Welcome to Week 5! So far, Course two has proven to be extremely thought-provoking. I find your blog posts give me new ideas and questions to ponder every week. Here is just a sample of a few quotes I found particularly interesting!

“Perhaps you are in the student’s lives to help guide them and coach them through life’s challenges, rather than to be an expert who tells them what to do and how to do it. That means listening with an open mind. Interestingly, when you do need to consult a young person, they will return the favor and listen.

– Alex McMillan – Online Safety. Together.

We might have had a history of posting pictures of our children, but it is important to honor their voices and opinions on the matter. Without understanding what they want, and the young adult that they might be, it could really lead to a divide between you and them.

– Ryan Persaud’s post – Sharing Sometimes Isn’t Caring

“As educators, we need to work on media literacy as a part of our classes. Presenting to our students the topics K-12. Learning by using it with responsibility and promoting open discussions to become responsible digital citizens and members of participatory culture. “

– Liliana Bandini’s post –  #teens #partcipatoryculture

Positively Contributing 

This weeks topic is “Becoming Contributors.” It’s all about making positive connections in our local and global communities. Students today have access to so many wonderful platforms to share and connect. It makes sense that we as educators model what it means to have a positive and contributory digital footprint by having our classes take part in global learning initiatives online. 

Global Projects

To get your juices flowing this week I want to highlight some of the amazing educators (and some former COETAIL-ers!) around the world that are leveraging the power of social media to get their students participating in building positive connections. These projects not only help students see the value in using social media for good but also build empathy by connecting them with people in other parts of the world.

World Read Alouds is an awesome project started by Sean Forde in Incheon, Korea. He started World Read Alouds so kids all over the world could use the power of Flipgrid to read stories together.  It’s an initiative that promotes global connectedness and the value of literacy. Check out their site to see previous story grids and videos. So far World Read Alouds has traveled 1783909 page to page!

Pana Asavavatana is a former COETAIL-er and early childhood educator who was looking “to find authentic ways to connect her class to the world.” She began The Travelling Teddy Bear Project in 2014 with the intention of combining the connections we make in the digital world with tangible objects that kids could see and touch (Teddy Bears). Every year, teachers sign up their classes all over the world. Teddy bears then travel the world visiting those classrooms. When they arrive at different schools, classrooms participate in various forms of digital communication like Twitter posts, blog posts, and creating videos to share their visit.

Joel Bevans, a former COETAIL-er and educator in Panama started Travelling Tales with the intention of connecting classrooms around the world by collaborating on a tale. Classrooms sign up and then take turns adding to a shared story through Adobe Spark Video. In the end, they have a wonderful narrative promoting creativity, collaboration, and global connectedness.

These are just a few examples of some of the wonderful things you can find teachers and students doing around the internet. There is so much possibility! Do you see how you may be able to spark empathy through digital connections? How can we empower students and other stakeholders to use technology to positively impact the world?

Some housekeeping items:

By now you should have 4 blog posts and 4 comments in your gradesheet for feedback. If you are running behind that is ok. As long as you have all your work completed by the deadline on May 12. Keep in mind that late work will be subject to limited feedback. If you have any questions or concerns please let me know.

Have a great week! – Tanya