Are you looking for ways to connect your students to the global community? Are you trying to foster a community of empathy, understanding, & global vision within your classroom? Look no further than your Microsoft Office365 suite. Click on Teams!!
The connection possibilities in Microsoft Teams are endless! We were so excited to connect our students with our friend, Arnaud Perrier’s class in France!
Utilizing Teams for this lesson allowed us to connect globally, use our favorite apps for collaboration, communicate effectively, and connect with friends from around the world building a global mindset!
- We met Arnaud through participating in a Microsoft TweetMeet #MSFTEduChat. We became friends on Twitter, and DM’d him to see if he was interested in collaborating on a project together. Twitter is a great place to meet teachers who are interested in connecting classes, but the ultimate connection place for finding experts, authors, and teachers who want to connect is through the Microsoft Education Community, MEC. Never heard of the MEC? 🛑 Stop what you are doing right now.
Let’s take a quick detour👇
Go to www.education.microsoft.com and sign up -for free- to become a Microsoft Innovative Educator. Here you will find lesson plans, Skype opportunities, technology trainings, and more!! It is an amazing site that is a must for the 21st Century teacher.
In the MEC, you can find educators from all over the world. Search by topic, grade, and location to connect with others who are looking for ways to expand the walls of their classroom!
Okay, now we can resume 😂
Students from France and Texas observed the food web and ecosystem from each country. They also learned about an endangered animal from each ecosytem. Over the three days they made observations and predictions on what would happen to ecosystem and food web if the endangered animals were to go extinct.
Students used some of our favorite edtech applications 👉 Flipgrid and OneNote within Teams to communicate, collaborate, & learn together.
The partnering teachers collaborated & planned with each other in Teams Meetings & Skype.
Here is a breakdown for each day of the project:
- Day1: Students introduced themselves to their new friends using Flipgrid in Teams & explored information in our Wakelet collection about the endanged animals & ecosystems. We organized each of our activities in a class OneNote notebook built into Teams.
- Day 2: Students explored the ecosystems and food webs of each endanged animal. They shared their observations with their team in Flipgrid.
- Day 3: Students made predictions on what would happen to the ecosystem and food chain if the endangered animal was to go extinct. They shared thier observations and thoughts within their channel in Teams on Flipgrid.
To conclude this project, we held a mystery animal Skype. Our students meet across Skype in real time! Yay! They also had the opportunity to ask questions and connect with their new friends.
Teams Makes it Easy to Connect Globally:
The Benefits ✨
- Creates a global mindset and empathy
- Authentic audience
- Connecting with relevant problems
- Seeing situations from another perspective
- Utilizing edtech tools they already know and love, Flipgrid & Waklet, but all in one place 👉Microsoft Teams
- Verbally justified observations
- Took an activity that was potentially a drawing of a food web and connected it to a real problem and real people
But here a few key things to note 📝
- Make sure that your technology department has enabled outside guests to join your team. Once that is enabled, you simply go to manage team, click add member, and enter their email address.
- Make sure to plan with the partnering teacher through Teams Meetings or Skype before hand. It is nice to have a visual meeting to brainstorm and plan together.
- We created daily instruction videos to make sure everyone was on the same page each day of the project.
Want to Learn More?
Check out our video series in partnership with TeacherCast to learn more about Microsoft Teams.