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December 2, 2012 / tasha cowdy

Communicating around the world

A few weeks ago, the children decided to tell KinderPals, their partner Kindergarten class in our Kindergarten Around the Worldglobal project, about YIS. We brainstormed to come up with a list of important things that the KinderPals might like to know.

The children discussed the best way to share this information with KinderPals. Their tool box contains an ever-growing range of tools for global communication. Children called out suggestions and other children agreed or pointed out limitations of a particular tool:

  • Twitter: not enough letters, it goes red and does minus.
  • Fotobabble: good because you can take a photograph and then talk about it, but you have to keep going to twitter to find all the photos
  • PhotoPeach: good because all the photographs are together and there is music to listen to while you look at the photographs
  • Skype: wont work because of time zones

Eventually someone suggested VoiceThread. After a little discussion, the children reached a consensus that VoiceThread would be the best tool because children from other classes could leave their ideas too. “And we might get a new idea from their ideas” explained one child.

The children have made quite a few VoiceThreads already this term and their development is evident in this most recent one. Many children were able to leave comments without any help, and the others could comment with a little help from another student.The comments show increasing sense of audience; the children are speaking loudly and clearly and they are including an increasing amount of detail in their comments. When we played back the comments, children were able to offer constructive feedback as “critical friends”.

Already, these five year olds and six year olds are learning to harness the power of flattened classrooms and are reaching out to the world in authentic ways. They are able to select appropriate communication tools, taking into account synchronous and asynchronous communication possibilities, considering purpose and audience and selecting a tool that enables dialogue.

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