Today I spent the day outside of my classroom and school to participate in a Bureau of Education Workshop titled “Strengthening Content-Area Learning Using Cutting-Edge Technology Projects” taught by Cindy Kendall. I am always looking out for new ideas that can I translate in my classroom and, in turn, share on this blog and my wikis. I was surprised by the large amount of information that Cindy shared today and the ever growing amount of tech tools that we can use to enhance content area literacy and critical literacy in our classrooms.
Many of the tech tools that she shared are ones I have previously mentioned in this blog: digital storytelling, podcasts, poll everywhere, xtranormal, wikis, or will soon have my students utilize: glogs and prezis. You can find links to many of these web 2.0 tools mentioned on my cyberteaching wiki and can see some in action on my classroom wikis. The information Cindy shared that really captured my attention was the collaborative projects that are happening around the world where students are collaborating with students from other schools. For the past four years that I have been using wikis in my classroom, I have made my wikis protected sites where only the students registered in my classes for the semester can edit and add to the wiki. Maybe it is time that break down the walls of my wikis and make my wikis more globally interactive and collaborative.
Thus, I am looking into different collaborative projects to join in or create new collaborative projects that blend my content area and classroom objectives. Some of the places that I have started to look at and think about how I can model the collaborative projects that are already out there include: The Flat Classroom Project, international collaborative projects; for science teachers, the Center for Engineering and Science Education at Stevens Institute of Technology has many science themed collaborative projects from human genetics to the global water sampling project; and Collaborations Around the Planet is another site for collaborative projects and events. If you have any ideas for collaborative projects or are currently participating in collaborative projects please share your ideas and experiences in the comments below.