As someone growing up in Canada, a hockey loving country, I really appreciated this story about Kevin Durant, one of the best basketball players in the world, connecting with a group to play flag football.
I wish I would have had these same opportunities as a kid.
These stories remind me of how our world has not only become smaller, but the opportunities we have to connect with one another are so amazing. One of the things that I have been really thinking about lately is that if we are teaching a kid about space, who better to teach that than an astronaut? And if that is the case, two questions stick out to me:
- How do we as educators facilitate those connections (or understand and see the need to do this)?
- How do we teach kids to make those connections themselves?
Kelli Holden, an amazing teacher from Parkland School Division, is one of those educators that works with her students at a young age to help them learn to make those connections. I have watched her grade 4 students connect and share their learning at their classroom Twitter account (twitter.com/millgrove4h), but also use this account to share and learn from others around the world. Last year (as well as the year prior), they asked the world “What does your spring look like?”
— Millgrove4H (@Millgrove4H) March 20, 2015
What is really smart about this tweet, is that by using the hashtag #whatdoesyourspringlooklike, the students made it easy for others to connect with them, but they also knew that by connecting with myself and having a large network, I could also help them make some connections. Not only did they get tweets from all over Canada and the United States, but they also connected with places such as Singapore, Australia, and France (check out their storify here). What I love about this, is that Kelli is working with her students under a shared classroom account before they are old enough to have one of their own. If we aren’t proactive with our students in this area, what do our students lose out on, and what do we actually have to “unteach”?
Many educators are understanding and utilizing the power of social networks, but what is essential is that we teach our students how to make those connections for themselves. We need to realize that the power of the Internet is not only that we have access to all of the information in the world, but to each other, and teaching our students to tap into networks early on, is essential.