Monday, August 22, 2011

Globalize your Classroom

Every other Thursday at 7PM EST Jo and Phil Hart present their Serendipity "unwebinar".  Attendees bring topics of interest, all attendees are polled, and the evening's topic is chosen.  Last Thursday's topic -- Projects for Classes and Global Sharing -- was somewhat of a hybrid, since there were many suggestions, and no clear poll winner.  It was a great topic, very applicable to Foreign Language teachers, and may ideas were discussed on the whiteboard, over the mic,  and in the chatbox.  In this post, I'm going to focus and expand on some of the ideas I'd love to see developed among FL teachers on a global level (any takers??)

1.  This idea immediately brought to mind the film short "The Red Balloon" which is a suggestion that comes up without fail as a possible movie for FL week.  The film might serve as a great lead-off to this collaborative storytelling activity.  The idea is to tell the story of a balloon that floats from school to school (in different countries around the world) to seek adventures and learn new things.  So here's my (rough) take on this idea:  using a cloud app like have each class create a slide telling their balloon adventure, in their language, including a photo of themselves with a red helium-filled balloon.  Subtitles could be added to the finished product so all slides are in all languages.  

This one has me so excited, I think I'm going to run with it.  I think I can swing classes from France, Australia and Mali, so I'll be looking for other interested balloon adventurers!

2.  The Lunchbox Project is a collaborative wiki project including photos and podcasts designed to compare school lunches around the world.  So far there are 11 participating countries.  Join the wiki if you are interested!

3.  Two ideas that came up were sharing pictures of your favorite local food, and creating a wiki with favorite recipes.  I have drawn up plans for a similar research project for my classes, and I would love to make it more collaborative!  Here is the link to my gdoc Check it out, and let me know if you are interested in participating in some way (perhaps the Google Map)

4.  The Global Student Blogging Challenge is a very cool idea that could be undertaken as a class with a class blog, or by individual students with their own blogs.  What a great way to have students publish their work to a global audience and get authentic feedback!

On a final note, if you've never attended one of Jo & Phil's sessions, you're truly missing out.  Stop in Thursday (7PM EST) to talk about e-toys.

I'd love to hear your ideas about globalizing your classroom!


  1. Thank you so much for posting about that session. It is always wonderful to see how people take the ideas from those sessions and see how they run with them.

  2. Phil, you & Jo are awesome. I always learn from your sessions, and this one really struck a chord with me. Many thanks to you both.