Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Connection...how do I crave thee? Let me count the ways...

We are created for relationship. Our relationships are defined by connection, communication, and collaboration. Interesting those are the very terms I seek to facilitate for learners. We are also related by blood, but if there is no relationship there, then those people are merely acquaintance. I had several steps, I know whereof I speak....
How can we best foster connections in our classrooms? Using web2.0 tools like Skype, Ustream, audacity, audio-streaming, vidcasts, blogs, wikis, RSS makes this all super easy. I know there are programs I have not mentioned in this short list. The connection possibilities between students on opposite sides of oceans, continents, even the globe abound these days. It's rather simple really, find someone with whom to connect and connect away.
I have a class connecting with other students in a class in New Zealand. I have other students connecting with Great Britain. Yet other students are hoping to connect with a different class in New Zealand. The wrinkles are being pushed closer and closer. The physical distances are much less important than empathy, ethical actions, & tolerance for differing cultures.
Once connections are established, communication and collaboration can begin. Communication that counts, that teaches those involved, not just 'hello' and 'how are you?'. But communication at a deeper level, that is what I hope to encourage. Collaboration where all contribute meaningful work, not just go along for the ride. Wikis make this so easy, as the wiki history tells all.
I value the connections made in my life. I hope to make it easy for all learners to connect with others, even globally.
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1 comment:

IMC Guy said...

I think I blog because of the connections. The more help I can get to become a better teacher, the better. Now, it's time to get the kids to connect more so they can learn.