“Because we can learn from them.”

In Kathy Cassidy’s blog post “Global Learning: The Primary Way,” Kathy describes a 7-year-old student, Carson, who, when being introduced to the plan to use Skype to talk to people all over the world asked, “Why would we do that?”

This week in my ECMP355 class we had a presentation from Silvia Tolisano, on the topic of Global Education.  Using digital learning and digital media to connect and collaborate with people around the globe is an essential skill in learning about our global family which will lend itself to problem solving and sharing of ideas.  Looking at these problems and ideas from a global perspective, with all the differences that result from the wide variety of cultures and countries will enable us to see things both more individually and more connectedly, highlighting both differences and similarities.

I have been following Ms. Tolisano’s Twitter account, @langwitches, and have enjoyed the information and ideas that I have read from her.  I have seen references to two of her projects, Teddy Bears Around the World and Around the World with 80 Schools, but it was great to have her explain them in more detail.  Both are amazing projects that are based with sharing of information by using digital media.

One of the things that I secretly enjoy is when a student asks me a question and I can in all honestly answer with, “I don’t know!”  The answer, “I don’t know” opens up doors for us to learn together, to brainstorm how to find the answer and to go on the learning  journey together.  By using global education strategies and ideas, we are opening our resources to an infinite number of possibilities.  The words, “I don’t know” are exciting and full of potential, and when we can follow them up with, “Let’s find someone who can help us with the answer” we, as connected teachers, have the ability to reach out, globally to find an expert, or a motivator, or an inventor or a story-teller to help us find the answer.

I am excited to continue to build on my Personal Learning Network to continue to make connections which I will in turn hopefully pass onto a classroom of learners.

Back in Kathy Cassidy’s class, she has built a room full of connected students.  They have made an online presence and have connected globally, leaving the children sometimes awestruck by the locations from which they have received comments and replies.  And as Kathy says,

By the end of the school year, Carson and all of my students can answer his question about why we connect with others from around the world. The simple answer is because we can learn from them.

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