A Call for Teachers

As readers of my blog know, I’ve been teaching part time at the University of Regina for the past few years. I teach an introductory course to pre-service teachers on technology. I’ve had the freedom to more the curriculum to a much more broader look at technology in our schools. It’s been a wonderful experience for me and my students.

Guest appearance by SherylFor the past 3 terms I’ve had my undergrads hook up with classrooms from around the world. Over the course of about 2 months the range of interactions is anything from skype conferences where my students teach lessons to commenting on blogs to working closely with students in collaborative projects. I’m been reluctant to make it much more structured since I want to honor teacher’s time and access. My student’s express a variety of  levels of satisfaction. I usually have the connect with 2 classrooms both to give them some variety but also to insure a greater chance of interactions. Two months is a very short time to build a connection with a class. Amazingly, some of my students made this happen and for many it was the best part of the course.  Others were frustrated by communication break downs and lack of activity. This was usually no one’s fault but the nature of school. Teachers are busy and I don’t want to place any undue expectations on them. I want my students simply to have the chance to interact with other students in whatever way the teacher sees fit. It’s not a perfect program by any means but it continues to provide students with an experience they never get in other classes in their university careers.

From May 6-June 18 I’ll be teacher the spring term of this same course. I had originally resigned the idea of a mentorship not only because of the shorter time frame but also since many US schools in particular would either be done or winding down. However I know there may be many that might be looking to have some outside voices participate.  I thought I’d give it a shot.

We’ve had classrooms ranging from Kindergarten to advanced senior Math. My goal is simply to have my students witness and experience how teachers and students share and open their classrooms to the world.  So I’m calling any teacher or classrooms in any grade and subject area. I might suggest the following scenarios for interaction:

  • A Skype call to share stories about where you live and where we live
  • Find out what areas of expertise my students might have and have the teach a lesson virtually
  • Collaborate on a story
  • Have my students comment on student work

As teachers, you’re using many tools to connect, these are just some starting points. My students need to see these in action. I realize that in a month it’s going to be difficult to establish a deep relationship be I’m open to being surprised.

So leave a comment, email me shareski at gmail.com, or resend this to any teacher you wish and let me know if you might be interested.  Our class meets every Monday and Wednesday evening and I’ll likely have you come all join me  in early May (likely the 11th or 13th) via Elluminate one evening to share about classroom.

Please complete this form if you’re interested:

Once again, testing the boundaries of my PLN.

2 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • I would be interested. I have first 2 periods / day with a wonderful group of 13 grade six students (and parts of the rest of the day with 26 grade 5 and 6 students in Hafford SK which is a K-12 school about an hour NW of Saskatoon. I’ve been experimenting with technology (blogs, Skyping, Epals, LOGO, Audacity….) lots as these kids are keen to learn (as much as any pre-teens are!)

  • Diane Main

    Dean, I think I could do this with my 8th graders. There’s just under 40 of them, and they’re split up among my 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th period classes on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I could have them write “journal” entries in Google Sites they create, and then send the links to the mentor undergrads for commentary. They could write about what they are thinking as they finish up at our school (a K-8 private school) and get ready to head off into high school. They go to all kinds of high schools from here, both public and private, all over the Silicon Valley area.

    What do you think?

  • Hey Dean-

    My most interactive group is my Dual-Credit Biology class: http://mwsu-bio101.ning.com

    However, my marine biology class happens to meet on Monday nights from 7 to 9pm, CST.
    They operate a network at: http://stjoeh2o.ning.com That group just returned from a rather
    non-traditional field study we do yearly in The Bahamas. Images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nashworld/sets/72157616761811732/ These students will also be presenting their experiences soon to a local elementary classroom,
    and though the audience is different, sharing with your group would likely be a valuable experience as well.



    Sean Nashs last blog post..How to be “right” more than twice per day

  • Hey Dean,

    I’ll play. I’ve got sixth graders here in Raleigh NC from 7:30-12:00 (EST) until June 26th. We’re a science and social studies class this year.

    Let me know if have a match. Either way, thanks for sharing the opportunity.

    Bill Ferriter

  • I’m in. HS Web Design and Internet Literacy. Students could design assignments, comment on student work on their blogs, provide resources. We do not have Skype capability.

    Brandt Schneiders last blog post..Thursday

  • Pat

    Hi! I wish I could help but I teach grad courses to teachers getting their master’s in Special Education in the month of June here in South Carolina. I just wanted you to know that I love reading your blog and feel extremely motivated after reading it. I hope to introduce Skype, blogging, wikis, and much more to my teachers! Thank you so much for all that you do and for inspiring me!

  • I teach middle school technology in Kentwood, Michigan. I have 2 sections of 6th grade, one of 7th, one 8th grade tech class, and one 8th grade landscaping class that I team teach with the art teacher. We have a class blog http://woodtech.edublogs.org and my 8th graders are just starting their own blogs that will be under the links section of our class blog. We would love to interact with you college students in any way including comments on our blogs, skype, or other ways that you would suggest.

    concretekaxs last blog post..The problem with textbooks

  • I am a middle school technology teacher in Kentwood, Michigan. I teach 2 sections of 6th grade, 1 section of 7th grade, 1 8th grade tech. class, and 1 landscaping class that I team teach with the art teacher. We have a class blog at http://woodtech.edublogs.org and the students have just started indiviual blogs that will be under the links section. The current ones in the link section are the best ones from last quarter. We would enjoy working with your undergrads through comments on our blogs, skype, or any other ways you would suggest. Thanks.

    concretekaxs last blog post..The problem with textbooks

  • [riffly_video]D16F57E2365511DE933FC94D49680BD4[/riffly_video]

  • Grant Taylor

    I am interested in this. I teach a Media Studies 20 class online, although it is only my second time through. Two ideas for your students (off the top of my head) are 1) comment on students’ final projects, to help them achieve what they want. I’m thinking kind of “peer” editing, or 2) suggesting topics/areas for students’ twice weekly Media Logs (kind of a reading journal thing) and maybe following up. I have students do this on their own blog, then submit their best ones for marking.

