Over the past two months, I have learned a lot about what it means to be "connected" in the professional and educational world. All from creating a PLN, to connected projects in school, I know I will continue to work towards some of my professional learning goals in regards to this topic.
After completing a larger project that incorporated connection for the students, there were a few points that I can take away from the experience. The first, and one of the most important aspects I learned from student survey results, was that my class does see the value in connected to a global audience in school. I believe this is the key to creating new projects that result in authentic work. Students need to see that the work they put out there is being viewed as important enough for others to see. Having a real audience gives students purpose for this project and increases the stakes for their final products.
Another take-away I have from this global learning project, is to incorporate blogs, but really make a purpose for them. I added in blogs because I wanted students to reflect and have their reflections public, but I don't think I voiced the importance of the blogs or how to successfully write a blog post before I assigned them. In the future, I will do this and also have more interaction from the students in class, and perhaps experiment with bringing in expert feedback/input into student blog posts.
Connecting to global experts can be challenge. If I am going to continue to successfully create projects like this past one, I need to really know who I want my students to reach out and how they will be expected to interact or use the feedback. For this first trial run, I had students find the experts and reach out to them, after this experience, I now know that again, I will have to take time to teach the process of reaching or just provide some experts.
Overall, I enjoyed the extra level of connectedness within this project. I feel the students stepped up to the challenge and the end result were some really unique and creative products. I will continue to create opportunities for connection in my classroom and professional career!