Global connections have been very much at the forefront of my mind during this past school year. It all started off when I came across globalgateway while searching for ideas for my Literacy class. Over the course of the year the project has grown slightly larger than I had initially expected it to, and now encompasses students and teachers from 3rd to 5th grade. Our partner school is St. Peters in Uganda.
When the project began I had grand notions of collaborating online with the school something which I realised very quickly was rather naive, I had wrongly assumed that our partner school had access to the latest technology, so work on wikis and blogs were out of the question. Instead we collaborated the old fashioned way, email between teachers and snail mail between students. I am glad we did this as it gave my students insight into a communication method they were quite unfamiliar with. Most of the children I teach have had limited experience with mail systems and it was great for them to go through the process of sending and receiving photos, letters and stories in that way.
Our school has received several requests to partner up with other schools in the UK and USA, and I am hoping to broaden our collaborative work in the near future hopefully to include shared wikis and blogs. community.
iEARN is a similar network to global gateway and describes itself as"is the world's largest non-profit global 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."