Archive for the 'Global Resources for Schools' Category

Global Resources for Schools: Edmodo.com

edmodo imageExchanging letters through the mail used to be the only feasible way for students to communicate with children in other countries–a process that might provide a couple of exchanges a year given the distance letters had to travel.

Now, with Edmodo.com, an award-winning, safe social learning network with more than 17 million users worldwide, making those connections is a lot easier.

Susan Christy, 8th grade history department head at Florence Middle School, in Florence, Alabama, uses Edmodo as a vital component of her 2013-2014 Sharing the Dream project, Adventures Through Global Weather.

“With Edmodo we can reach out to other schools to interact about weather all over the world. It’s a fabulous tool,” Christy said.

Christy’s students are making a video about weather in Alabama, which will be posted to Edmodo. Children around the world will be able to view the film and share about their own weather, giving insight into how weather effects agriculture, housing, clothing, and customs around the globe.

While many teachers use Edmodo to make international contacts, others use the platform to connect with parents right in the neighborhood.

In Springdale, Arkansas, parents who immigrated to the United States from the Marshall Islands, use Edmodo to network with teachers and other parents, to practice English language skills, and to share thoughts about what their children are learning in school.

The exchange is part of Monitor Elementary’s Family Literacy Project, expanded this year with a 2013-2014 Sharing the Dream-Keep the Dream Going Grant to include Hispanic parents.

“We set up a blog for Marshallese parents to reflect on their experiences and learning in the classrooms with their children, and it was very successful,” ESL specialist Julia Crane said. “Parents really enjoyed using iPads to create presentations about themselves, and to post their reflections. We will be training our parents to set up their own blogs to be a voice for Marshallese and Latino parents in the community.”

Do you use Edmodo in your classroom, school or district? What features do you use? Have you used Edmodo to reach out to classrooms in other countries? Would you recommend it to other educators? Tell us about your experiences in a comment.

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Global Resources for Schools is our feature highlighting international focused organizations, educational websites and resources to support educators in their efforts to create globally oriented schools.

Do you have a website, organization, resource or idea to share? Contact us!

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Global Resources for Schools: GlacierWorks

GlacierWorks imageOn the GlacierWorks website, students can explore the Himalayan glaciers in incredible detail, see how they are being impacted by climate change, and trace how they provide fresh water for almost every major river system of Asia.

The site features interactive maps, images taken by early mountaineers, and astonishing gigapixel photographic images that allow students to virtually soar thousands of feet above a glacier and view it in its entirety or dip down to the ground and explore pebbles in the ice.

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Global Resources for Schools is our regular feature highlighting international focused organizations, educational websites and resources to support educators in their efforts to create globally oriented schools.

Do you have a website, organization, resource or idea to share? Tell us about it in a comment.

Global Resources for Schools: Kenya Connect

Kenya Connect logoThe mission of Kenya Connect is to connect youth globally through correspondence and service for the purpose of promoting deep cultural exchange and understanding.

Their Pen Pal Exchange makes it possible for students to write to school children in Kenya. Fifty-three schools in Kenya are currently part of the program.

Students at Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary in Silver Spring, MD, a 2011-2012 Sharing the Dream school, learned about the culture of Kenya by making friends with children who lived there. Partnering with Kenya Connect, the school organized a pen pal program for 2nd—5th graders to exchange letters with children attending Ndeini Primary School in Wamunyu, Kenya.

When children learned that their Kenyan friends kicked around playground balls made of plastic bags, they raised $400 to buy sports equipment for the school. Principal Gail Scott-Parizer used the Dream grant to engage an artist-in-residence who led workshops on traditional Kanga fabric, cuisine, games, and family life in Kenya, and students gained insight into “how similar the lives of those in other cultures are to our own.” Year-end events included an International Night featuring Kenyan songs and dances, and a field trip to the Smithsonian African Art Museum.

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Global Resources for Schools is our regular feature highlighting international focused organizations, educational websites and resources to support educators in their efforts to create globally oriented schools.

Do you have a website, organization, resource or idea to share? Tell us about it in a comment.

Global Resources for Schools: Women’s History Month

clay peace 2March is Women’s History Month, a time to explore and celebrate women leaders, artists, entrepreneurs and scientists who have changed the world.

