Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Continuing My GAME Plan

Continuing my GAME plan is taking careful planning.  I want to make sure that I am adding meaningful technology to my curriculum.  Last week, I stated that my goal was to incorporate virtual field trips into my curriculum. The first topic I choose to start with is animals because this is our current study in science.

Resources- I will need my SMARTboard to start my virtual tours to model for my students.  Then I would like them to explore the websites on their own in our computer lab.

Additional Information- I am still trying to find a website that will allow us to actually talk to an expert through Skype or web conference.  Most of these conferences have a fairly large price tag.

Steps I have taken- So far, I have found three websites that will at least give my students a glimpse into an animal’s life. 

Last week, I discussed incorporating the website ePals into my curriculum for promoting cultural understanding and global awareness.  I was enlightened this week in reading Technology Integration for Meaningful Classroom Use (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009).  I have learned that cultural understanding requires more than just e-mailing students from another country.  While this is a good start, I will need to take steps to help my students understand another culture and just like in America, not everyone has the same upbringing, views and beliefs.

Resources-On my path to promoting cultural understanding and global awareness, I will have my students create a voice thread about their own lives.  This will give students from our corresponding country, Russia, as chance to see, through text and pictures, and hear about the lives of my students.  I will need access to a scanner, computers, and will need to make sure our global partners will be able to access our presentations when finished.

Additional information-I would also like my students to research about the area of Russia our friends are from.  Cennamo et al. discuss at length the various aspects of another culture that could be different from our own. I do want my students to learn mainly from their e-mail partner but I also do not want to offend anyone right off. I would also like to talk to the other teacher and see if their class can create a presentation about themselves.   

Steps I have taken-In the last week, I have found our global partners.  We will be communicating with another fourth grade class from Russia through ePals hopefully starting next week.


Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.


  1. Hi Mrs. Webb,

    I admire how you are expanding on your original idea of setting up a "global schoolroom" using e-pen pals as the medium. By adding Voice Threads you have allowed students to participate in an authentic exercise in which they can have choices, as well as tap into their creative instincts. They will also have access to multi-sensory activities. In addition, researching information on Russia will give the children material with which to communicate in a meaningful way. All of this will help them develop sensitivity to other cultures as they add to their knowledge base.


  2. Mrs. Webb, how exciting to be conversing with students half way around the world! I would love to do this as well for my Human Growth and Development classes. I thought it would be interesting to see how different cultures prepare for pregnancy and birth and the child care options women have available outside the U.S. I first need to see if ePals is something I can use at school. The use of new technology at school has been an issue. However, with the big push to integrate technology into the classroom, I hope to see that problem being resolved. I love Voicethread and I have mentioned it several times in my blogs and posts. I use it in my classroom often and my students seem to enjoy making their own projects. Also, when the Voicethread is published people from all over the world can comment and make suggestions. I have only had my students comment on their classmates projects as feedback but by combining epals and voicethread, the communication and the experience with be vast. Keep us posted!

  3. Tabatha,

    I know at the fourth grade level one of the Common Core Standards is to reach students at a global level. I am sure this is included at most grade level. Hopefully, that will give you an edge when you speak with your school about allowing your class to use e-pals.


  4. Mr. Webb,
    I am excited for you and your accomplishments so far with your GAME plan (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer, 2009) so far. I know that it is costly to take you class on a field trip and that the vertical field trip is a great experience for the students. I think that the ePals will be a rewording experience for your students. I think that your project is a good example of adding meaningful technology to your curriculum. I know how music from other cultures affects our likes and when my students learn music from other cultures, they gain respect for that culture. Once you have your scanner in place I think that your students will enjoy sharing pictures. Do you think that you will be able to use something like Skype periodically to communicate with your ePals?

    Cennamo, K., Ross , J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use. Mason: Cengage Learning.

  5. Mrs. Webb,
    As part of the global awareness piece, have you considered your students researching current events in Russia, and having your students ask their counterparts in Russia? It helps to learn people's backgroundsand traditions, but it would give a great idea of the beliefs of the children if you could have them respond to something going on in their world. For example, we are having elections here soon, maybe you could find a political article, have your students compare it to how things are done here, and then have them ask their ePals how that particular event effected them. Just a suggestion. Looks like you are off to a great start!


    1. Jill,

      That is a great idea! While our students know we live in a democracy, it will be good for them to hear how other governments work. Thanks!

  6. Debbie,

    I would definitely like to use Skype with the other class if it is possible for them. We Skyped twice last year with classes from the United States and the students loved it!

  7. I'm excited that your GAME plan studies have taken a cultural turn. My students have really enjoyed studying instruments and art from other cultures in class. If you are targeting specific cultures at a time, you might consider talking with your art and music teachers at your school to see if they can supplement study for your students in the language and arts of the area. It would make for a more in-depth experience and open their eyes to the differences all around the world.

    1. Thanks for the idea! I'm sure the music and art teachers would be willing to help out.