Mohammed Abo Hassan provides a summary of how he has used EdTech in his classroom and in particular Skype to create and forge global connections.
My professional mission as a teacher is to share useful knowledge with my students and help them to successfully find their place in our contemporary world. That is why I am making an effort to design a learning environment that will encourage them to be brave and smart and to share their experience, knowledge, cultural heritage and authentic stories with others. Children are natural learners, they are curious and full of energy, but somehow we often miss that curiosity and energy in the classroom. To change this we can adopt many innovative practices to engage students and show them how fun and precious education truly is. Technology is all around us, even a single cellphone or a computer can make a huge change. Skype has opened numerous possibilities for me and my students. Students and teachers from all over the world are just a click away from us.
Using Skype, classrooms from all over the world have become a neighbouring classroom for me and my students. This EdTech tool has really helped us forge global connections. It has expanded my mission as a teacher and has allowed me to become a teacher to students all over the globe. My students have been taught by teachers and experts from physically very distant places. During that time they have found out how wonderful, diverse and big our planet really is and how small the differences between us can be when there are good vibes.
I believe it is really important and valuable to connect with teachers from different countries as through these connections we can put a face to distant people and cultures. The Microsoft Global Learning Connection was two super exciting days covering 12 countries, 5 continents, 23 sessions & 25 educators! I walked 148,063 virtual miles visiting numerous countries like USA, Argentina, Serbia, Russia, Cyprus, Greece, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Palestine and India. It honestly was two amazing and inspiring days full of love, fun, excitement and was an opportunity to explore new cultures, build friendships and share knowledge. I would like to express my feelings of gratitude to the most professional and enthusiastic teachers and their talented students for having devoted their precious time and for sharing the joy of learning and ultimately for making my Microsoft Global Learning Connection a SUCCESS!
The bonds that were created among students through Skype In the Classroom activities (which were based on mutual support) made this multi-sensory learning experience fun and unique for them and our classroom was transformed into a place where miracles happened! Our students learned how to interact successfully and collaborate enthusiastically with each other and with people around the world. They were enchanted by exchanging cultural information with students from other countries. They were deeply engaged when amazing educators as experts kindly presented their countries and issues such as digital citizenship and quality education. Through virtual field trips they travelled to awesome places and gained a lot of knowledge. A VERY BIG THANKS to all the incredible teachers and the wonderful students that we met virtually and we look forward to collaborating and communicating more and more in the near future.