I work as a teacher at Ramstad middle school http://www.ramstadskole.no/ in Baerum county next to Oslo in Norway. I teach grade 9., and my subjects are English, social science and international cooperation. This term I decided to try to make my classroom more global.
My inspiration came from many persons, but among those was Svein Andreas Horgen: http://gjemmesiden.blogspot.no/ He held a really inspiring lecture about Web 2.0 at a conference about education that I attended in Bergen in February last year.
Also, the experiences made at one of our neighbouring high schools: Sandvika, put in motion by a teacher called Ann S. Michaelsen was calling out to me. She wrote an e-book with one of her classes about creating a global classroom: http://www.amazon.com/Connected-Learners-creating-classroom-ebook/dp/B00CYEFX8E/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1378640337&sr=8-3&keywords=global+classroom
Fore some years I have used MS Office, youtube, wikipedia and different websites in combination with a computer and a projector, in an attempt to make my classes more relevant for my students. This seemed to work quite well with regard to teacher driven lessons, but I want my students to use technology more for themselves in their learning, and to cooperate more, and not just watch the teacher having a go at it.
First, I enrolled in the EU program eTwinning, and found a partner class in Slovenia for my international cooperation class. We share a project called “You, me and the others, that’s us!”. This will allow our students to learn more about the similarities and differences between them, and they can practice using English too.
Next I had my new students explore one digital tool during their second week at school: http://www.glogster.com. They made wall posters in all my classes. The posters were great, but we didn’t manage to print them so easily. However, as the main objective was to learn how to use the tool, the product was less important!
This week I am asking my students to establish accounts with http://www.evernote.com , http://www.x-mind.net and http://www.wordpress.com. I intend to have them using wordpress to blog about an English novel this term. I think everyone deserves to know about evernote, because this is the digital tool closest to my heart right now! I also hope that x-mind will become useful to them when they want to brainstorm an idea and make a mind map. Next I want them to explore http://www.diigo.com for organizing all their bookmarks and websites they use during their week, and http://www.dropbox.com for saving all their work in the cloud.
Using these tools together can take your learning to another level I think, and I want this for my students!
So, my goal is to let my students experience how digital tools can help them organize their notes and thoughts better, and hopefully let them learn how sharing their knowledge will increase it!
Finally, to help me develop a deeper understanding I have entered a MOOC at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology about “Technology and Change in Society” http://www.ntnu.no/web/aktuelt/pressemeldinger/13/mooc-apning So, I am exploring some very interesting new digital tools this term, with the goal of making my classroom more global, and helping my students use technology more in their learning process. Along the way, I am learning more about digital learning and the digital economy in a MOOC organized by professor Arne Krokan at the NTNU.
If you have ideas that you think I should explore regarding my work towards a global classroom, please write a comment about it, so I can check it out.