I've started down the global connection path. I've read about it, and as you noted in my last post, I dipped my feet into the waters of the global classroom--a vast and exciting platform. There are many, many tools on the web to facilitate this journey, and each educator will find the best path for his/her students with respect to their developmental stage, the standards to teach and the content units.
Emma from London kindly replied and we've created a step one for our London-Wayland exchange. We're going to use "snail mail" for letter one which will give us a chance to observe students' writing and think about our online connection vehicle as we begin to build our classroom communities. I also created a template (see below) for my students to use since I'm not sure what their writing skills will be like.
In exploring platforms for our London-Wayland exchange, I considered NING, Edmodo and Weebly. I don't want to spend the money for NING--I really like NING and have one for my class, but I've already spent my tech$ this school year. (NING does offer educators one free account which I've used.) I opened up an Edmodo account and explored it. We might use that, but I still haven't been able to embrace Edmodo because of its graphics yet teachers all over the world are raving about Edmodo's education use. Then I opened up a Weebly. One of my students used that platform last year. It's free and it's graphically pleasing, so perhaps we'll use that.
Next, I read a little more about the ePals Celebrations and Festivals Project. ePals has outlined that project well and provided many wonderful resources for teachers. Since my students embark on a similar grade-wide exploration in December/January. I decided to create a Global Collaborative Google Slide Show that students and teachers from all over the world can add to. When we get to our unit, I'll have my students add to the show. Hopefully, students from around the world will add some interesting slides to make the show informative for all.
Finally, my oldest son will be traveling to study in Africa next semester. I hope to connect with a classroom in the area that he'll be working in. Perhaps Emma will join us in that connection. I'll have to talk to my son about that.
Thanks for joining me on this global connect journey. As always, I'm open to your suggestions and ideas as I travel this path.