Motivation Key #2: Amazing Online Tools for Global Awareness and Building Community

Group brainstorming tools, social voting sites, visual thinking maps, student response systems, movie-makers, cartoon creators, and geo-located interactive timelines with a social twist can turn community building and global awareness into an adventure! Dive into this pool of free online tools to help students "prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on other's ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively." [K-12 College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards, Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration] NOTE: This is one of several Digital Learning Tool resource collections designed to support the 6 critical conditions that MUST be present in our teaching and learning environments in order to counter student misbehavior, apathy, and rebellion. Contact to schedule a training seminar for your school.

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Promote a SENSE OF BELONGING  [Key #2] with online tools for building communities of local and global learners.

  • Copyright issues can surface at any time while we are working with groups of people, sharing content, or doing collaborative research. The following 3 resources can help you sort through some of the gray areas.
    • The Fair Use Evaluator is an online tool that can help you understand how to determine if the use of a protected work is a “fair use.”  It helps users collect, organize, and document the information they may need to support a fair use claim, and  provides a time-stamped PDF document for the users’ records.
    • Look at page 141 of ISTE's Copyright and the Free Web [pdf] for some of the most common portion limitations related to educational multimedia.  (For example, What percent of this video can I use?  How many pictures or how much text may I copy from this article?)  
    • There are times when educators can use copyrighted works without the permission of the copyright holder.  Find out if your intended use of the material can be done without permission of the creator with the Exceptions for Instructors eTool.
  • Go to the set of PODL Profile tools and click on My Favorite Things to see how easy it can be to assess students' interests and affinities, and then use that information to form groups that share similar interests.  One way to introduce this tool is by sharing the Warren Buffet story from the Learning Guide.  Talking points are on page 2.
  • Learn three ways to spot clues to your natural talents.  See page 4 of the My Favorite Things Learning Guide.
  • Check out these 9 Best Practices for Using Google Apps to promote collaboration among groups - locally and globally.
  • How much land area does it take to support your lifestyle?  Use this global footprint calculator to discover your Ecological Footprint.  
  • Use this Global Heat Map to click on any of North Carolina's counties for a snapshot of global demographic, education and economic data.
  • Photographs play an important part in forming our attitudes towards other people, cultures and places.  They can be used to great effect to prompt questions, challenge stereotypes, build empathy and develop respect for children’s own and other cultures. Browse breath-taking scenery in National Geographic's People & Culture photo gallery.
  • Students can download royalty-free music from  Click on BROWSE CATALOG, and then select a category, such as Cajun/New Orleans, Caribbean, Latin, National/Ethnic or World Music Fusion.
  • Check out Building Classroom Community Amongst the Machines:  for 3 FUN offline classroom activities.
  • Sort through 70 Stupendous Sites to Promote Global Awareness.
  • Go to Thinkfinity, type the word "global" in the search, and then select a grade(s) and ALL SUBJECTS.  Click SEARCH and let the fun begin.
  • MyHistro lets groups create geo-located interactive timelines.
  • Set up an online meeting room in seconds with Today's Meet.
  • Use Tricider, an online social voting tool, to collect ideas and make group decisions.
  • 10 Ideas for Using Social Media with World Language Learners [Edutopia]   
  • An old favorite, Pinterest, allows groups to connect and share mutual interests.
  • Wiggio is one easy way to work in groups.
  • Check out THE LIST of all lists:  EdTech Toolbox.  Greg Swanson organizes a massive list of web tools by task.
  • Browse powerful project-based units designed by Intel.
  • ePals never goes out of style.  Where else can you search for and connect with similar classrooms across the globe? 
  • "Understanding attachment is the single most important factor in making sense of kids from the inside out.  Attachment is a child's most pressing need and most powerful drive."   To better understand the phenomenon of attachment and peer orientation, order a copy of Dr. Neufeld's Hold on to Your Kids DVD or book.
  • 12 Ways Teachers are Using Social Media in the Classroom Right Now  [Vicki Davis for Edutopia]
  • Check out the use of augmented reality (AR) where students use digital technologies to enhance their immediate experience of walking around in London neighborhoods.  [Streetmuseum]
  • Let students submit their own "virtual field trip" of a local area and submit it to Meet Me At the Corner.
  • With CommunityWalk, students can create incredibly interactive maps of anything using an interface to show photos, add comments, display interactive media, and more.
  • "Collaboration in an in-class setting presents teachers with the challenge of capturing and managing ideas that often come and go in student discussions at a very fast pace. Such dialog is beneficial to students and supports constructivist learning goals, but assessment can be difficult in real time." (The Horizon Report)  This is an ideal opportunity to talk about the power of words and the pain of bullying through social media.  [, "Let's Fight It Together" film]

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