Recently a brilliant colleague of mine (@jancey5 on Twitter) did a PD session on Global Connections. One of her recommendations was very exciting to me. Curiosity Machine is a place where students, scientists and engineers (as well as teachers) meet to solve engineering challenges like building a self propelling boat or a suspension bridge. Students share their solutions and difficulties and get feedback from scientists and engineers. How incredible is that? In this way I can improve my student to teacher ratio exponentially especially considering how this can empower students to be experts as well. Not only that it brings a certain excitement and calibre of excellence that would not otherwise exist in my class.
I recently posted this in my classroom blog about Curiosity Machine. I hope to be able to engage my students to use the site an incredible resource. My biggest hurdle is the fact that I teach classes only once every six day cycle. Curiosity Machine will either help to bridge the gap between classes or get forgotten during the time kids are away from my lab. I am hoping on the former rather than the latter. At the very least it will act as a valuable resource for my own professional learning, planning and preparation.
Curiosity Machine is not the only global learning taking place at AIS-R. Technology is clearly allowing us to take our learning global. My son is participating in the Global Read Aloud led by the lovely and talented Laurie Dukes in the ES Learning Commons. He is so excited to be connected to hundreds of thousands of students across the planet. Global connections also act as a way to motivate and “jazz up” learning in way we never could have imaged when we were growing up.