This was the topic of our #enviroed chat this week. Honestly, it is something I have thought a lot about. Since I’m living the life of an expatriate, there are many things I am unaware of regarding the environment. Back home I would know who to contact, or would have a more entrenched sense of community. Living abroad is fantastic for so many reasons, but this connection is something I often feel I am lacking.
My biggest wonder is how I can leverage social media to enhance my students’ understanding of their learning goals. Personally, I have used twitter (my #enviroed group especially), Instagram, Skype and Facebook to learn more about how I can interact in my new community, as well as continue to develop my environmental awareness of what is happening in Canada. I am wondering how I can transfer these ideas to my students. There is a huge opportunity for students to collaborate effectively using social media in the classroom with people who are located at various spots around the world.
What we need, I think, is like minded-teachers who are willing to open up these possibilities. It seems that in Canada it can be easy to find a board nearby where you can interact with others who share similar learning outcomes. There are a million small reasons why my students and I have hesitated jumping into this digital world, but I wonder what’s really stopping me.
My goal this year is to have at least some students from my school connecting with students in Canada regarding the environment. My hope is that is positive and hopeful, not doom and gloom. I have a community to work on this, just need to set aside time to actually get the students working on this. I would really love to have conservation photography as the centre of our discussions. Students selecting something they would like to conserve, take photos of it throughout the year, and learning more about that thing, and passing their knowledge along to others.
Side goals are establishing twitter accounts for the classes I work with as a tech coach. By having students further their inquiry through discussions with others, and then hopefully moving those discussions into blogs or wikis, we can create a world where my students are no longer just consumers of knowledge. I want them to be collaborators and creators. When working with others, and seeing learning as not something that happens solely within the classroom, we can start taking action that is meaningful for each of them independently.