Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Global Cooperation

Epals is a free online learning experience that can be easily accessed for students, teachers, and parents all over the world. Epal stands by its reputation for fostering collaborative learning experiences through community, connections, and solutions. When joining this global education driven network, you are instantly engaged in collaborative efforts to foster online learning from fellow teachers, students, administrators, and parents from over 200 countries. The connections that are established between the various environments that students can learn are endless with Epals. Providing a safe solution with a worry free online experience is essential to the success of Epals and its members.

The vision of TakingITglobal to develop culturally aware, self-determined, and risk taking learners is clearly demonstrated throughout their site. Currently hosting 237,556 members, throughout 1,038 school districts, in over 261 countries TakingITglobal is providing numerous resources, collaboration, communication through networks, technology solutions, educational content & tools, and facilitated learning experiences to the education world. This site has clearly been developed to foster the new literacy tools available with new technology to maintain engaging, meaningful, and realistic learning opportunities for students.

TakingITglobal and Epals would both be excellent resources to implement in the classroom. Epals safety devices would appeal to districts demands on internet safety for students. Using this site to connect to students across the world on collaborative research or writing assignments would foster global and culturally awareness. Part of the 3rd grade NYS Social Studies standards includes learning about different cultures and countries around the world. What better way then to meet a student at the same age/grade level and communicate through Epal. TakingITglobal would be an excellent resource for upper elementary, middle, and high school students. Working to promote self-determined learners who reach out to their community and others around the world to solve problems is an excellent lesson that all valued members in our community need to learn. This site offers several valuable tools, networks, and guidance for students tackling this goal.

Shelfari is an outstanding resource for students to use during a global cooperation project. As a member of Shelfari you can make a list of books that you have either read or would like to read and display them on your shelf. Students are able to view other Shelfari member’s reviews of books; in addition students are able to write a review on books they’ve read. Finding students that have common interests and motivation to read can foster online collaboration, learning experiences, communication, global cooperation, and a community of readers.

Global cooperation can be accomplished through Shelfari by having students collaborate with students from other schools, states, and countries to learn new content information. Social Studies and Science content could be labeled on a shelf and as students read books that help them learn further about the content they can add the book to the shelf. Establishing a community of learners through Shelfari, students from all over the world would be able to add valuable books, reviews, and resources to develop a global cooperation project.