Thursday, February 3, 2011

Classroom Projects that need the World

Hall Davidson the keynote speaker in the presentation I watched began teaching math, language arts, and world languages in 1971. He coordinated the oldest American student media festival for 15 years. He joined Discovery, a global communications company, in 2005 to help build the Discovery Educator Network and where he now serves as Director of Global Learning Initiatives. He has keynoted conferences worldwide and lives in California where he served on local school site councils. To listen in on this keynote speaker was something I've never done. People were listening in from their computers all over the world. This presentation was over Eluminate Live, which is a web conferencing program developed by Elluminate Inc. Elluminate "rents" out virtual rooms or vSpaces where virtual schools and businesses can hold classes and meetings. It has a whiteboard that works just like a smart board, and lets the presentator show the people watching their work, ideas or powerpoint prestentation, which is what Davidson did.

This presentation was on Three Classroom projects that need the World. Davidson started the presentation by explaining that when we first introduced to students the fact that you can talk to people from across the globe it was exciting and new, but now they are beginning to take that for granted. He then went on to describe that to “ensure the necessity of global collaboration, it is important to find projects which must cross borders”. He then says that you really need to find projects that need the world to work, that wont work without the help of the rest of the world, to really show to the students how innovative we have gotten.

The first project is in math and science, now I hate math; absolutely detest it. I only went to Math A30 and once I passed that I vowed never to take a math class again. But after watching what Davidson does here, I got more interested in how this would actually work. I mean sure it looks great on the powerpoint, and he puts effort into describing it, but would it actually work with anyone? If you put the time and effort, and were actually interested in making it work, for your students, I think just maybe.

Davidson says "Think Global - Act Local", this is him encouraging people that when doing Global projects, consider going with your local television stations, by setting up local education stations.

Davidson goes on in the hour long presentation about the other projects he's created that include the world. I really enjoyed the idea of having a class take part in this sort of thing. I would have liked to hear more about the language arts project, but he explained it in detail, and gave many resources that teachers could go to, to learn how to make it work in the classroom.

The Discovery Network has set up a website for all of their keynote speakers and presentators, Davidson has posted all of his powerpoints, and handouts to this website for anyone to download.

I found Hall Davidson's presentation at the 2010 Global Education Conference under "Sessions", then "Keynotes" at this link here

you then click on the elluminate recording and it will take you directly to Elluminate Live! where you can watch the entire presentation and listen in on Davidson talking to all who attended.

I plan on watching more of these videos, and maybe one day attend a global conference, I love the idea of being able to listen to speakers from across the world, and hear their views and ideas and sharing them with my classroom.

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