Wednesday, November 4, 2015

My First International Hangout!

On a Saturday in late September, one of our Lakeside High School Assistant Principals, Mr. Mathew Thornton, (@Mat_Thornton) mentioned me in a Tweet. The message was from Dina Moati (@dinamoati) who is a Professor of Education in Ontario, Canada.

After seeing that Dina was looking for volunteers to speak to her class of aspiring educators, I Tweeted a message to her immediately! I love sharing about how Twitter has changed me professionally! I have also been looking for opportunities to connect our learning community to educators outside of the United States.

Dina Moati leads the Virtual Experts Panel
I knew this could be a first step to lead the way to more international collaboration! Dina messaged me back and the date was set. 
Stephan Hughes
This event took place for two of Dina's classes as a Google Hangout forum with two other educators: Stephan Hughes from Rio de Janeiro (@stephwurking) and Tammy G. Neil from Florida (@TG_Neil). 

Tammy G. Neil
We started the two sessions by introducing ourselves and telling about what we do. Dina would turn her camera to the class so we could see them on our screens and we would all wave greetings to each other. We then discussed ways that we use social media in the profession of education. We took turns answering some of these questions and topics: 
  • "What is a connected educator?" 
  • "Discuss how you use technology in the 21st century classroom" 
  • "What are your favorite hashtags to follow?"
I had never participated in a discussion on webcam like this before. It was so much fun to connect with new friends in Canada, Florida, and Rio de Janeiro simultaneously! I began thinking of what an impact this demonstration must have had on Dina's students. She was modeling a wonderful practice for her college students. 

Dina's class in Canada
Furthermore, I considered what this could look like in a high school classroom. We have such wonderful tools for connecting our students to other places, yet our time is limited. I plan to encourage our teachers to make time for these activities! I want to encourage them to be risk takers by stepping out of their comfort zones to connect their students to other classrooms outside of our town, state, and country. I hope they will use the school library whenever possible to embark on their educational journeys. The adventure is only just beginning! What happens next?... Whatever we decide! How will you model social media and being connected to your learning community?

Check out our Google Hangout with 4 Spanish classes here!

Read about our first #MysterySkype here!

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