A few weeks ago, I met a teacher in Australia on Edmodo, a virtual tool I've been using to get my classroom online and my students engaged in digital learning. Said teacher was keen to form a partnership with a Grade 6 class anywhere in the world in order to embark on a collaborative financial literacy project.
Game to try something new, I responded.
Over the (ours in Canada) winter break, my new colleague and I busily emailed back and forth, planning out what a collaboration like this might look like. Edmodo allows teachers to set up groups and students and "co-teachers", so my new Aussie friend set up an Edmodo class/group called "Friends in Finance" and made me a co-teacher, and we invited all of our students to join.
The end goal is to have our students work in small groups (online) to research, prepare and "present" a project that will showcase their evolving understanding of money and math concepts that transcend culture. But we knew that an important first step would be introducing our classes to one another, and developing both their media savvy and their collaboration skills. So we each decided to create class Padlet highlighting student interests and skills.
Using ourselves as models, we created Thinglinks for one another, and for our students to "copy" as they introduced themselves to their new peers across the globe.
It's been interesting to observe which students in my class continue to take or embark on "leadership roles" online, and which are more tentative in their approach. (Fodder for term two learning skills comments for report cards, LOL!)
So, our little cross cultural friendship project is not only fostering cooperation beyond the physical classroom and providing an opportunity to co-study global finance, but is also lending itself well to other parts of the curriculum!
I am looking forward to co-learning with my new teaching partner and our students as we muddle through this virtual experiment together.