based platforms, have a bunch of features and free basic service.