Oh Canada! Their Home and Native Land…

Filed Under (Collaboration, Internet) by Lee Kolbert on 19-10-2009 and tagged ,

Screen shot 2009-10-19 at 9.25.01 PMOur class is beginning a new venture this week. My students will meet and interact with two college students, Jonie and Michael, from the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada. Although we’d love to pack our snowsuits, hats and gloves and travel , all of this will happen online, of course.

Facilitating this exciting project is Dean Shareski, a Digital Learning Consultant, and good friend of mine. He works for the Prairie South Schools in Moose Jaw, SK. As part of this college class he teaches, he has gathered together about 50 educators from around the world to work with and mentor his approximately 30 students. His goal is to give them a chance to experience a classroom where the teacher engages the students with technology. Additionally, these college students have the benefit of virtually traveling around the world to interact with children in truly diverse settings.

The benefit to my students is that they will get to know and learn from Jonie and Michael. It’s not everyday that such young students as mine get the opportunity to learn in a virtual environment. This experience should be something they will remember for a long time.

Our first order of business is to host a video conference with these folks so that my students can have an opportunity to see and speak with them. We will do that in class using video conferencing software provided by our school district. Some other activities “in the works” include having Jonie and Michael comment on our class blog (here), write posts for it (guest bloggers), participate in some lessons and otherwise engage my students based on future lessons and individual needs. Upon hearing that we were studying our constitution, Jonie created this “Glogster” that does a great job of showing some differences between the U.S. and Canadian government. Both Jonie and Michael mention in their videos their coordinates, so that my students can plot their locations on maps (another skill we’ve mastered).

I’m honored to be able to participate as one of these teachers with whom Dean’s students will work. Here are Jonie and Michael:

9 Comments Already, Leave Yours Too

Andy McKiel on 19 October, 2009 at 9:47 pm #

Wow, I don’t know who’s luckier – Jonie & Michael for getting to work with the students in Mrs. Kolbert’s class, or Mrs. Kolbert’s class for getting to work with a couple of Dean Shareski’s teacher candidates 🙂

I’m a fellow Canadian, from Winnipeg (it looks like you stopped there on the way to Regina…) and I know that Mrs. Kolbert and Mr. Shareski are both very passionate about using technology as a teaching tool. I look forward to learning along with all of you as I follow the updates on your classroom blog!

To the boys & girls in Mrs. Kolbert’s class – you’re very lucky to be able to connect with Micheal & Jonie through your classroom blog. My advice to you is to ask lots of questions 😉

Micheal Head on 20 October, 2009 at 12:52 am #

Although you may not be able to all come up here to Canada, i have no objection to you bringing me down to Florida. A vacation would be great!

I’m very excited to colaborate online with Lee and her classroom. I wish i had the opportunity to do something like this while i was still in grade school. This is definitely an amazing opportunity for all of the children invloved, as well as me.

Cheri Russell on 20 October, 2009 at 8:49 am #

This is awesome! Love the Glogster poster! All the best to you on your “virtual” adventure from the Maritimes!
Cheri Russell
Tech Mentor
St. Stephen, NB

Frankie R on 20 October, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

Hi i talked to michal myself.He is very smart and he is in canadian collage.He is very intresting.mine,ben’s,and dario’s questions were good and on topic as always and the same as everyone elses on topic.

John Evans on 21 October, 2009 at 6:21 am #

I think the opportunity for both Mrs. Kolbert’s students and Jonie and Michael to learn from one another is going to be so powerful.

I’m looking forward to tracking your adventures via Mrs. Kolbert’s blog posts.

Oh and by the way when you do stop in Winnipeg on the way to Regina, you’ll want to stop for a Slurpee at a 7-11. After all Winnipeg is the Slurpee capital of the world for the 10th year in a row. http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=171337 And that is something when in the middle of the winter your Slurpee may freeze solid when the temperatures drop to a balmy -40 F outside! But it is a dry cold after all! 😉

elle s on 21 October, 2009 at 3:12 pm #

I love to study about people around the world and what it is like where ever they are. I love to study about how canada is like there because ive never been there before.

Katie on 21 October, 2009 at 5:42 pm #

Im so excited for the activity! Icant wait to meat the students!

Jonie Rasmussen on 22 October, 2009 at 1:17 pm #

It has been great working with Mrs. Kolbert and her class. I really enjoyed video conferencing with you guys! Hope we can do it again!

Po Colkin on 6 November, 2009 at 7:29 am #

those videoes are really cool. i would love to go to canada and see snow for real!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!