Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Global Connections #Participate!

From my inbox today - can't find the web version of this mail out so will reproduce here.
If 2014 was the year of the webinar for teachers perhaps 2015 will be the year of global classroom connections? (now teachers are getting more confident).
Get with it teachers so many wonderful learning opportunities for our students and a way to increase their global awareness and understandings. See 'Healing the World One Classroom at a Time' for some excellent reasons why we should reach out beyond our classroom walls & beyond our national borders.

Skype in classroom

Transform literacy and learning in your classroom

Beginning on February 16th 2015, Skype in the Classroom is launching “Skype Celebrates Literacy”. This six week program will feature guest speakers from the publishing industry, lessons and resources to support and inspire literacy learning in classrooms around the world.
Literacy remains a high priority on the global education agenda and a core subject for classrooms everywhere. Lessons that involve reading, writing, speaking and listening – from poetry jams and reading aloud to author visits – have always been popular amongst teachers using Skype in the Classroom.
In 2014, you and your students travelled millions of virtual miles taking part in lessons around the world via Skype. Whether you collaborated with another classroom, played Mystery Skype, invited a guest speaker in for a Q&A, or went on a virtual field trip, chances are these experiences engaged your students’ literacy skills, perhaps without them even realizing it!
Here's how you can get involved:
1) Invite a guest speaker: authors, illustrators and storytellers will be available to join your classrooms via Skype. To make it easy to find and schedule a speaker to inspire your students, we’ve created a way to quickly schedule these calls. These conversations can be scheduled via Skype in the Classroom beginning February 9th.
2) Participate in World Read Aloud Day events: schedule a call on World Read Aloud Day or World Book Day (both the week of 2nd March) to celebrate the art of reading and writing. There will be a wide range of partner-provided content, tools, and resources to help with traditional reading and writing, including digital literacy and internet safety content too.
3) Literacy projects: we will have some very exciting literacy-related partner organizations including School in the Cloud, Microsoft, Safer Internet Day/ChildNet, and some very special guest speakers through those partnerships all coming soon.
4) Create your own Skype lesson: get creative and post your own literacy lesson for other classrooms to get involved in. Let us know about it @SkypeClassroom and we can promote it for you.
Join Skype in the classroom
Using an online Reading Level site, Mike Soskil, a teacher at Wallenpaupack South Elementary School in Pennsylvania discovered that “Our 4th grade students, who have been using a curriculum of Skype experiences and blogging as part of their Social Studies curriculum this year, increased their writing scores on average by half a grade level from October to December. The students using this curriculum are either in special education or low achieving.”
With a stronger focus on learning experiences that directly support literacy we hope to help teachers everywhere create even greater impact through the use of free accessible technology like Skype.
We hope to see you and your students join in all of the new literacy lessons. If you are new to Skype in the Classroom, we invite you to hop on a tour hosted by our Skype Guides, teachers just like you who are excited to show you the innovative and educational adventures that await your students. Don’t forget to help inspire others with your experience via our Stories PageFacebook andTwitter.
We look forward to a fantastic celebration of literacy.
Your friends at Skype in the Classroom
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