Learning Circles



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  • Barry S. Kramer Learning Circles Coordinator Margaret Riel
  • Learning Circles Coordinator/Advisor
  • Chris Hockert
  • Learning Circles Coordinator
  • The Global Learning Circles Project
  • The Course

Global Learning Circles Objectives

  • What Are Global Learning Circles?
  • What Is the Schedule for Learning Circle?
  • What Kind of Projects Are Found in Learning Circles?
  • What Are the Educational Benefits of Learning Circles?
  • How Do I Become a Participant?
  • Teacher Testimonials
  • What Is the Learning Circles Course?

Learning Circles A Brief History

  • Timeline:
  • Margaret Riel
  • 1987 - Inter-Cultural Learning Network
  • 1989 - AT&T Learning Network
  • 1995 - iEARN Learning Circles
  • Barry Kramer
  • 2004 - Coordinator

Global Learning Circles Why Do Teachers Join Learning Circles?

  • Learning Circles
  • Meaningful Work For Students
  • Authentic Audiences for Students
  • Telecollaborative Project Work
  • Emphasis on Writing across the Curriculum
  • Focus on Multi-Disciplinary Themes
  • Project-based Learning
  • Support for Collaborative Learning
  • Connecting Learning to People, Places and Activities
  • Understanding the Values and Perspectives of Different Groups
  • Learning Circles

Global Learning Circles What Are Learning Circles?

  • Cross-Classroom Collaboration To Create A Circle Publication
  • Group Investigations within Classrooms
  • Group Investigations across Classrooms
  • One of the best ways to learn something is to agree to teach it to someone else!

Global Learning Circles What Are Teachers’ Expecting?

  • Teachers are looking for a global education experience for their students
  • Teachers are looking for theme-based project work they can integrate with their classroom curriculum
  • Teachers want students to develop important interpersonal skills by working with other students from around the world
  • Teachers want to professionally learn through interactions with other teachers

Global Learning Circles Misconceptions

  • We are not a social network
  • Most of our student and teacher interaction is asynchronous
  • We cannot guarantee that the other members of your Learning Circle will complete their commitment to the project
  • We cannot make other schools communicate, participate, and interact
  • Learning Circles are only as strong as the commitment of the participants. We count on participating teachers to be professional, trustworthy, and honest. We also expect educators who enroll to honer their commitment.

Global Learning Circles Support for Learning Circles

  • Overview
  • The Learning Circle Teacher Guide provides a structural approach to promoting cross-classroom collaboration with telecommunications. The first chapter provides an overview. If you want to understand this model of online teaching and learning, it is a good place to begin

Global Learning Circles The Learning Circle Model

  • Learning Circle Partners
  • (A Group of 6-8 Classes)
  • Grade Level Compatibility
  • Geographic Diversity
  • Common Timeline
  • Task Coordination
  • Responsibility to the Group
  • Individual Creativity

Global Learning Circles Sample Project Groups

  • Places and Perspectives
  • Tehran, Iran
  • Kumasi, Ghana
  • Aleppo, Syria
  • Kennesaw, Georgia, United States
  • Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
  • Kocaeli, Turkey
  • Minsk, Belarus
  • Ganja, Azerbaijan
  • Tinghir, Ourazazte, Morocco
  • Kortkeros, Komi Republic, Russia
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Esigodini, Zimbabwe
  • My Hero Learning Circles
  • Janetville, Ontario,Canada
  • Thies, Senegal
  • Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Trujillo, La Libertad, Peru
  • Manah, Oman
  • Port Said, Egypt
  • Kharkov, Ukraine
  • Medgidia, Constanta, Romania
  • Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
  • Lynnwood, Washington, United States
  • Accra, Ghana
  • Warragul, Victoria, Australia
  • Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Mississaga, Ontario, Canada
  • Slonim, Belarus

