Help wanted: Sites that connect classrooms across the globe?

I confess that my knowledge is sparse of web sites, wikis, etc. that aim to connect classrooms together for projects. Yet I’m starting to get asked more and more often by educators for places where they can go to connect their classrooms with others from across the globe. Suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

33 Responses to “Help wanted: Sites that connect classrooms across the globe?”

  1. These are great resources! Could these be added to the moving forward wiki? Thanks!!

  2. flatclassroom project come to mind – I look forward to seeing this collection of links when I get a chance to read the comments

  3. One more for you: – http://www.globalchallengeaward.org – highschoolers across the world work on solving global challenges. I met the founder, David Gibson, at this year’s SITE conference and was really impressed.

  4. @Dave Zukor: Yes, I agree. Go ahead and add them (and add a link here?)! Thanks!

  5. One more:
    EPals, Pen Pals and E-Friends Page
    lots of ways of contacting other people who speak and wish to learn English or want to share their love of English.
    What they offer:
    The Learn English Forum – Check out the friendly, fun forum hosted by yours truly. But remember, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”.
    E-Pals – An online community of collaborative classrooms.
    BBC’s Message Boards – An easy to use service from my old favourite the BBC here you can share your experiences learning English with people from all over the world. . To add or reply to a message, you must register first.
    My Language Exchange – find people who want to learn your language in exchange for them helping you with theirs. Unfortunately some parts of this service are no longer free.

    http://www.learnenglish.de/epalspage.htm

    I have used epals and it was great for my students.As an EFL teacher I love these places

  6. This blog is a good example of what Benkler is demonstrating in his book “The Wealth of Networks”. Students now have more autonomy in the classroom and can connect with their classroom without their professor overseeing them all the time.By utilizing tools that connect classrooms to others all over the world the students are given the means and permission to network. There are several tools on the internet that can make a classroom more efficient. Google’s Blogger enables students and professors to be “copresent” to one another throughout all hours of the day. There are several other Google tools, other than Blogger, that can allow students to network to others, such as Google Documents or Google Chat. Classes can go beyond the typical one hour lecture which allows students to get more involved and more engaged in a discussion. By interacting with other classrooms these students are engaged with their peers, who know different knowledge, which can be shared and transferred online. Peer production is a large part of Benkler’s ideas. Another useful tool is Skyping, which allows a live video feed into the classroom and allows students to connect not only over the internet but virtually face to face. If professors want to see which assignments each student has completed they should definitely use Google’s Wiki. Students can link their work to their wikipage and also look at the work that other students have done. this can be very useful if class notes are placed on a Wiki, then the students could add to it and create a great resource for that class and other classes like it.

  7. Check out the projects and the global community at ePals: http://www.epals.com. The projects are an easy entry point for teachers’ first global collaborative learning and even include rubrics for judging success. The global community in ePals has 16 million students and teachers in 200 countries and territories. This is the oldest and largest collaborative global community.

  8. I must admit that I have always turned to the Global School Network. This organization has been connecting students across the globe for over 2 decades. The organizers, Yvonne Andres and Al Rogers, were the originators of some of the initial telecollaborative classroom projects back in the 1980s.

    http://www.gsn.org

    Leigh Zeitz
    http://drzreflects.org

  9. For Video Conferencing or requesting a collaborative project partner we use:
    http://www.cilc.org/ (The Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration)

  10. If you support these core initiatives:

    • Effective, empowered teachers and school leaders;
    • Student assessments that stress 21st century skills;
    • Universal access to high-quality early education;
    • A safe, healthy learning environment; and
    • Affordable college for all students;

    Then let President Obama know! Visit EDVOTERS.ORG and sign the petition today!

  11. http://teachersconnecting.com/ from Ben Hazzard. Podcast is one of the best out there with Ben and co-host Joan Badger.

  12. Hi there,

    The 100% free online education site http://www.edu20.org is a learning management system with social networking features, and does automatic translation on its forums and message system to allow students and teachers of different languages to communicate easily. It has over 38,000 members and includes integrated support for wikis, forums, debates, blogging, etc.

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers,
    Graham

  13. We are using Moodle to make connections with students in a virtual world to provide collaboration locally and globally.

    The tool set within Moodle makes everything easy to use right within the online tools such as wiki, forum, glossary, etc.

  14. Hi There!
    I used ePals (http://www.epals.com) this year for the first time and found it easy to get connected with another classroom. I participated in the A Day at my School Project and it has gone very well. I chose to complete the project with my two fifth grade technology classes. My students were excited and energized about sharing and receiving information from around the globe. They enjoyed going on the Blog from both school and home, making comments and reading the posts from others. What I liked about ePals is that it had opportunities for all grade levels from K-12.

  15. Another fabulous free site that allows kids to make connections is ThinkQuest. (http://www.thinkquest.org) One teacher in a school building needs to register your school and from then on it’s a free service for all the teachers and students at your site. I teach at the elementary level and this platform is fabulous because it serves a dual purpose. ThinkQuest allows each student to create their own website and to create project sites on curriculum topics with students from all over the world. Go to the site and check it out. The interface is very easy to use and the kids absolutely love it! Talk about technology having an impact on student learning – I’ve never seen kids more motivated to write. Also, they sponsor two website competitions that are great.

