Introduction Getting Ready
Learning Circles Teachers' Guide
Open Circle Plan Projects Share Work Publish
Close Circle Overview

Teachers Comment on Exchanging Student Work on Projects..

Through such exchanges of information, we helped each other investigate various global issues and prepare reports that described our findings and insights. The whole project was characterized by a sense that we had a real purpose and a real audience for our writing and research and communication. Each morning I posted in our classroom the latest notes from our electronic partners, and the students were thus reminded daily that there really were other students and classrooms out there who were eager to hear from us and had things to say themselves.

Learning Circles represent a cooperative community effort, a way of learning that will be characteristic of instruction in the schools for the 21st Century. Through this telecommunication project, we were able to explore and experience the future of education.

Jeff Golub
Teacher of English
Shorecrest High School
Seattle, WA

...Telecommunications stimulates my students' learning and global awareness. Living in a rural area, some of my students never get out of the Shenandoah Valley. I felt it was important for them to know and experience a more global world. For years I tried the regular social studies activities, but I knew I wasn't reaching them. They sat there basically with blank faces and did the work. Some of my kids have never seen the ocean, ridden an escalator, or traveled by train. Telecommunications has opened up windows to their world and made that outside world tangible.

I love to invite other teachers, administrators, and parents to my class to see and hear from my students what they are learning. They are so proud of their work. My kids created their own newsletter this second semester to share "their" news. Their Circle Publication was terrific and they are so excited to share this copy with you.

Marilyn Wall
John Wayland Elementary
Bridgewater, Virginia

...I have noticed that my students are not really informed about current events and very seldom read the newspaper. Giving them the opportunity to telecommunicate with their peers in distant locations and work together on structured, yet flexible topics has instilled in them a great appreciation for what goes on in their world. Comparing schools and communities provides motivation enough for them to look at other ideas of a curricular nature and work cooperatively toward an end result...

Bill Burrall
Moundsville Junior High
Moundsville, WV

...It's been awhile since I've had a chance to sit and respond to the activities in this Circle. My group of kids have been monopolizing the Apple computers that are in my lab. Every time I have 15-30 minutes to myself, it seems like all the computers are in use!! I realize that a lot of messaging is taking place which might lead to the disks getting full faster, particularly on the Apples. I have one disk set aside for each two week period for incoming messages only. Each team of 3 students has a "team" disk to use for project work and messages. I encourage the kids to write often since this is a great opportunity for them to develop an awareness of the world. Sounds corny, perhaps, but most of these kids never knew where some of the states and countries were, geographically. These are inner city kids whose "vision" of the world consisted of Lawrence, New York and their native country. I have seen a great change in these kids in the way that they look at issues and events since January....

Judith A Alaimo

Their motivation to become actively involved in the learning going on across the network was more than evident. They become active learners, interested and motivated learners, wanting to take part in leaning, just as I was. We became a real learning team. The environment of the whole class changed. This success led me to push for involvement by other teachers in our school, which in turn led to my helping them to learning how to integrate all of this great technology into their classrooms. Now because of telecommunication I am a different person, and our school is a different place.

Phillip Noel
Clarenville, Newfoundland, Canada

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Copyright © 1997, 2002, Margaret Riel