Global Connections on the Web offers teachers and students an
opportunity to share their learning experiences with others around the world.
Based on the computer equipment, Internet connection, teacher, and student
experience with the Web, a variety of projects can be undertaken under
the umbrella of global connections. These connections allows students to share
their knowledge and experiences with others and to develop their own sense of how they
are alike and different from others on this planet.
- Although it would be useful to have a computer for every group of students in
a class, keep in mind that even a single computer and Internet connection can
support simple and powerful connections with teachers and students world-wide. From e-mail,
to accessing and even publishing results on a Web page, a single computer and Internet
connection can serve many purposes in a classroom. If there is only one computer in a
classroom, you can have students take an active role in determining how the time will be
allocated on this task; this can contribute to a positive sharing experience.
- A positive experience does not depend on sophisticated hardware and
software, or on extensive technical expertise. For instance, powerful sharing experiences
can be facilitated by e-mail alone.
- When feasible, have students think and write about their own experiences with differences,
in culture, religion, nationality, race, gender, and age. This serves multiple purposes:
- students become conscious of their own assumptions about normal or typical attributes,
- students come to appreciate other students differences,
- when students share their own experiences, they can provide opportunities for people
who are different from them to see them as human and respectful of these differences,
- having students encounter differences in a positive way can lead to respect and
appreciation for different experiences locally and world-wide.
- Use whatever technical support services
are available to you, both inside and outside the school. These might include
media specialists, other teachers, high school students, parents, and significant
others. Build and use a network of support people as you expand your
collaborations, and use the Internet as a medium for establishing and sharing your
- To get some ideas about how to incorporate global connections into the classroom,
take a look at previous projects and ongoing collaborations that other classes and
teachers are doing.
- When you are ready to contact another school about possible projects,
contact several at once. You will get answers from some people you contact, and
you won't get answers from some others. Keep trying until you make a connection.
LETSNet is © Michigan State University College of
Education and Ameritech