Friday, November 2, 2012

Unexpected Benefits of Being a Connected Class

My class and I have had a lot of fun learning and sharing with students from around North America.  Since the end of September we have skyped or google hung out at least once a week with another class  in another part of  North America.  For my class it's getting to the point that they are recognizing provinces and states by the classes they've met there.  In Canada for example they know that Mrs. Sarchet, and Mrs. Leech's classes live in BC (and Surrey) just like they do.  They know they don't know anyone (yet) in Alberta, but they know Mrs. Cassidy's class is in Saskatchewan, Mrs. Fisher's Class is in Manitoba, and Mrs. Wideen's class is in Ontario.  Having people they know in other Canadian provinces makes their biweekly run across Canada more exciting because they feel as if they are really running to the provinces of their friends. I can assure you when we cross the Alberta/Saskatchewan boarder they will be very excited because "that's where Mrs. Cassidy's class is".

The connections we've made have also made my class more aware of what is going on in the world.  Through the Global Read Aloud they have been working closely with a grade one class at Lehman Manhattan Preparatory. My students are aware of the terrible storm that Hurricane Sandy brought to that part of the world and how it has affected their school.  Lehman Manhattan has been closed since the storm hit and they have not been able to send us any e-mails because their e-mail system is down.  Every day my class and I  worry about them and we all look forward to when they are able to communicate with us again.

Both of these instances are things I never really thought about when I made the conscious effort to get my class connected.  I wanted them to learn and share with others and see how similar and how different they are from other children in the world.  But these are two benefits that I never really thought about.  I am sure there will be many more benefits to having a connected class.  Now I'm curious,what unexpected benefits have you had from having a connected class?


  1. Hello!

    I found your blog through the Kidblog blog. Becoming connected learners has been so life-changing for me and my students! My first graders are so much more aware of things far beyond our tiny, rural community because of the connections we have made through blogging and Skyping. I’d love to hear more about what and how you use Twitter with your class.

    Laurie Hilton

    Our class blog:
    Our Kidblog:
    Our class website:

    1. HI Laurie, great to hear from you. We have done different things with twitter - tweeting out what we are learning, asking questions from other classes, sharing facts etc.. We've use twitter differently at different times of the year. Lately I must admit we haven't been on it as much as a class because of all the other projects we've been involved with with classes around North America. I'll have to check out your blogs too and who knows maybe down the line we will do a project with your grade one students too.