From classrooms to summer camps, projects starting this June are flexible enough to fit into a variety of learning spaces. Check out the great projects starting every Monday this month!
I write this blog post to discuss ways to engage English Language Learners (ELLs). As an experienced educator, I have found different ways to teach English that they genuinely use the language. Students may feel hesitant and lack confidence about their inability to speak English fluently; however, you can maximize their potential to feel comfortable speaking English by paying close attention to some valuable resources.
When I was invited to be part of the Google for Education Innovation Academy, this event became a turning point to be an empowered educator in 2013. As I started to participate in local and international edtech conferences, I decided to take a step forward by getting out of my comfort zone. Due to my increasing #PLN (Personal Learning Network) through Twitter, Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp, G+ and Instagram, I found out that the key ingredients to be an effective 21st century educator are passion, respect, inspiration, empathy and most importantly action.
Educators all over the world use different tools to provide English Language Learners (ELLs) with an opportunity to practice English in authentic conversations. In order to empower all students to deepen their language acquisition, they have to find real audiences in order to practice English for students who are learning English as a second language. As educators we must find several ways so that our students can have true conversations with native speakers in a meaningful and positive educational environment.
The most important thing to remember in an ELL environment is that students need to be speaking English as much as possible. The more they practice, the better they will speak. The better they speak, the more confidence they will gain. And this cycle will continue to build fluency. So in order to get students to talk they need to practice English as much as they can in a wide range of ways.
I feel lucky since I have had great opportunities to connect and collaborate with classes on a multitude of projects and global interactions, from Skype and Google Hangout exchanges, to creating websites, to presenting face-to-face or asynchronously at local, regional, national and international conferences. Therefore, I strongly recommend you attend these conferences and/or online resources to find other classes willing to connect and collaborate with your classes.
“Wait, they have never talked with a class from another state before?”
“I bet they are going to be nervous, I remember my first time I was nervous too.”
“They are going to be so excited! I was really excited when we did this for the first time”
As my first grade class were preparing to learn about suburban Maryland by talking to a group of third grade students in my sister-in-law’s class, they were already building empathy for people they had yet to meet. Soon they would be face to face, talking in real time with a group of kids in another state.
There is incredible value in learning from different people. Providing our kids with opportunities to connect and learn with people from all over the world allows them build a greater understanding of our differences and become more well rounded people. It is a uniquely special experience being able to see someone’s face and hear their voice as their words spark your imagination. The opportunity to communicate with people anywhere and at any time changes things. For over a decade I had done pen pal projects with different schools in different areas, each bringing unique value and learning experience to my students. Allowing them an opportunity to bring the pen pal experience to life through real time video connections with real people, changed the depth of learning for my classes.
The wait is finally over! We are excited to introduce two new projects, La Comida Latina and La Cultura Latina, available exclusively to PenPal PLUS subscribers! Both projects are entirely in Spanish and can be completed in one week.
If you’ve been to any of the major education technology conferences in the last few years then you’ve likely noticed the buzz around global education. While it’s promising to see the great work of organizations and educators leading the #globaled charge, the vast majority of classrooms across the US and around the world haven’t taken notice. Globalization for adults - in our workplaces, politics, and daily lives - has been developing rapidly for decades now. However most classrooms are not much more connected now than they were decades ago.
While there are many reasons why Global Education has been so slow to develop, most fall into one of three categories: Too much work for teachers, inadequate learning outcomes for students, and lack of support from administrators.
Hello global educators! We’ve got many free global projects available this month, including some new shorter projects that can be completed in as little as one week! It’s never been easier to incorporate collaborative global projects into your classroom.
PenPal Schools connects over a quarter million students in 150 countries to learn together.
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