ISTE Standard 4 provides expectations for educators to align awareness of global societal challenges with digital age technological resources in a manner that exhibits best professional practices. I chose to focus my exploration of ISTE 4 on one of four components which calls educators to engage other cultures utilizing digital technology with the focus of modeling cultural sensitivity and global awareness. I began my exploration by asking, “how can I offer K/1 students digital experiences where they connect with, and learn about children from all around the globe?” This question leads me to the possibility of teachers utilizing Skype to connect my classroom with a classroom somewhere else in the world. Initially, I thought K/1’s would be too young for this activity. But after finding the Skype in the Classroom web tool- http://coolmomtech.com/2012/07/skype-in-the-classroom/, I realized that having 5, 6, and 7-year-old students have virtual global friends is not only developmentally appropriate, but an extension of their social/emotional learning into the virtual world. In my future classrooms I want to emphasize that the same ethics of kindness and cultural sensitivity in the virtual world as I do in our face-to-face school community. Skype 2.0 has 22 projects that teachers can lead to help students compare their lives with children their age from around the world. While I think learning about children in other parts of the world is a start, my goal to find ways that my students and I can be help make the world a better place to live. So I was pleased to connect with a classmate, Michael Warren, whose exploration of ISTE 4 is also to find resources for connecting kids globally. Michael shared iearn-usa- http://www.us.iearn.org/projects, a projects-based learning organization that provides support for connecting teachers and students to global projects that are aligned with curriculum standards. This website is an effective resource for my goal of nurturing cultural sensitivity because it provides a progression of resources from how to begin, to curriculum design (educators world-wide contribute content), and then a forum for submitting project videos to share with the community. In the future I might utilize Skype 2.0 as a means for connecting and planning with other communities for the purpose of collaborating on projects to help our world.
Lindsay and Davis (2010) in their tips for “Navigating the Waves” of technology provide tips for technological integration that allow a teacher to “ride the waves” of the ever-changing virtual world. The one tip that resonated for me with this ISTE 4 exploration is that we must provide student-centered learning experiences that engage children in vibrant, exciting learning projects. When a teacher connects students globally to collaborate on a project to make our world better, the results will be reflective of a particular place in history and the children who collaborate. By honoring children’s imaginations and desire to serve our world for the better, technology integration can help to nurture culturally sensitive global citizens.
Lindsay, J. and Davis, V. (2010). Navigate the Digital Rapids. Learning and Leading with Technology. firstname.lastname@example.org
Skype in the Classroom- http://coolmomtech.com/2012/07/skype-in-the-classroom/