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7 Edtech instruments to attach college students to a world neighborhood



Excerpted from “Deliver Historical past and Civics to Life” by Karalee Wong Nakatsuka and Laurel Aguilar-Kirchhoff. ©2022 Worldwide Society for Know-how in Schooling. Reproduced with permission from the writer.

Edtech to Join

There are a lot of methods we will harness academic know-how to construct neighborhood inside our lecture rooms and to convey college students into the worldwide neighborhood. ISTE Scholar Normal 1.7 International Collaborator gives a framework for the way to strategy this: “College students use digital instruments to broaden their views and enrich their studying by collaborating with others and dealing successfully in groups regionally and globally.” 

There are a lot of edtech instruments that assist foster neighborhood constructing whereas offering world views and engagement for college students, each inside and out of doors of the classroom. Incorporating world neighborhood connections into neighborhood constructing helps college students kind bridges between all of the communities they take part in. It might additionally open new avenues for college students to see themselves as half of a bigger world neighborhood and provides them new consciousness and understanding of their place on the earth.


  • What It Is: A digital archive of recorded interviews and private tales that convey the humanity of individuals from everywhere in the world. “StoryCorps’ mission is to protect and share humanity’s tales in an effort to construct connections between folks and create a extra simply and compassionate world.”
  • International Group Connection: College students can discover tales from throughout the nation and the world, or they will seek for particular tales that correlate with content material and tasks for the classroom. College students have the chance to acknowledge the worldwide humanity that brings us collectively, together with views that could be totally different from their very own.

Flipgrid GridPals

  • What It Is: Whereas many lecturers and college students could already be acquainted with creating short-form movies utilizing Flipgrid of their lecture rooms, there’s a distinctive alternative to attach with different college students and lecture rooms the world over utilizing Flipgrid GridPals
  • International Group Connection: After logging into their trainer accounts, lecturers can search and join with fellow educators from the world over. This permits lecturers to collaborate on studying experiences that make connections between their lecture rooms asynchronously via video (no time zone constraints) in a protected on-line studying expertise.

Digital Citizenship Institute

  • What It Is: The Digital Citizenship Institute’s focus is on serving to our college students join the world via our shared citizenship in a digital world. It’s all about “humanizing the individual subsequent to you, all over the world, and throughout the display screen. . . .In at this time’s interconnected world, that is our alternative to place world schooling into observe to empower others to grow to be change makers for utilizing tech for good in native, world and digital communities.”
  • International Group Connection: “DigCitKids” is one facet of pupil engagement and neighborhood that’s accessible from the Digital Citizenship Institute. This initiative is concentrated on creating digital citizenship alternatives for youths by youngsters, with a concentrate on fixing actual neighborhood issues.

Google Earth

  • What It Is: Google Earth is extra than simply a web-based map; it additionally offers sources, classes, and integrations for use with college students. These embrace “. . . step-by-step guides and tutorials on Google’s Geo Instruments, inspirational tales, plus lesson plans, product info, and rather more.”
  • International Group Connection: Serving to college students find out about geography and place provides them a greater sense of the world and their place in it. These classes and sources are assorted and assist college students make connections between folks, the land they inhabit, and their influence on it.

PenPal Colleges

  • What It Is: Making connections and collaborations with college students from dozens of nations the world over permits college students to learn, write, and create authentic tasks. “PenPal Colleges join college students from 150 international locations to make mates and uncover the world.”
  • International Group Connection: College students can collaborate with college students from different international locations on tasks that matter to them. This can be a distinctive alternative to not solely talk with college students from the world over but in addition work collectively on tasks with an academic context.

Thriller Skype

  • What It Is: This can be a solution to construct a world neighborhood with different lecture rooms from the world over. It has been described as a world guessing sport, through which lecturers collaborate and have their lessons meet through Skype (or another on-line conferencing platform), then have college students attempt to guess one another’s location. There are a lot of types of this “Thriller Skype” format, and lecturers might be artistic of their collaboration to arrange the actions (corresponding to solely asking the opposite class sure or no questions).
  • International Group Connection: With actions corresponding to this, lecturers and college students join with lecture rooms the world over, develop their cultural consciousness, and hone their geography expertise—whereas additionally collaborating as a category to guess the placement of the thriller classroom.

International Learn Aloud

  • What It Is: What in case your college students may learn the identical e book and collaborate with college students from the world over? They will! Annually throughout a six-week interval, the International Learn Aloud helps college students and lecturers join with sources and actions which are based mostly on a typical e book. Lecturers can join with different lessons from all over the world which are taking part and resolve how a lot time they want to dedicate and the way concerned they want to be.
  • International Group Connection: To make these world connections with different lessons, lecturers can harness the ability of edtech to attach utilizing instruments corresponding to Skype, Twitter, Padlet, or Flipgrid. “Lecturers get a neighborhood of different educators to do a world venture with, hopefully inspiring them to proceed these connections via the yr.”

Karalee Wong Nakatsuka, M.A. E.D., is a veteran center college U.S. historical past trainer. Additionally a Gilder Lehrman Grasp Instructor, she was acknowledged in 2019 because the Gilder Lehrman Historical past Instructor of the 12 months for California and was a high 10 finalist for the nationwide award. She serves on the American250 Historical past Schooling Advisory Council, the Gilder Lehrman Instructor Advisory Council and the Monticello Instructor Advisory Group. She’s a member of the California Council for the Social Research (CCSS), the Nationwide Council for the Social Research (NCSS), the iCivics Schooling Community and the Nationwide Council for Historical past Schooling (NCHE). Nakatsuka appeared within the New York Occasions multimedia story “What’s Really Being Taught in Historical past Class?” and was featured in an article in Time Journal’s September 2021 challenge titled “From Lecturers to Custodians, Meet the Educators Who Saved a Pandemic Faculty 12 months.” She’s obsessed with utilizing know-how to have interaction and excite college students; sharing the tales and the locations the place historical past befell; constructing neighborhood in her classroom; and getting ready college students to develop as empathetic, knowledgeable, engaged and energetic essential thinkers and residents who care and make a distinction on the earth.

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