Global Learning Circles Management of Learning Circles

  • Management Options
  • In general, Elementary Circles are teacher led and managed.
  • The goal is for High School Circles to be student led and managed.
  • Middle School Circles are usually a mixture of both management styles.
  • Elementary Circles
  • Teacher Managed
  • High School Circles
  • Student Managed

Global Learning Circles Phases of a Learning Circle (16 Weeks)

  • Getting Ready for Learning Circles
  • Opening the Learning Circle
  • Planning the Learning Circle Projects
  • Exchanging Student Work on Learning Circle Projects
  • Organizing the Circle Publication
  • Closing the Learning Circle

Global Learning Circles Opening the Circle

  • Classroom Survey (Online)
  • About the Students
  • About the School
  • About the Community
  • Welcome Packs (Postal Mail and Virtual Welcome Presentations)
  • Send whatever fits in a large envelope (pictures, brochures, drawings, symbols, etc.) that will tell others
  • Who you are?
  • What you look like?
  • What you like to do?
  • Where you live?

Global Learning Circles Bulletin Boards

  • Learning Circle Partners

Global Learning Circles Bulletin Boards

  • Learning Circle Partners

Global Learning Circles Themes

Global Learning Circles Planning Circle Projects

  • Responsibility & Commitment
  • Each Class as a team organizes or "sponsors" a project for the group
  • Every class is responsible to send at least one response to the projects in their Learning Circle

Global Learning Circles Project Idea Template

  • Learning Circle Group: Computer Chronicles
  • Sponsoring Teacher: Barry S. Kramer
  • Sponsor School: Franklin Township School
  • City: Quakertown
  • Country: USA
  • Name of Project:
  • Goal Of The Project:
  • Type Of Writing Requested:
  • Description Of What You Are Looking For From Other Schools:
  • Example: (Questions, Story Prompts)
  • Detailed Instructions For Collecting Information:
  • Ideal Number Of Submissions From Each School:
  • Preferred Length Of Articles:
  • Deadline For Receiving Information (Circle deadline is November 20, 2010):

Global Learning Circles Sample Project Idea

  • Holidays and Celebrations
  • In the United States we enjoy celebrating holidays throughout the year. For our project idea we would like to know about some of your holidays, celebrations, customs, and traditions.
  • We would like you to choose one of the following topics and write a paragraph (or two) about the topic.
  • Choose a holiday and describe to us how you celebrate the holiday.
  • Is there a holiday that is unique to your country? Tell us about it.
  • Tell us about some of your minor holidays and how they are celebrated. When do they occur? How did they start?
  • Describe how your family celebrates a specific holiday. Do you have any family traditions that you practice every year?
  • If you could create a new holiday, which holiday would you choose? When would it be celebrated? How would it be celebrated?
  • If you could create a holiday that the entire world celebrated on one day, which holiday would you create? Why? When would it be celebrated?
  • The United Nations is starting a new museum dedicated to honoring heroes throughout the world in different areas such as angels, animals, artists, business, community, earthkeepers, explorers, faith, freedom, hero’s hero, lifesavers, literary, peacemakers, poets, scientists, sports, teachers, and writers. As a noteworthy and admired citizen, you have been asked to be on the nominating committee and have been requested to personally nominate two people. One person should be someone that you know personally and other person should be someone who you have not met personally, but admire because of his/her accomplishments and public image.
  • From your two choices you are asked to narrow your choice to one person and submit a convincing argument for your choice in the form of a written essay (that can include photographs), an original illustration, or a short media clip.
  • Global Learning Circles My Hero: Authentic Performance Task

Global Learning Circles Examples of Learning Circle Projects

  • Places and
  • Perspectives
  • Elementary
  • Comparing Places
  • My Special Place
  • School Days from the Past
  • A Day at School
  • Weather and Seasons
  • Early Explorers
  • Animals in My Backyard
  • Mind
  • Works
  • Middle School
  • Circle Stories
  • Invention Convention
  • Place Poetry
  • Cultural Stories
  • Predictions 2020
  • Environmental Projects
  • Teen Tales
  • Local History Timeline
  • Global
  • Issues
  • High School
  • Gender Issues
  • Economic Issues
  • Ozone and the Environment
  • Alternative Energy Ideas
  • City Life vs. Village Life
  • Students and Video Games
  • Life in the Future
  • Impact of ICT

