Monday, December 16, 2013

Global Collaboration Realized!

Some time ago, Emil Waldhauser, a fellow SMART Exemplary Educator and teacher, contacted me about doing a global collaboration between his class and my own. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity. 

Early on, our classes were going to discuss our towns, our community, and classes. Then as the holidays approached, we wanted to share our holiday and Christmas traditions at home and in town.

My students (were suppose to) set off gathering information about our little town of Oakdale, California. We gathered our history, population, and of course about chocolate and our rodeo.

However, I forgot to remind my students that the topic was changed just a little toward the Christmas traditions of our town. Regardless, we did have a little presentation on Haiku Deck

When today (December 16, 2014) rolled around, my students were SO very excited about talking to Emil and his Czech students. 

Little did Emil and I know about how vast our time difference was! 

What ended up happening was Emil's class waiting for us around 2pm their time, while we were still getting up and getting ready! We thought we were at a six hour difference, when in reality we are nine!

Even with that little mistake, Emil was kind enough to talk with my students though SMART Technologies Bridgit software and share his students' presentation, while my students shared theirs. It was magic! My students got to take a virtual tour of the Czech Republic and learn a little about holiday traditions there. My students even played a holiday game (intended for our classes to battle) to see how much they knew about Christmas around the world. It was a blast!

Both my students and I loved talking to Emil and can't wait for another opportunity! We are working towards another collaboration in the new year. 

It is truly amazing how technology can bridge the gap between students across the world. The questions, the excitement, and ultimately the learning that happens with global collaboration happens!

Thank you Emil and students!