Technology allows teachers and students to connect with others outside the classroom to expand learning opportunities. Sometimes this technology does not need to be high tech. Simply having access to email and connecting other people can ignite an amazing learning opportunity. Flat Stanley is on of these collaborative projects. Based on a book by
Jeff Brown, classes make a paper boy that travels with other people and those people take pictures with Stanley at interesting places and "Stanley" writes about his adventures.
Mrs. Grandon's 1st grade have been learning about different places in the world through their Flat Stanley. Stanley has recently traveled to Southeast Asia with Mrs. Grandon's friend Jean. Stanley and Jean emailed the students whenever they could and chronicle their journey through Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. Students were surprised by the tailboats, interesting food and animals, and people. They were also sad that Stanley broke his arm while he was there, but Jean found someone to help her fix Stanley up. Stanley came back with some bandages and a cast just in time to get ready for another trip!
Flat Stanley traveled to France and Belgium with students from Columbus Catholic High School. Each year Gary Schnieders, longtime Columbus history teacher, takes his senior AP European History class to the battlefields of World War I and World War II for students to experience, remember, and honor the sacrifices US soldiers made for our safety in this world. Adriane Cole and Jaime Mayer were Stanley's companions on their trip. They collected pictures and artifacts to bring back and share with the students. Students learned a little bit about historic places, food, language, and people.
Flat Stanley is just one well-known collaborative project to connect classes with other places and people but there are more. If you are interested in pushing back your classroom walls, you may want to look into one of these collaborative projects.
Google Expeditions are field trips to virtually anywhere, from Machu Picchu to Antarctica to the International Space Station - where will you take your class? Use Google Cardboard or any other VR viewer and a smart phone.
Mystery Skype is a global guessing game that gets kids learning about geography, culture, and the similarities and differences of how children live all over the world. Find a class from almost anywhere in the world to connect with.
Global Read Aloud was created in 2010 with a simple goal in mind; one book to connect the world. From its humble beginnings, the GRA has grown to make a truly global connection with more than 2,000,000 students having participated. The premise is simple; a book is picked to read aloud to students during a set 6-week period and during that time we try to make as many global connections as possible.
Global Monster Project has primary classes from the USA and around the world collaborate in this K-6 project. After requesting a Monster part from the list, each class composes a 12-20 word description and emails it in. When all descriptions are completed , each class builds its own MONSTER using everyone's descriptions.