Final Reflection on Global Collaboration

Over the last 5 weeks, our classroom has been participating in a Global Collaboration Project with students from Red River Community College in Manitoba, Canada. This project has been a challenging yet wonderful experience in which my colleagues and I got to learn and collaborate with other future leaders from a different part of the world. These projects that we created were based off of the UNESCO Sustainability Goals, where they strive to make the world a healthier, happier, and more sustainable world.

My group and I decided to focus on Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. This goals encompassing everything from watching what resources you consume throughout your daily life, to good, clean production habits. 

We wanted to create three different projects that could be utilized within a variety of classrooms and could bring teachers together to achieve this goal. The first project was a fully versatile 'at-home' composting bin, the second was a model aqueduct and …

Global Collaboration Week 3-4

Things are moving now! 

My group-mates and I are to a crucial part of this project where it feels like make-or-break. We have made great strides in Week 3 and 4 of this endeavor and we are feeling great! We only have a few finishing touches to put on our culminating website, including some of our assessment aspects of our individual lesson plans. 

One of the main focuses of the final week of this project is getting reliable and knowledgeable sources and experts. This aspect of the project has eluded us for so long because there were so many directions we could with it. We could possibly take an 'activists' point of view and search for experts in the field of our topic subjects, such as composting and production, or we take an education approach and search for people to help with our lesson planning and collaboration. I'd like to think we can meet somewhere in the middle and gather as many people and sources as we can! 
Another aspect we are really focusing on is our prese…

Global Collaboration Week 1&2

Lets Get Collaborating!

Throughout the last couple of weeks, my cohort and I started working on a Global Collaboration project with students at the Red River Community College in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. This project gives us a chance to learn how to communicate and work effectively over distance and create a 'lesson' on one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, provided by the United Nations. 

Our group (Molly, Juel, and I) has chosen to discuss and work on Goal 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production, which is all about creating a sustainable environment for future generations to come. We've decided to take a 'teachers' approach to this goal and create corroborating lesson plans for a full scale unit plan. We all have separate lesson plans that will come together at the end that give students and the community different ways to create a more sustainable living environment. Juel is working on a very cool composting project, in which students will be a…

What Makes Life Easy?

Think about the things in your life that make things run smoothly. Maybe the first thing you think of is your phone, which is a pretty common response. It helps the world connect to each other and lets us have the world wide web at our fingertips. But what about things like your glasses? Or maybe the closed captions on your Netflix binge? These are all things that those without a need take advantage of.

All of my examples above follow some level of Universal Design, or the idea that the product or strategy adheres to a large number or people or groups instead of a smaller population. This concept not only applies to specific products, it also applies to the Universal Design of Learning. As you could probably guess, this applies to learning strategies and lesson plans that work and apply to every kind of student in every classroom. Keeping this growth mindset as an educator, especially as a social studies educator is so important for your students. 
According to the UDL Guidelines, the…

Happy Constitution Day!

On September 17th, 1787, the delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed in accordance with a new document that would revolutionize the way in which we governed our new country. And on that day, the Constitution was born!

For most, this day could just be another blip on their history radar. But for an educator like myself, this is a chance to celebrate and learn! How do we celebrate accordingly? Here is a link to a plethora of lesson plans provided by The History Channel on how to get your classroom going on Constitution Day, or during any other early American unit! 
My personal favorite lesson from this document is enthralling to students and a great way to test and improve your students writing. Activity #5 asks your class to 'Save the Constitution', as it has been stolen and your students need to convince the Delegates from various states that it needs to be returned for the sake of our country! There are so many perspectives and routes that your stude…

Who Am I? An Introspective Digital Look

This week, I took some time to get to know myself through other peoples eyes by examining my digital presence online. This task was somewhat more difficult that first expected because I had to ask myself, 'what do I want to find?'. I feel like I am in my own bubble of my perception so some of the things I might find won't be as 'exciting' as I think.

As I expected, some of the things that I found were pretty mundane, like my Facebook and my Google profile picture, but some of the things that came up shocked me, in good and bad ways. This is the first page that pops up on Google when you search "Lauren Cockayne"

The first thing that stood out to me was the pictures, but not just because they're at the top of the search. My picture is not the first one that popped up, the fourth picture is really who I am and it just so happened to be my Google profile picture for a while.  

The question then becomes, how do I get myself to be first? According to this a…

Can History Be Digital? Blogging About History

This past week, I've had the chance to review a couple of blogs that I found regarding teaching all facets of history.

History is soooo in depth and encompasses so many places, times, cultures, and peoples that it seems tough to expand outside of the classic lecture because of, normally, the constraint of time. One of the similarities that I found between all of these blogs is different kinds of lesson plans that incorporate different levels of technological integration. For example, the first blog I found is a blog very simply entitled "The History Blog" and whoever writes for this blog makes a great effort in finding virtual tours and seminars for historical sites and cultures. Although it is a somewhat dated example, this blog shows how to participate in the Portus Project, an archaeological excavation of an ancient Roman site. I really like when sites do these kinds of blogs because it appeals to more than just the average history professor and it gives a chance for …