    BTW, we talked very briefly at the ITSummit. Long hair, pony tail, at Clarence’s presentation I asked about tethering with your IPhone. (Not that I expect you would remember) I’m tgrantt on Twitter. (Which I just started using.)

    Thanks for what you do.

  • Kirsten

    I would be interested in having my classes participate. I teach Lanugage Arts and Social Studies to grade 7 & 8 students in a Middle Years School. We also have access to a portable Tanberg and use a Smartboard in the classroom. We would enjoy sharing our ideas and thoughts with others.

  • [riffly_video]FC45E630367C11DE8518C94D49680BD4[/riffly_video]

  • Dean, your students are welcome in my class anytime. Our school year ends May 22. Many will be in summer school, but I won’t be teaching it this year. They could skype in or leave comments on the blog. Probably won’t have time to do any extended projects.

    A good way for your students to make connections with classroom teachers is to follow the #comments4kids on twitter. We are posting student content we think others need to leave comments on. We are always appreciative of people that care enough about our students to leave them some nice words.

    wmchamberlains last blog post..Friday is Comment Day

  • Tried to leave a webcam comment but unsuccessful. I’m in Baku, Azerbaijan teaching Grade 5, where we’ve just set up a Wiimote interactive white board so there is the possibility that the student teacher might talk to the whole class.

    Leigh Newtons last blog post..Denying the Fundamentalist Claim of “Holy Warriors”

  • Hey Dean

    Replying here cos I’m not sure if you got my email. We’d be keen to have a play. I am a NZ teacher who teaches everything to my class of Year 4/5. That is eight and nine year olds. Might be fun to make connections.

    Allanah Ks last blog post..Nelson Cluster ICT Day

  • We are a k-8 school on the island of Martha’s Vineyard – we have several projects going on:
    Islands Around the World a global learning project with primary students – video conference w/ kids-assess learning-multiage class, 6-8 year olds
    School’s Out a newspaper produced by 7th graders- articles, sell + create ads, photos, layout done by 7th graders, earns anywhere from 12,000 to 20,000 toward 8th grade trip to England. Huge project, love writing mentors – theme of the paper is Kid’s guide to Martha’s Vineyard. given away free all summer long. Articles are on Docs
    School Garden – all classes – Kindergarten teacher spearheaded proj-videoconference with kids, see our garden and our learning
    There are more…let us know if you would be interested in any of the above.
    thank you,

    Valeries last blog post..Dashing White Sargeant

  • Hey Dean
    My 5th Graders and I (at ISB, Bangkok, Thailand) are currently taking part in the AroundTheWorldwith80Schools skype project (organised by Langwitches). We’d love to talk to pre-service teachers about why we enjoy using technology in the classroom and why we like making connections with people in different places. We have skype on all day in the classroom so that we can make connections and have conversations anytime!
    Hope we can help you out with your course.
    Chrissy H & students of Room 202

    Chrissy Hs last blog post..What Makes The Web So Powerful?

  • M Payne

    I teach kindergarten in Hoover, Alabama. We get out on May 22nd, but would be glad to help if needed.

  • I teach Bio courses at an independent school in VA. My seniors finish on 5/19 in my elective course called Topics in Biology. Tomorrow we start our last unit centered around the movie Supersize Me and the obesity epidemic in America. My freshmen intro biology class will finish up on 5/26 when they have to prep for their exams. We will be studying the Animal Kingdom for the last unit but they won’t mind a disruption! But if this doesn’t work for you, I also have classes next fall in freshmen Bio, AP Bio and Marine Bio. All of my courses have Nings. I have heard great things about this experience from my coworker Carey Pohanka.

  • I teach 4th grade in Union City, CA. I would love to be a part of this. We just upgraded our network at our school and I’ve been looking to find an opportunity like this to participate in with my students. This is the last week of our state testing and then we have more time and flexibility. We are in school until June 14th.
    Thanks, Matt

    Matthew Callisons last blog post..Homework: Monday, May 4

  • I would like to participate. I teach general music and choir to students in first through fifth grades in Aurora, CO. I am in a year ’round school. We finish this year on June 19th. We begin our next school year on July 7th. I am currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Integrating Technology in the Classroom. I have recently applied for a grant to receive a SMARTBoard for my classroom. I look forward to hearing from you.


  • I would like to participate. I am at a year round middle school in San Diego, CA. We are in session until July 20th. I teach first and second year Spanish to 7th and 8th graders. I also have 2 computer classes with 6-8th graders.

    Leighs last blog post..links for 2009-05-06

  • Pingback: Ideas and Thoughts from an EdTech » A Powerful Learning Opportunity()

  • Pingback: International Collaborations in a Teacher Ed Program « Connected Learning()