Michael K. Roemer
The purpose of this paper is to provide examples of ways in which the Internet can be used to connect primary through secondary school-age students with people around the world for virtual learning exchanges. In fewer than four years our school has used the Internet to link our students with people in 21 schools in 15 countries on six continents. Students range in age from 5 to 18, and they communicate mainly through blogs/discussion boards, Skype, and videos. Through these mediums and others, students have shared information about their local cultures, histories, religions, and geographies, discussed U.S. civil rights issues, climate change, poetry, chemistry, and mathematics, and they played chess matches and debated contemporary global issues. Using the Internet to connect students develops 21st century communication and collaboration skills, teaches students about various parts of the world, and provides students with different perspectives on life. In this paper, I highlight several examples of these exchanges to help other educators prepare their students to internationalize their classrooms in educational, fun, interactive, and meaningful ways.
Blogs, Internet, Internationalization, Virtual Learning
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