Digital Learning Environment Inventory
One component of the online class through TGC that was particularly useful was our discussions on Digital Learning in the classrooms (aka Web 2.0). As our world becomes more and more connected technologically, we as teachers need to change with the times as well. Through my discussions with my peers, I was able to learn about Edmodo and the different tools the website offers (for free!). I learned it was not only easy to navigate, but you could upload agendas, homework assignments, blog, and have small group discussions (all of which I later tried in class). Overall, I found these discussions very useful and they helped me develop the list below.
Edmodo is an online education website that I used in my classroom for the first time this year. This website worked well because it allowed students to work online on assignments, which limited paper use and allowed students to learn a new skill of attending an online class. I used this assignment in class also, as I had students use the small group chat feature in class while I monitored their progress. I would put a question on the Smart Board that students would have to answer in their small groups. Sometimes I would pose different questions to different groups which were sometimes leveled and sometimes homogenous. This helped them build the global competency of technology and generating opinions on certain subjects and communicating this information to their peers in an effective, professional manner.
Wevideo is an online movie maker that is free to use. In my government class, I had students chose a social justice issue that they wanted to explore and gave them a choice of how they would essentially "teach" the rest of the class about this issue. There was also a research component for this project. Students created the videos in class and at home and then presented them to the class.This helped build their global competency by learning a new way to use technology. The topics themselves helped nurture them as global citizens, as an extension of the project was to expand the issue to the world as a whole. An example of this can be found here.
While Skype is not a new online tool, it was new for me. For those not familiar, it is essentially a service that allows you to make phone calls and video calls online. I was able to set up Skype on my Smart Board in my computer and Skyped with my students while I was in Morocco. I was also able to practice Skype with a classroom in rural Massachusetts. While I have not even fully explored the possibilities of Skype, through my fellowship I met many colleagues I hope to Skype with in the future. This builds the global competencies of learning technology and interacting with people from many different backgrounds. Building relationships with students around the country and world can help build empathy and increase cultural awareness.
4. Newspaper Map
Newspaper Map is a great online resource that allows students to search for newspaper articles by location all around the world. I used this resource in my class when doing my Current Events assignments with my students that are due every week. Some weeks I would require students research a current event from around the world and this was a user-friendly platform for them to do so. This increased their global competency because they had the opportunity to learn about other parts of the world first-hand.
5. The Choices Program
The Choices Program is a series of different professional development resources and workshops for teachers developed by Brown University. While some of their resources have a cost, there are also some great free ones that I have used to teach about current events. For example, this year I used their "Debating the U.S. Response to Syria" (click here) and their "Unrest in Ukraine" (click here) lessons. They often update their website with lesson ideas on current events, which helps broaden students' global awareness.
Flocabulary is an online resource that produces a "Week in Rap" video every Friday that provides a summary of current events for the week, both nationally and globally. There is a small fee associated, but selected videos are free. They also have videos for a host of other topics that I have used. This increases global competency by gaining knowledge about other parts of the world.
7. Ted Ed
Ted Talks are themselves excellent educational tools, and a component of Ted is Ted Ed. There are several different lessons with videos, questions, and lesson extensions that are excellent resources. You can also create your own resources or modify the ones provided.
This is a digital form of lesson planning where you can drop videos, websites, and other resources for not only teachers to access during their lessons, but for students to access independently as well. Furthermore, students could use this resource to create their own resources also if researching a particular topic for a project or giving a presentation.