Connecting Classrooms

It has been established that technological literacy in the classroom is an increasingly important part of students’ education.  Furthermore, many options are now available to  schools to increase productivity.  These include online-based learning sites and e-textbooks that allow for the development of computer literacy.

Beyond these tools, there is another emerging field that can provide increased classroom communication and resources.  The use of modern technology to connect and complement in-class studies is a clear strength that expands the learning sphere far beyond classroom walls.  This technology is able to connect students and develop global awareness through virtual exploration of the world.

The use of video-conferencing technology allows classrooms from all over the world to communicate and participate in intellectual dialogue.  Videoconferencing technology parallels the Department of Education’s National Education Technology Plan, which is designed to increase student productivity and engagement through innovative techniques. Beyond reading about other cultures and countries, students have the opportunity to engage in an open dialogue with other students, adding new and differing perspectives to their topics of study.

Non-profit involvement in this field is also expanding.  Organizations such as Students Rebuild and Global Nomads Group are utilizing this technology to promote global citizenship and discourse through cultural exchanges.  Additionally, some programs use this technology to support philanthropic work – such as supporting efforts to build new school sites in Haiti.

Business are getting involved as well.  Providers such as Solutionz and Polycom act as global connectors and promote grant opportunities for their services.

Videoconferencing technologies are becoming more and more of a key educational instrument.  As indicated by the Global Nomads Group (GNG), they are dedicated to “[u]niting the world, one conversation at a time”.

Posted by: Georgina Ellison

Sources: CNN, San Francisco Chronicle, US Department of Education, CNN, ConnectAllSchools, NOLA-Times Piayune

Photo Credit: Flat Classroom Skype courtesy of flickr user superkimbo


One Response to Connecting Classrooms

  1. uksuperiorpapers says:

    As always it is the parents and teachers who must make education relevant to students. Technology must become nothing more than a tool. Where all are able to have access to hardware and applications.On the one hand I bet using technology is not exactly learning – just as using a remote control does not teach you about television. You are the slaves to the technology; not the technologist.

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