Where do we start with Connecting the Early Years’ Classes?

Recently I got an email from Simon and part of this email read as follows:

We (our grade 1/2 class) have embarked on a Studies of Asia component over the last few years and we really want to take this to the next stage and start communicating and skyping with other schools throughout the Asian region, especially but not limited to the area though. 

I guess I was just wondering if you might have any suggestions of how best to proceed and/or tips on who we might be able to contact. I’ve signed up to Hello Little World and have looked at the Global Classroom and Skype Education sites, but I guess I’m having trouble finding classes of kids of around the same age and am wondering how best to proceed.

Here is my response:-

As you teach grade 1/2 and are new to global connections, I would suggest you start with organised global projects, so that you learn the processes of global collaboration, make some strong connections and from there branch out to where you would really like to be. Below are three suggestions. These projects are run by others, you will be grouped with schools from USA and hopefully other countries (we got an International School in Thailand in the K-2 Building Bridges project) and the participants are all teachers wanting to connect.

  1. K-2 Building Bridges – a Flat Classroom Project The application to join this project is at the bottom of the page. Entries close soon and there may be a cost to cover administration and project manager costs. You will need to attend online meetings once a fortnight or so, or listen to the recordings.  I loved this project and learnt of so many new tools and worked with a group of people who were enthausiastic and creative. My prep/one classes were grouped with two schools in the USA and one from Thailand.
  2. There are some wonderful projects listed on the kinderchat site.  This is an enthausiastic kinderchat group for the early years of schooling. Make sure you follow them on twitter. Ben Sheridan presented on his global classroom projects for eT@lking. The link to  the recording is here.  Further resources from kinderchat: Kinderchat SymbalooKinderchat Wiki,
  3. Kinderchat also has a  great skype play google site where there are lots of ideas for play with online tools including skype, blackboard collaborate etc.
  4. Projects by Jen are great for the primary years and there is one on Oreos at the moment, but check closing dates for projects. Jen is from the USA but  has project participants from all over the world.

Some #tags to follow on twitter are: #kinderchat, #ece, #earlyed #skypeplay Further resources from kinderchat: Kinderchat Symbaloo, Kinderchat Wiki,

What would you suggest? How can people get connected? Do you have any global projects to suggest?

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