Engnology

Reflections of Blending English and Technology in the Classroom

Global Connection Update (#iowaish)

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Time is fast approaching for our trip to Sweden to meet the philosophy class that we connected with last semester using various social media forums. In March, 5 AP Literature students, myself, and Cari Teske (BCLUW librarian) will depart from Chicago and spend 9 days in Helsingborg, Sweden. This opportunity stemmed from a twitter connection and a desire to connect students globally. Mr. Noonan, a philosophy teacher from the International School in Helsingborg, and myself designed a unit focusing on the understanding of Existentialism and its application to “The Stranger” written by Albert Camus. Although there are many things that will be modified for future use, students gained more than the initial education goals we set at the beginning. The students not only gained an understanding of a difficult philosophy, but also learned to collaborate with others thousands of miles away with differing opinions using technology. The social aspects were the most surprising gains that we as teachers didn’t expect. Students found they had more similarities than differences and added each other on facebook, twitter, etc; becoming fast friends while learning how to use social media for personal and educational uses.

When opportunity presented itself for a chance to meet our “new classmates” we quickly sought parental approval, board approval, and community support. This once in a lifetime trip will bring the connection full circle. We plan to spend time at the school, participate in a Model UN, tour Hamlet’s Castle (a play we also read), visit IKEA headquarters, a trip to Copenhagen, along with experiencing the culture and people of Sweden.

We have started a website to track our progress – Iowaish.net

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be planning a trip to Sweden this year!

Connecting Cultures, Continents, and Classrooms – a testament to the power of 1:1 laptops in the hands of students and teachers!

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Written by sfarnsworth

January 5, 2011 at 9:24 pm

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