My mother was a first-grade teacher; my sister taught in high school and college. My father-in-law and brother-in-law were high school principals; my sister-in-law taught in elementary schools. Two of my nephews and their spouses are educators. I have a long-standing interest in building and crossing bridges that connect teachers and learners of different ages and from different cultures. I continue to discover and marvel at internet tools that facilitate “learning without borders.”
While I blogged for a year at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online as “Curious David” one of my most valued colleagues in learning was a middle school teacher (thank you Pamela, for all you taught me). I find considerable value in monitoring the blogs of Richard Byrne, Larry Ferlazzo, my nephew Alex O’Connor AKA Middleschoolmathman(!) and of course the ubiquitous Jane Hart.
Recently I have begun investigating the capabilities of epals and edmodo as tools I might use to reduce barriers between learners from different cultures (including academic cultures) and different ages. The payback has been immediate both in developing of new virtual friends and of being impressed at the amazing kinds of learning experiences our children are being introduced to.
What bridge-building tools have you discovered that can promote collaborative leaning across cultures—and across ages Kindergarten through 99+?