10 June 2011

Connecting your classroom

photo by kmevans

Often during #Langchat, a question will come up about how those of us who have collaborating schools in target-language countries found these schools. I found two of ours through Twitter and the other through my school's accrediting agency's website.

This week on #Langchat, we devoted the entire hour to discussing how we can best collaborate with teachers and classrooms locally, globally, and internationally. The summary of the chat is full of great resources and tips for getting ourselves and our students outside the classroom (many times without leaving the classroom!)

Here are three websites I've recently come across (through Twitter, of course) that may help you give your students one of the best, most motivating things you can offer: an authentic audience.
Skype recently launched Skype in the Classroom to connect schools all over the world.
Connect All Schools may also help you find a collaborating school.
My colleague @mundaysa has had great success using The Mixxer.

Good luck and have fun!


Unknown said...

Thank you so much for all of your helpful posts. My classes have really improved with your posts. I know that I made progress when the kids asked me to make a playlist of all the Spanish songs we do for a class activity that I chaperoned.

I am applying for a $5000 grant to buy either Laptops or Ipads for the Foreign Language Department at my school. In the grant, the project that I am proposing is establishing links with schools in other countries to allow our students to actually speak Spanish and Chinese using Skype. The other schools would get a chance to use English with our students. I am currently networking now to establish some relationships with schools. If you have any contacts, even your old high school, let me know. I think this would be a great way to help the kids in both countries learn each other's language and culture.

Sra Cottrell said...

Good luck with your grant and with your connections! In my opinion, the ratio of US schools looking for Spanish speakers to Spanish-speaking teachers/classes looking for US schools is very out of balance. I found our collaborative schools through Twitter and the accrediting agency that accredits my school. Try looking for international schools (they will tend to have more technology) in TL countries and just emailing their principals. That's how I established our Honduras contact.

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