Monday, July 10, 2006

NECC, 2006 GlobalSchoolNet Presentation

Reaching Beyond the Walls: International Projects and Partners Collaboration Center
Global SchoolNet Foundation,
Presented by: Yvonne Marie Andres and Al Rogers

Yvonne Marie Andres and Al Rogers made this presentation. They started Global SchoolNet, a site that is all about the power of global learning and reaching beyond the classroom. They have a long history of working to create shared learning experiences for students and teachers and their Global SchoolNet web site is one of the best free resources for setting up global projects. Global SchoolNet also connects schools to real explorers, competitions and virtual exhibitions.

If you haven’t come across their website it is a must visit. The description posted on their site says it all. “Global SchoolNet Foundation (GSN), founded in 1984 by teachers who believed that in a connected world students need a global perspective, brings together youth online from 194 countries to explore community, cultural and scientific issues that prepare them for the workforce and help them to become responsible and literate global citizens.” Their goal is to move beyond the Internet as a library and use it as a communication and collaboration tool.

A library of about 2500 finished model projects is available on the site. There is a template that teachers can use to post a project proposal. Filling this out creates a project announcement that a moderator will review. If it is approved then the site lets other educators know about the project within 24-48 hours.

At this session they also talked about a Microsoft Partners in Learning grant they are using to set up the next version of their Global SchoolNet web site called iPOPP, International Projects or Partners Place. The new site is scheduled to go live in September 2006. This new improved site will offer the same free services as the old site with some exciting new tools. The new projects registry will have a tool that lets teachers who are proposing a project include the State Standards that the project addresses. Logs, wikis and journals will also be available so that the projects will live on.

The second part of the presentation was showcasing projects that have received awards. They give one US and one International award. Jennifer Wagner’s award winning US project was based on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Her website,, lists and presents many of her other collaborative projects.

Marsha Goren received the international award. In her emotional acceptance she stated that she learned that if we all share we all learn and that her project is about making people better people. She also said that her students reading and critical thinking skills have improved because of her sharing projects.

In addition, Sherry Rinkel McKay and Brenda Gladstone talked about their project on native Canadian people’s oral tradition and included videos of stories told by Native Americans.

The program with the participants encouraging teachers to look at the award winning projects and start collaborating on line.

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