Tech Toolkit:     Clicking ~ Commenting ~ Conversing ~ Creating ~ Connecting

How do you get students taking the work offline and beyond the classroom walls?

Fancy toys aren't always necessary for good projects

Fancy toys aren’t always necessary for a good project

Strategy #1: Finding the Global in Each Other – Sometimes we forget that any room with at least two people has diversity in it! We don’t always need to leave the classroom to find the global. Get students applying global skills to their work with their peers. There are lots of ways to get them collaborating, in small groups or as a whole class. Use group work as an opportunity to learn about communication skills and conflict resolution.

Tools to Look Like a Pro:

  • CASEL – The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning has a guide to programs that support holistic learning. There are lots of organizations that help teachers support “soft” skills like collaboration, self awareness, talking about feelings, and more.
  • Educators for Social Responsibility – ESR creates some of the best materials for fostering social and emotional growth.
  • Vialogues – Thanks to Teachers College at Columbia, you can discuss videos in an online forum and then keep the discussion going in person.
A member of our facilities team co-presented with a Brazilian student

A member of our facilities team co-presented with a Brazilian student

Strategy #2: Connect with Guest Speakers and Field Trips Guest speakers are also a wonderful way for students to connect with people from around the world. I’ve been able to find parents, staff members, friends of the community, and even students to speak! There are also lots of interesting global opportunities through field trips.

Tools to Look Like a Pro:

  • Peace Corps WorldWise Schools – Connect with a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who wants to visit your classroom (or download a Peace Corps lesson plans or other resources)
  • Pulitzer Center  – Invite a journalist to come speak to your students about global issues.
  • Portfoliyo – Parents can be a fabulous resource also! This free program allows you to text parents from your computer and perhaps get in touch in a more personal and timely manner.

Selling student work to raise money for an organization in Africa

Strategy #3: Real World Change Initiatives – What better way to get students invested in their work than to offer them opportunities to work for real change? I’ve had students raising money for real NGOs abroad, designing political advocacy campaigns, and making posters getting people to rally around environmental change. Be creative, and find ways to help students get involved in the world.

Tools to Look Like a Pro:

  • Kids Can Make a Difference – Great ideas for how kids can take action on global issues
  • Oxfam – Many non-profit organizations, like Oxfam, have great resources for teachers and students
  • Heifer International – Teach students about sustainable change
  • ARKive – Lesson plans for all ages to learn about endangered animals


If you’re still looking for more ideas beyond this Tech Toolkit, check out these additional resources.

1 reply »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s