2 Replies Latest reply on May 13, 2016 8:04 AM by MrsSmoke

    Connected Classrooms on Google+


      For this month’s Connected Communities theme, I wanted to share an awesome classroom resource for educators looking to collaborate and connect their students with the global community.

      Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 10.38.56 AM.png

      The Connected Classrooms Workshop on Google+ uses social media to create a unique opportunity for educators to collaborate with diverse classrooms around the globe. Here’s a little more information about the community, taken from the website:

      We've created this Community to empower educators to collaborate with one another, share resources, develop best practices, and bring their big ideas to life through technology.

      Share your big ideas, connect with classrooms across the world, and reimagine how technology can be utilized to enhance education.

      Educators in this community are using social media to open up opportunities for learning and provide their students with a global perspective. Here’s a few examples of current projects on the site:


      We are looking for a classroom in another country to do a book discussion on May B by Caroline Starr Rose. It is printed in English- Ideally we would like to connect with a classroom learning English. We are Spanish & English speaking 4th grade. We would like to meet up with your class via Hangout or Skype to discuss your thoughts on the book to wrap up the project. The author is interested in joining in on our discussion.


      Ever wonder what it is like to live and conduct research aboard a boat... in the Pacific Ocean? Join us on Thursday to talk with scientists and learn about the research they are conducting in the Pacific Ocean.


      Hi! I am an English teacher from Argentina. I'm working with 5th grade, learning about animals. We are looking for students from all around the World to tell us about the animals from their own countries. Anyone interested in working with us?


      I'm looking for someone who can do a Hangout with my 3rd graders on anything about Chinese culture. Perhaps teach them to write a character or two, or share a story.


      Join us live in Ms. Ito's classroom next Wednesday. Her students will be presenting about Mexican Culture and answering your questions about Mexico afterwards. We'll be broadcasting live from Mexico City, so you don't want to miss this GEOshow Special Event.


      I have a 2nd grade class looking to connect with another classroom who is studying volcanoes, or a class that might live near a volcano.


      I'm working with my colleague and we developing a Rube Goldberg physics project. We're hoping to connect with an expert or another classroom who would like to discuss the physics behind this great project.


      Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 11.20.10 AM.png

      A screenshot from the Connected Classrooms Workshop on Google+


      Here’s how it works:

      • Create a Google account. I recommend having a classroom account that is separate from your personal one.
      • Click the “Ask to Join” button to join the Connected Classrooms community. You will need to be a community member to post or comment.
      • Create a post that introduces your class, what you are learning, and what type of classroom or activity you are looking for.
      • Tag your post so that other educators can find you by grade level and/or subject area.
      • That’s it! Check back frequently to respond to other educators who are interested in collaborating with your class.


      Another great feature of this community is that it uses Google+ Hangouts and Skype so students can participate in live conversations with classrooms around the globe. There’s also a section for Virtual Field Trips, which use Hangouts to show students places they otherwise could not experience.

      What other resources do you know about for educators looking to connect their students to the global community? Or, if you’ve used Connected Classrooms, please share your experiences below!

        • Re: Connected Classrooms on Google+

          I've been a member of the Google Connected Classrooms community for a few years, and I can say it's a tremendous place to find classroom-to-classroom partners for global collaboration.


          Here are a couple of tips for using this space or even Twitter to find classroom connections:


          1. If you're looking to connect with more than one classroom - such as a data collection project on weather with multiple locations - create a quick graphic explaining your project goals.  I often use Canva.com for this, but even a PowerPoint or Google Slide saved as a JPG will do the job nicely.  Here are a couple of examples from previous projects I've run...

            EXAMPLE 1
            Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 9.00.05 AM.png
            EXAMPLE 2
            Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 9.02.19 AM.png
          2. Don't worry about time zone differences between your classroom and a partner classroom.  Using tools such as the Skype Video Instant Messenger or even sending private video postcards from Google Drive to a partner classroom allows your students to communicate with new friends without scheduling a live call.

          • Re: Connected Classrooms on Google+

            Also, Google Connected Classrooms is a perfect spot to find partners for Mystery Skype/Mystery Location games.


            Here's how to play...


            1. Find a teacher to play with.  Simply posting in the Google Connected Classrooms will do the job.  Make sure you share your grade level of students and the time zone you are in.
            2. Arrange a time and date to play -- be sure to keep the location of your partner class a secret.
            3. Provide maps to students to reference while playing the game
            4. Host the call
              • Classes take turns asking Yes/No questions.  Example: Are you located in the Northern Hemisphere? Are you in Europe? Does your country have a mountain range? The questions continue to narrow down the location.
              • The first classroom who can identify the other site's location wins.
            5. During the debriefing classrooms can interview each other to discover more about culture, geography, and everyday life.


            The game usually takes 20-30 minutes to play, but it's a great avenue to discover more about new friends around the world.


            And Mystery Location isn't the only way to play.  There is:

            • Mystery Animal
            • Mystery Number
            • Mystery Career
            • Mystery Scientific Element
            • Mystery Author
            • ...and so on


            There is a Mystery Skype One Note available for teachers to download and find other resources to play.


            Have fun!