NCSS San Diego, Saturday Session on Global Distributed Learning Tools

Global Schoolnet Foundation presentation

Global School Net provides online tools for collaborative learning. It partners with schools, businesses, univeristies, communities to provide online collaborative learning experiences. We can’t learn what we need to know by ourselves anymore, we need to tap in to larger networks: collective learning, collective sharing, online (a la Wikinomics, how mass collaboration changes everything (Tapscott).

Online Collaborative Learning (OCL):

  • creating an online shared learning community around a topic of study and a common goal.

  • creates a situation in which students share aspects of theire learning with a remote audience

  • sometimes called networked project-based learning, pbl….

  • incorporates constructivist aspects: production of artifacts; learning is a social act; dialogue and feedback

Internet projects registry on the globalschoolnet site. A resource to find existing collaborative projects and project partners.

Collaborative Learning Center: provides list of tools (not comprehensive) for different activities and examples of how they are being used. Examples shown and discussed today:

  • Photoshow presentation made by kids about being homeless in San Diego.

  • Twitter: global stream of consciousness. 140 characters, have to be brief. Twittervision uses a Google Map overlay so you can see where people are twittering from.

  • Bookmark sharing tools: Backflip, can do public and private folders, student folders, etc.

  • Tapped In: graphical user interface to a community

  • Google for Educators: online tools (lots of which are household names by now).

  • free and pay applications that can be downloaded and embedded into blogs and websites, such as guestmaps, counters, surveys, etc.

  • free email accounts without banners and advertising. Good for students who need email accounts.

Sign up for the GlobalSchoolNet newsletter, can be downloaded as podcast from iTunes (hyperlink this); Student Operated Press. (check on this for links)

Two projects by Global School Net (check these for links):

International Schools Cyberfair: modeled after the World Fair. 8 different curriculum units to teach students about their communities. Students work in teams and create a website about their community. Other schools review and provide feedback (has been running since 1993). Affiliate partners in many different countries. Check this out online. 2008 projects due in March 2008 (K-12). Seems very similar to the ACA project I’m involved in

Doors to Diplomacy: Similar, but focusing on global issues. State Dept. provides $2,000 scholarships for students (middle and high school).

Online expeditions: Connect students with real explorers through the Internet. Not a continuous project, but it looks very, very cool.

All in all this was a good presentation with some food for thought …


Image Credit: National Council for the Social Studies:


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