  16. For foreign language teachers- On the Mixxer, (http://www.language-exchanges.org) I found various classroom teachers looking for virtual language exchanges for their students. The teachers on this site communicate principally through Skype.

    As a result of meeting classroom teachers on the mixer, we have formed Ning social networks with classes in the Canaries and are working to form yet another with a class in Argentina.

  17. iEARN http://www.iearn.org/index.html is another website that allows classrooms to connect through projects posted on their site. It is recommended you join a project and participate before you start your own project. They have a network spanning approximately 125 countries.

  18. See also Larry Ferlazzo’s post, The Best Ways to Find Other Classes for Joint Online Projects:

    http://snipurl.com/j2o9t

  19. I’d like to mention our own Project Peace. http://projectpeace.ning.com Classrooms from around the world come together and make/share a music video they created from materials on the site.

    David
    http://eflclassroom.com

  20. Here’s the new kid on the block:

    PikiFriends

    http://www.pikifriends.net

    A fun, safe, and free place for secondary schools to connect internationally, with a focus on ESL.

  21. Scott,

    Lucy Gray’s http://globaleducation.ning.com/ is one of the best!

    -kj-

  22. For videoconferencing:
    CAPSpace: Collaborations Around the Planet
    http://projects.twice.cc/index.php

    A collaborative videoconference project gives you and your students an opportunity to learn with another school or classroom.

    CAPspace is a social networking tool for educational videoconferencing built into the new Read Around the Planet registration system. Login to find colleagues and schools interested in collaborative videoconference (H.323 and H.320) projects, and participate in TWICE sponsored matching projects.

    There are currently 2706 educators from 17 countries registered with CAPspace.

  23. Scott, here are a few that have allowed my students and me to connect with other learners:

    Through blogging:
    Bringing us Together http://studentfriends.edublogs.org/
    Sue Wyatt’s Blogging Challenge 09 http://studentfriends.edublogs.org/ (which lead to Skyping
    Through writing:
    1001 Flat Tales project(middle & elementary): http://ms1001tales2009.wikispaces.com/
    http://es1001tales2009.wikispaces.com/
    Through Skype
    http://skypeinschools.pbwiki.com/
    Through science–a Canadian program, but I bet there are others like it:
    http://space.yesican-science.ca/

    Really though, it takes learner (teacher) initiative. Opportunities drop out of Twitter all the time, as they do on various EdTechTalk-type programs. This is the first year I’ve had (found) the opportunity to connect this way. It’s powerful, fun, and makes the world seem that much smaller and more friendly.

  24. Oops,
    Correct link to Sue Wyatt’s blogging challenge:
    http://wyatt67.edublogs.org/

  25. Scott,
    Here are a some of my favorite (in no particular order):

    ePals http://www.epals.com/
    Global community of connected classrooms where classrooms can safely connect and collaborate with students around the world.
    Target audience: Grades K-12.

    Flat Classroom Project http://flatclassroomproject.ning.com/
    Global collaboration project that uses web 2.0 tools to facilitate communication and interaction between students around the world.
    Target audience: Grades 6-12.

    Global School House http://www.globalschoolnet.org/
    Provides meaningful project learning exchanges which foster teamwork, collaboration, and create multi-cultural understanding.
    Target audience: K-12.

    Jenuine Tech Projects http://www.technospudprojects.com/
    Resource for creative projects that encourage teachers to collaborate and include the use of web 2.0 tools.
    Target audience: K-6.

  26. They can join the Microsoft Innovative Teachers Network for their home country and get access to and share content with Teachers from across their country and in many cases from across the world.
    http://www.innovativeteachers.com
    Dropdown list has all of the countries participating. I hope this is useful.

  27. Just saw this question featured at the top of your blog, and thought I should share the list I put together last week for a workshop. A few are the same sites listed above, but others are new. Skip down to “Global Collaboration Projects” at the bottom of the page.
    http://21globalleadership.wikispaces.com/For+Primary+Source+Summer+Institute+Boston

  28. This is very similar to the question that was asked over at Global Education Collaborative. I replied there with my “main” list, in addition to iEARN and ePals which are by far the largest.

    -Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning
    -Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration
    -This particular forum in Classroom 2.0.
    -Global Education Motivators
    -Rafi.ki

    These are the main ones. I have a more extensive (ever growing) list that I am putting together as part of an update to this (currently outdated) page: http://www2.ed.gov/teachers/how/tech/international/index.html — which I am working on for iEARN-USA. The site will be updated in time for International Education week in November. This has been the better part of my work for the last 4 months, so I greatly appreciate the other ones listed in the comments here! If anyone needs any help or finds more, please get in touch with me! :)

    • For those in IB or pre-IB schools, check out the International Baccalaureate Virtual Community: http://ibo.epals.com. They are connecting IB middle years and diploma programmes starting fall 2010 across more than 100 countries.

      Within ePals there are multiple ways and strategies to find teachers for global collaboration. These include:
      * Project Forums
      * Teacher Forums
      * ePals Wanted Forum
      and other topics

  29. iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) http://www.iearn.org

    130 Countries
    30 Languages
    40,000 Educators
    2 Million Youth

    Began in 1988!

    iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) is the world’s largest and most experienced non-profit global learning network that enables teachers and youth to use the Internet and other technologies to collaborate on projects that enhance learning and make a difference in the world. Why have your students simply learn ABOUT other countries? Why not have your students learn collaboratively WITH students from others around the world?!!

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