Over the past term my class have made a range of connections around the world, including around the UK. This was partly a conscious decision on my part, due to the reception the children gave to our class blog last year I wanted to continue their global awareness and partly through opportunities arising. The children are so excited when they find out we’re communicating with children from a different school whether it’s through Skype, blogging or Twitter. Although we often go ‘off curriculum’ for these sessions they learn so much that can be directly applied to all areas of learning that it is time well spent.
So far this year we’ve asked schools in Pennsylvania – USA, Melbourne – Australia and Nigeria what they think England is like. We have received a Skype call from Ross Mannell about how to comment effectively and we have had a visit from Rob Steadman. Our Digital Leaders have also connected with Elm Park Primary School and Greenfields Primary School in the UK. We also mustn’t forget the blogs which we visit to learn and comment on.
The obvious learning link here is speaking and listening, the children have had to plan and ask questions as well as listening to the other speaker. The more unexpected outcome was the enthusiasm that these children get from talking to others. I find the children quoting conversations or answers word for word from calls we had weeks ago, would they be able to do that from one of my lessons? Probably not. They frequently ask to follow up on information we got from calls and there is a general buzz in the air; if we get an excitement for learning, any learning, surely that’s half the battle!
My class and I have loved the connections we have made so far and are looking forward to making even more in 2013!