A Cultural Collaborative Unit: Planning Stage

The world is shrinking fast! Cultures from around the world are interacting and mingling, and this is a direct result of the the digital age we now live in. Teachers must prepare kids for a multi-cultural future, and that is exactly why I would like to share this project with you.

Recently, I implemented a cultural collaborative unit and my students did their part to shrink the world around them just a little bit. Here are the first 3 steps I took in turning this idea into an actual learning activity. In Part 2 of this blog post, I will discuss the technology tools I used in the project.

Part 1

1) Come up with a plan as to how you will conduct your cultural collaborative unit. Remember, the name of the game is to expose students to other cultures and ideas. This can include sharing aspects of each other's culture, or sharing opinions of people of different cultures. I chose to have students talk about their culture each week (and ask questions about each others culture), as well as share their opinions on current event news stories. Here is the outline I created for the first two weeks:

2) Inquire with a teacher from another district to see find another educator that is interested in participating in the project. This can be a neighboring district, another district in your state, or another school district from anywhere around the world. Importantly, try to choose a school that has at least some students from a different culture than your own students.

Tips to find teachers: talk to area teachers at professional development workshops, communicate with teachers via Twitter or Facebook, email teachers, etc. Also, you can tweet an open invitation on Twitter, using popular education hashtags.

Example Tweet:

Want to collaborate? I'm looking for a teacher who wants to collaborate with my class to learn more about various cultures. Anyone interested? #historychat #edtech #digcit

3) Communicate with your participating teacher, and their class (if possible). I actually went and visited the other teacher's classes prior to the unit to prepare them, but communicating via webcam is another good option. Email communication is also a feasible option.

Interested so far? Look for the my next blog post in this 3-part series. The next blog post will provide an overview of the technology tools I used in this process.

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