Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Mystery Province with Google Hangouts and Today's Meet

My class had a pretty cool experience today. We met up, hung out and talked with Bridget Scott's class in Prince Edward Island. We used Google Hangouts to meet and ask questions to try and discover which Province the other class is from. Students also asked each other questions via Today's Meet, trying to glean clues from the other class. I have been trying for a while to set up meetings with classes in other Provinces. The trick is knowing which social network to use.

I tried to set up meetings with teachers outside of Ontario through Google+ and Twitter. I am fairly new to the whole PLN thing, and I was very impressed by how quickly people were jumping in, and offering to help. The hard part is getting it organized with another teacher in a different province, and time zone, and coordinating when we are studying Provinces and Territories. 

I found http://eduhangout.org/, a great site set up by Brent Catlett. This was perfect for finding classes in the United States, and other countries, but less so for Provinces. Brent was however, very helpful and set me up with educators in other Provinces. 

I set up a Google community for Canadian Teachers who want to meet up with classes from other Provinces. It hasn't quite gotten off the ground yet (5 members if I include myself). I thought this would be a good idea for other teachers, as this is a unit of study across Canada in Grades 4 or 5. 

I also tried to find people through Twitter, and had some success there as well, but it wasn't coming easily. I know that I have to connect with more people to make Twitter work better. I have people I follow from BC, and Ontario, but other Provinces are harder. 
I would love an opportunity to connect with a class from the Yukon, Nunavut, or North West Territories, but no luck yet.

So I turned to a social network I hadn't thought of before. I asked fellow co-workers, and parents of the students I taught, or have taught in the past. Everybody knows someone, or has a cousin out east, ect. This has been the most successful Social Network so far. I imagine as I meet more people on Twitter, and through Google+, I will make more connections there as well. In the end, it doesn't really matter which social network the help comes from, the best part is just how helpful everyone is. Thanks to everyone who helped me make a connection!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the mention Scott and sharing eduhangout.org! As I read this I was thinking about how making those connections and building your PLN on Twitter, G+, or whoever takes time. You persistance will continue to pay dividends though for you and ultimately the students in your classroom!

    Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing about your experience.