Global Learning Circles Exchanging Student Work

  • Students...
  • Research topics from other classes.
  • Work with community resources.
  • Learn to monitor goals on schedule.
  • Develop strategies to encourage others to meet deadlines.
  • Store & retrieve information with technology
  • Picture by Heather Davis
  • John Wayland Elementary School

Global Learning Circles Publishing Projects - Print and Web

  • Students...
  • Work with information, analyzing, comparing, and editing to create a final presentation.
  • Use technical tools to create a final presentation.
  • Accept responsibility for the work, making sure that all tasks are completed within a group timeline.

Global Learning Circles Types of Projects

  • Most Common Formats:
  • Word Document
  • PowerPoint Presentation
  • Pdf file
  • Website
  • Blog
  • Wiki
  • Quicktime Movie
  • Mp3

Global Learning Circles Sample Projects

Global Learning Circles Sample Projects

Global Learning Circles Sample Projects

Global Learning Circles Sample Projects

Global Learning Circles Closing the Circle

  • Overall Learning Objectives
  • Locate and Evaluate Information
  • Research & Organize Ideas
  • Creative Problem-Solving within a Team
  • Understand Multiple Perspectives on Issues
  • Develop Cooperative Learning Strategies
  • Increase Self-Esteem and Confidence
  • Accept Individual and Group Responsibility
  • Use Technology Effectively

Global Learning Circles Schedule for Learning Circles

  • Session 1 (September to January):
  • Begins September 30th and ends in
  • mid-January (16 weeks with a 2-week
  • break in December).
  • Learning Circle Placement forms
  • are due by September 15th
  • Session 2 (January to May):
  • Begins January 30th and ends in May (15 weeks with a 1-week break in Spring).
  • Learning Circle Placement forms
  • are by January 15th

Global Learning Circles Educational Benefits

  • Enhances Student Learning
  • Develops Reading/Writing Skills
  • Enhances Teaching Curriculum
  • Stimulates Teacher Creativity
  • Expands Teaching and Learning Horizons
  • Integrates Computer and Telecommunications Technology

Global Learning Circles Future: 2011-2012

  • Online Collaboration Tools
  • Skype
  • Eluminate
  • Increased Use of Multimedia
  • New Circle Theme - My City and Me
  • Global Issues: 8 - Week Circles for High School Classes

Global Learning Circles How To Become a Participant

  • To join iEARN Learning Circles, you must first be a member of iEARN and complete an iEARN Learning Circle placement form two weeks before the beginning of the session. Once you complete the placement form you will be placed in a circle for the next session.
  • http://media.iearn.org/coursereglc

Global Learning Circles Teacher Testimonials

  • 150 to 200 teachers participate in Learning Circles each year. Some teachers participate for one session, others participate for both sessions.

Global Learning Circles The Learning Circles Course

  • In this online course, you go through all six phases of a Learning Circle and have assignments that correspond to the work you would normally do during a Learning Circle experience.
  • Most of the work and assignments during this course and a Learning circle are student centered.
  • Sign up in August/September or January/February

Global Learning Circles The Learning Circles Course

  • As part of this course:
  • You and your students will join a small group (a Circle), share cultural information
  • Choose a collaborative civic education project in which to participate
  • You will develop this topic for your students and make plans to research and share student work via the Internet
  • You will also develop ways to teach your students to gather and organize information for publication in print and on the Internet
  • http://www.iearn.org/professional/learningcircles.html

Barry S. Kramer iEARN Global Learning Circles Coordinator bskramer48@hotmail.com

  • Global Learning Circles More Information - www.iearn.org/circles


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