Some class project ideas for March:

  • Research women world leaders for a blog
  • Film a documentary about women’s contributions to social change around the world
  • Publish an international newspaper reporting on breakthroughs in medicine, science and the arts by women
  • Discuss gender, age and cultural barriers and how they can be overcome

Resources to start:

Nobel Prize Awarded Women Bios of the 43 women who have been awarded the Nobel Prize between 1901 and 2012.

Women Inventors features biographies of women inventors.

Distinguished Women of Past & Present includes bios organized by category (e.g., government and politics, engineering, literature).

Women’s History Month Activities & Lesson Plans. Activities can be adapted to include women from all regions of the world.

Women’s History Month provides resources for teachers.

Biographies of Women Mathematicians explores the achievements of women in the field of mathematics.

Children’s Encyclopedia of Women. Created by 3rd–4th graders at Pocantico Hills School in Sleepy Hollow, NY.

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Global Resources for Schools is our twice-monthly feature highlighting international focused organizations, educational websites and resources to support educators in their efforts to create globally oriented schools.

Do you have a website, organization, resource or idea to share? Tell us about it in a comment.

Global Resources for Schools: African American History

abstract art Sharing the Dream recognizes and celebrates the history and contributions of African Americans–during African American History Month and all year long.

Here, we’ve gathered together a list of websites showcasing African American culture and history, featuring articles, videos and photographs; lesson plans; books for every age, and links to even more resources for the classroom.

Read about how 5th graders at Stetser Elementary in Chester, PA, are examining the quest for freedom in America and South Africa as part of their Sharing the Dream project.

Links to get started:

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture Includes lesson plans, classroom materials and professional development programs for educators.

African American History Month A joint program of the Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art and other agencies, this site offers audio/video presentations, artworks and resources for teachers.

Time for Kids Features articles, videos and stories geared to children exploring  African American history.

Reading Rockets: African American History Books recommendations, interviews with African American authors, and activities for the classroom, home and community.

History: Black History Month Includes videos and articles on the Civil Rights Movement, African American leaders and more.

How does your school honor and learn about African American history? Do you have websites, lesson ideas, projects or resources to share?

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Global Resources for Schools is our twice-monthly feature highlighting international focused organizations, educational websites and resources to support educators in their efforts to create globally oriented schools.

Do you have a website, organization, resource or idea to share? Tell us about it in a comment.

Global Resources for Schools: Mapping

US map with pinsViewing (and creating) maps is a fun, interactive way to learn about different nations, longitude and latitude, time zones, geography, scale, world governments and more.

Some world travelers pin where they have been on a wall map. Students can do the same digitally using Topo.ly, a free (for basic service) online mapping tool that allows them to use an Excel spreadsheet to easily create a map pinpointing cities, bodies of water, National Parks, family members’ homes, Monarch butterfly waystations, anything–and see where they are in relation to one another. (We used Topo.ly to create our map of 2012-2013 Sharing the Dream grantees.)

Once students are finished making a map, it can be saved as a jpeg image (to be shared in a report or on a blog/website), using a program like PowerPoint, or by clicking on Accessories/snipping tool/capture image/save as jpeg on a Windows operating system.

More mapping resources:

Education World offers lesson plans around mapping, including one where students create and map their own make-believe countries.

National Geographic: Mapping

Google Earth

Have you used an easy and fun mapping tool for the classroom, or have a lesson plan to share?

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Global Resources for Schools is our twice-monthly feature highlighting international focused organizations, educational websites and resources to support educators in their efforts to create globally oriented schools.

Do you have a website, organization, resource or idea to share? Tell us about it in a comment.

Global Resources for Schools: Asia Society

asia society Asia Society is an educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States.

Its website features a wide range of classroom resources exploring the Asia-Pacific region, including:

Mark your calendars! Asia Society’s Partnership for Global Learning Conference will be June 28-29, 2013 in New York City. To learn more, click here.

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Global Resources for Schools is our twice-monthly feature highlighting international focused organizations, educational websites and resources to support educators in their efforts to create globally oriented schools.

Do you have a website, organization, resource or idea to share? Tell us about it in a comment.


Sharing the Dream

Grants for pre-K-8 school projects that create global classrooms where children—and families—can safely connect, exchange ideas and learn together.

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