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Thursday November 7th, 2013

Posted at 1:35pm

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Nathan Agostino sits at his desk; Ipad in his hand staring at the screen waiting with anticipation. “This is so awesome! I wonder what others will think of my thoughts on the last chapters,” he says.

Agostino, a Grade 5 student at Prince Edward School is one of 30 students in his class participating in the Global Read Aloud Project, a project implemented to promote the love of reading while connecting globally with other students.

Initiated in 2010 by Pernille Ripp, a 5th Grade teacher from Middleton, Wisconsin, the Global Read Aloud Project provides an opportunity for students to read chapters from a book with their own teacher and then share their thoughts and questions with other students throughout the world. The program selects particular books in which the students are to read according to the students’ grade level. Each book is studied for approximately 6 weeks and each participating classroom follows a schedule of sections to complete.

Students then use various forms of technology to connect with other classes. Students may choose to blog, tweet, Skype or E-mail questions or comments about the chapter or section of the book they have just read. Each participating teacher decides how much time they would like to dedicate and how many global connections they make. Nathan’s class at Prince Edward is currently using Edmodo to blog with students from a variety of countries including Montenegro, a country in Southeastern Europe.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for students to connect with other students from around the world. The students gain an understanding of not only the book they have just read but how students may have different perspectives based on their global location,” says Matthew Burkhart a Grade 4/5 teacher at Prince Edward. “The accountability of knowing that other students from different classes will see their work certainly motivates and interests the students,” adds Burkhart.

Burkhart is certainly right that this program has the interest of his students. “It’s one of my favourite parts of the day. I can’t wait to read the next chapters,” says Agostino. “I love that we are allowed to connect with other kids just like me in other countries.”

Guest article sent in by Jen Minovski.

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