Thursday, February 23, 2012

International Learning and Relationships

I spent my noon hour yesterday with our kindergarten teachers. They are all working very hard to share and collaborate with classrooms across the world. Using Skype when time zones allow and using shared presentations, web links, or email when asynchronous communication makes more sense, the teachers and their students are realizing the opportunities for learning outside the four walls of the Storm Lake Community School District. As the teachers, along with Juli Kwikkel and Michelle Huntress, all watched a presentation created for our kindergarten students by kindergarten students from an international school in China where pictures of each child were accompanied by recordings of each child introducing themselves was amazing. These teachers are "getting it." They realize that we live in a global world now and that communicating with others far away will lead to rich relationships and educational experiences for our students. The questions the teachers were asking about technology and how to best create the richest learning experiences for their young students was uplifting.

Don't let anyone ever say that EdTech professional development and time to work on EdTech integration is wasted. Teachers want to fly. They just need the tools and the time.

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