Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.

Friday, September 6, 2013

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My Summer School Teachers: Pernille Ripp

I attended Edmodocon 2013 this August.  This was a day long online event with a variety of inspiring speakers and presentations from teachers who are using Edmodo in amazing ways in their classrooms.  The standout presentation for me was an impassioned call for giving our students the opportunity to experience and learn about the world from others through a project called The Global Read Aloud.

Pernille Ripp, originally, from Denmark, is an elementary teacher in Wisconsin.  A few years ago, she had an idea of having students from all over the world participate together in a read aloud of a favorite children's book.  She states that she really didn't know how to get started, but that didn't stop her, she just jumped right in and got going.

The Global Read Aloud Project is now in its 4th year and last year, there were over 30,000 students from around the world who participated.  She credits a lot of the success to her partnership with other teachers through the professional learning network she has built with other teachers around the world using social media tools such as Twitter.  She asked for ideas and help and she received.  The power of the PLN can be amazing.
Why the Global Read Aloud? Global collaboration is necessary to show students that they are part of something bigger than them. That the world needs to be protected and that we need to care for all people. You can show them pictures of kids in other countries but why not have them speak to each other? Then the caring can begin.

The Global Read Aloud is an open ended project where the framework is provided for teachers and students to connect with other classrooms and collaborate and communicate about the book they are reading.  Teachers find other teachers through the Global Read Aloud Wiki and  Edmodo groups, these teachers decide together how they want to connect and participate with other classes in this project.  Teachers may choose to use Kidblog, Edmodo, Skype or other tools to facilitate communication and collaboration with the other students.  They may choose to connect with just one class or with many classes.  There are so many possibilities, the best way to learn more is to visit The Global Read Aloud website.  There you will be able to sign up and find ways to connect with other teachers.  

Last year, one of the books read was The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.  As students blogged about the book they were reading, they were thrilled to discover that Katherine Applegate and jumped in and joined the conversation.  How cool is that?

This year's project runs September 30th - November 8th. There is no deadline to sign up and there are four different groups to choose from (the ages are just suggestions!):

Eric Carle Author Study - K and upMarty McGuire by Kate Messner - 1st and upOutof My Mind by Sharon Draper - 4th and upStupid Fast by Geoff Herbach - 8th and up

I am excited that several of our Mount Vernon teachers have decided to participate in this project this year. I would love to help you facilitate this in your classroom.  Mount Vernon teachers, if you need help signing up, connecting with other teachers of implementing the project in any way, please let me know, I will be happy to help.  

So, as this is my last blog in the series of posts about the amazing educators I learned from this summer, here are a few of the things I have learned from Pernille this summer.

  • If you have an idea you want to try in your classroom, give it a try!  Don't be afraid to take risks. 
  • There is great power in Professional Learning Networks.  If you don't have a PLN, you need one.  Start building yours today.  Twitter has a great community of educators, but you can also build your PLN on Edmodo, Pinterest, Google + or many other Social Media sites where teachers gather to share ideas and learn from each other. 
  • Our children deserve to learn beyond our walls.  We need to provide safe places for them to learn and care about people beyond the walls of the classroom.
Thank you Pernille for inspiring others to reach beyond the classroom walls and teaching students to value others.  

You can learn more from Pernille at her blog Blogging Through the 4th Dimension
and by following her on Twitter.

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