NCTE's 21st Century Framework is my GPS for moving my students into the 21st Century, but the component of sharing with a global community is one that my colleagues and I in our district are trying to achieve, while working within the confinds of our out-dated technology policy. Most of our student work needs to be password-protected and not shared with the outside world. I have even had a parent concern about placing work on our school's intranet, so for me this issue is one dear to my heart.
Listening to Tim Tyson at the Dublin Lit Conference, I was convicted that I need to find global avenues for my students to share. His students work, if the qualifications were met, was posted for a global audience. The students internalized his message, and he found global avenues for them to share. After a few days of marinating on the issue while sitting through hours of painful national testing for fourth graders, I thought of some ideas:
1. Jeni's Ice Cream came and spoke about it's business practices as a tip-off for economics. We wrote thank you letters to the speakers when one of my treasures said, "Mrs. Archer, are they really going to read them?" Ouch...everything we do must have an audience and purpose. Yes, I copied their letter on colored paper and sent them the next day. Future ideas: taste-testing 4 flavors and writing reviews to send to Jeni's. (thanks, Ann Marie Corgill) It may not be global, but the audience is in our small part of Columbus.
2. My brief Freedom on the Menu read aloud blossomed into a month-long study of those who made change. A seed was planted and through other picture books, mostly fiction, we'll tackle how my treasures can make a difference, big or small in a little piece of their world. Through painting, videos, photography,and more, my treasures will be creating a class video on making change. My thought is to burn dvd's and send them out, but I've got to tackle the parent/district paremeters first. Any other ideas?
Change the World in 5 Minutes a Day At School gave me the inspiration! (Next on my learning continuum, learning how to embed youtube videos!)
Sharing with a global community is the one facet that is limiting my treasures. Like Tony at Learn Me Sumthin' has posted, we need to move forward, even if our hand is slapped! It's easier to ask forgiveness, than permisson!