Random Thoughts

Learning from the kids

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I came home tonight looking forward to going through my aggregator and getting some other stuff online done. But I made the mistake of stopping by some of the online projects going on around the school. Needless to say my learning tonight came from a bunch of middle school students. I’ve spent the last two hours shaking my head. Why don’t more teachers see the power in these tools.

First a great project got started today called the International Environmental Symposium. It’s a Moodle course that we are hosting that involves some 153 7th grade students from Brazil, California, Saudi Arabia, and China. I’ve been working with the teachers the past couple of weeks getting the class ready to go and student accounts created. Tonight students had their first two assignments, and I’ve been sucked in. First up was a simple introduction forum but read some of these:

My mom is Swedish but my dad is Indian. My nationality is Swedish and I have lived there for 12 years. I came to Riyadh last year.

My name is [Student Name] and I come from the United States. However, I currently attend the Shanghai American School in Shanghai. I am twelve years old, in seventh grade, and was born in California, near Los Angeles, but my family moved to Shanghai when I was four. Because of this, I identify with a blend of American and Chinese cultures.

Hey Everyone! I’m [Student Name]. I was born in North Carolina, USA, and movd around a lot in america to pennsylvania, virginia, and iowa. After finishing 4th grade, i moved here to Shanghai, China, and i have lived here for around 2 and a half years. I am 12 years old. My dad grew up in india, but went to college in america . My mom grew up in minnesota, USA, so i’m half american and half indian. China is my first foregin country that i have lived in.

These are the third culture kids that we teach internationally. All 153 tell a similar story, How easy will it be for these students to adjust to this new world. They are already flexible. Most of them have lived in may different places.

I then headed over to check in on Courtney’s Blog. Some of you might remember Courtney, she was at all four of my LAN parties for the K12online conference. She has started a blog with her students called Science Geeks. We’re still working out the bugs, but it’s looking great so far. She is having them read and report on science articles they are finding on the Internet. So far I’ve learned about Space Umbrellas and a new basketball made of plastic. If you get a minute stop on by and leave a comment, or just learn some cool and unusual facts about science.

These are two great projects that have just gotten underway. It will be fun to watch them grow and to learn from the new information. The power of sharing and collaborating, all made possible because of the tools we now have available on the Internet. Don’t try and tell me that the Internet doesn’t change everything…I’ve got proof it does!

[tags]SAS, 21st Century Learning, Moodle, Blogs[/tags]

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I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.

1 Comment

  1. andrew torris Reply

    Nice post Jeff! Good to see the good work the teachers and students are doing in our classrooms!

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