Since the advent of Web 2.0 technologies the world is my classroom. From a small rural school near Nelson in the South Island we connect, create and collaborate with classes and schools around the world. It is not magical or awesome. It is how we are.

Let's start off with a little global fun.

Into an educational setting and Twittered and blogged that I wanted to make a video like Matt's but with children from different classes. I asked classes to watch Matt's video and send me 20 second clips of their classes and I would collate them together. Here is our effort.

As Matt's video does, we brought together people from different locations to enjoy and celebrate together.

In 2005 I created a class blog which reflected some of the learning in our classroom. In the beginning I had no idea just how transformative it would be to the things that I teach and the way that I teach them. You maCreate_poster.pngy like to download the pdf poster opposite that has links to some of our interesting posts over the years.

Initially I had to bribe people to show an interest in the blog as parents had little idea that they could participate in the web experience. Generally in those days people believed that the web was just for looking at what other people had written.

Through my interest in podcasting I linked up with Paul Harrington, a teacher in Wales, and even had to send his class a whole bag of chocolate fish! Well worth it though.

We used the blog to archive visits from people who visited us. Chloe Powell, who represented the Bahamas in the 100m at the 1972 Munich Olympics was an inspirational role model for us.

Paul and I exchanged classroom mascots. Class members took the mascots home and recorded their adventures. It helped us find out more about other places and we begun to make global links with others.

Tiny Ted is a geocaching bear and through him we learnt more about the global recreational activity- geocaching.

For my birthday I got given three goldfish that we asked our global partners to name.

One of the boys in our class went to England for a holiday and made a detour to Wales to visit face-to-face with our collaborating classroom and we came back to school at night time to Skype with him.

As part of a study on Economics we made a Voicethread where we talked about the kinds of money in New Zealand. This spawned a number of similar Voicethreads from other parts of the world- Britain, Americaand Korea.

In 2007 one of the Appleby parent community travelled to Valencia, Spain, as part of our America's Cup contingent. We were able to Skype her and through her make a connection to Rob Waddell. This was picked up by TVNZ news. We had hit the big time!

As a homework exercise one of my girls had the courage to give us a CD of herself singing. We blogged it and asked for comments. These comments gave her the strength to sing in public. Such hidden talent that without an audience would not have been ignited.

We have a Clustrmap on our blog that shows where in the world our visitors come from. We have a second map which shows visitors live- exciting stuff when we realise that there are others reading our blog in real time.


We have joined the Round the World with 80 Schools collaboration and talked through Skype with students in British Columbia.

As a follow up they made us a Voicethread showing us just how cold it really was there.

Within New Zealand we used Skype again to learn our mihi from first language speakers in Melville Intermediate in Hamilton- a rich and engaging experience for both classes.

As well as learning from others we have helped other classes learn as well.

Learning about floating and sinking with ISB students in Bangkok

Teaching Pivot animations to a Melville Intermediate class

We collaborated to make this Comparing Hemispheres Wiki, learning with a class in New York.

I am encouraging other teachers to add resources to this Basic Facts wiki so I don't have to do all the work and we can lighten the load on everyone.

Earlier this year Claire Buist (Dunedin), Shaun Wood (Auckland) and I co-constructed a Rocky Shore wiki with teachers in Dunedin and Auckland to share resources.

Brian Crosby's class in Sparks, Nevada aimed high with a classroom experiment. ocal university to launch a balloon 32 km high into the atmosphere. Attached to the balloon were the hopes and aspirations of hundreds of school children as well as a couple of cameras to record the high altitude flight. We shared in adding our aspirations to the balloon via comments to his blog. We participated and replicated his science experiments and watched his recording of the balloon's fall.

We make many connections through our podcast as well.

Teachers around the world collaborated to make this presentation, started by Darren Kuropatwa, Teaching Well. We collaborated on this one using Google Docs.

Have a look at Google Docs and Google Apps for collaboration.

For example this how we wrote our notes recording Steve Wheeler's Keynote.



How do I come to make these connections?

I started first of all by making a class blog on which to link and host our projects

As I got more comfortable with being on the web I started my own professional blog which helps me record my learning and link with others.

Then I set about reading and commenting on other people's blogs. To make my life easier and bring those connections to me I use an RSS reader like Google Reader. Here is a link to the people whose blogs I follow. You might like to follow some of them too.

Here are some of the blogs I follow and interact with in Google Reader- New Zealand Blogs

I also connect with people via Twitter. I follow educationalists from all over the world and everyday learn heaps from them.

I record that learning using the Social Bookmarking tool Delicious which also lets me link and learn from others.

You can connect with my professional learning through my Edublog Life is Not a Race to be First Finished.

To see some of my Personal Learning Network in action we will try to speak to some educators on Skype.

If you would like further help putting some global connections together for yourself my Skype ID is AllanahK

I would also like to suggest that you participate in the K-12 on line conference that startes at the end of October- totally free and totally on line.

Here is my contribution It goes on live for the conference so you will be the third person in the world to view it. Please don't go round sharing it just yet otherwise you will steal my thunder.

I will embed it here when it goes live.

The link to the whole conference is here......

And on Twitter

If you want a clickable download pdf of this page click here.