The Skoolaborate project had a monthly meeting this past week to discuss the new layout of the Skoolaborate islands and how we are moving forward as we continue to grow (now approaching 30 schools/districts from around the globe. It is amazing to see the growth of this project over the past year. Westley Field (Australia) and Chris Flesuras (Japan) have been putting in extraordinary efforts for this project, and those efforts are paying off.
Chris recently released a two part video on the Jidaimatsuri event that was held back in December. Here are links to both of his videos; Jidaimatsuri Part 1 and Part 2. I believe he is looking at reposting these to another service soon that can accommodate videos longer than 10 mins (Yahoo’s current limit).
These are both excellent videos that cover the range of activities (and logistics) that were involved in this event. Because this event was hosted by the Kyoto students, their involvement started much earlier than those at Modesto City Schools, and ran for a much longer period. This video is great for other educators to see what went into the planning and execution of this event, and for our own students to see what was going on over in Japan prior to their participation in this event.
Virtual word technologies are still in their early years. This technology is really starting to produce results for bridging distances and engaging students. Many teachers still do not even know what this technology is, or even how to get started with using it. For the few that are attracted to this technology, many either don’t have the resources to get a project off the ground, nor do they have the support of their administrators to spend the time necessary to be successful. Very few will invest the personal time needed at this time to bring this technology to their students in a successful way.
A project like Skoolaborate pulls together like minded educators from around the globe that are excited about the technology and delivers the resources and experiences many teachers frankly just don’t have access to, especially in these times of tightening budgets. Merging our project into the Skoolaborate family was the best decision we could have made, and our students are all the richer for the partnership. I must also be thankful for the support my district gives for continuing our involvement with this type of cutting edge project.