The Global Educator: My Learning Experience

Global Education


     Global education is a new and exciting territory for me. I began my journey blind, with no previous knowledge, and quickly fell for its luster:

when children are exposed to other “cultures and develop skills in a connected world, they are better prepared to be productive and compassionate citizen’s in an increasingly global economy, and they are able to improve their communication skills, collaborate effectively and be ready for multicultural workspaces,” (ISTE).

     Delving intensely into Julie Lindsay’s book, The Global Educator: Leveraging Technology for Collaborative Learning & Teaching, began my infatuation with this new found environment. A whirlwind of cultivating information began to flood my brain and challenge my teaching theories with influential, and intriguing key questions behind this environment:

  • How imperative is it that educators connect themselves and their classrooms to the world?
  • What emerging education leadership styles are shifting pedagogy and why should we be taking notice of this?
  • What are essential benefits of embedding online global collaboration into the curriculum?
  • What are simple steps that educators in the classroom can take to become more globally minded and start to change their practice?
  • How are emerging digital technologies supporting this move to online global learning and collaboration?

source ISTE

     Chapter by chapter I was lead deeper into resources, case studies, collaborations, and stories, fully engaging every word by lead teachers. From the basic definition of what it is to be a Global Educator, to becoming a Global Educator, to achieving Global Education, my mind was “blown.”

     How have I gone through all of my younger adulthood and career, and never have been introduced to Global Education? How has my teachings been so lackluster? So non-diverse culturally? How can I impose all these findings and improve my students learning both culturally and educationally?

     All of these questions, and some, began to poor into my mind throughout my readings of The Global Educator.

Connecting Culturally & Cultural Awareness

     Through Global Learning (and/or education in general) we must encourage, demonstrate, model, teach, and empower students and educators alike, to be mindful and respectful of other cultures. While connecting with other classrooms and/or educators, it is essential to pay mind to cultural values, opinions, social cues, cultural influences, economic situations, physical surroundings as well as politics throughout your entire connection and beyond. 

     Allow your students and yourself to delve into the culture of the connected classroom and/or educator. Becoming familiar with such items as mentioned above, will allow for a smoother “connection” and will facilitate the learning process for all. Cultural awareness is key in becoming a globally connected classroom. 

Cultural Awareness is the foundation of communication and it involves the ability of standing back from ourselves and becoming aware of our cultural values, beliefs and perceptions (Culturosity).

Connect Unite Cooperate Handshake Regard

     I recently viewed a Turkish t.v. series (1 episode) on Netflix, with English subtitles, with hopes to expand my personal cultural awareness. Throughout the episode I kept a few things in mind …

  • What social cues are they displaying?
  • What are the physical surroundings?
  • What are the cultural influences?
  • What is the economic situation?
  • Politics involved? 
  • What are the difference and similarities to my own culture?

I must point out that I was afforded the opportunity to replay the episode. Therefore, I was able to re-view or get a better look at what was occurring. This will NOT be able to take place in the real-world. 

   WARNING: This t.v. series is not intend for children

     Şubat is about an orphaned boy and the horrific tragedy that unfolded at the orphanage and its connections to his present day (adult) life. It is a drama driven, sci-fi flinging, suspense motivated t.v. series that grasps the viewers attention within moments of the title. Though this t.v. series does not “scream” culture, it does not elude from it either. 

     Based off of this fictional piece, the economic stance of the country being represented (Istanbul) does not seem to differ from that of the U.S. culture, too much. My conclusion of this came from viewing the attire (not surprisingly different, street/comparable attire), physical surroundings (well established city), as well as the way in which they spoke (educated, they spoke in the same manner and tones in which we would speak here in the U.S.). 

    Politically speaking, I did not pin point any political undertones or references. However, there was an incident in the very beginning of the episode where Şubat was confronted by a mall security guard. He is hit repeatedly and ordered to leave as he is scaring away customers (Şubat was staring at a t.v. screen that was playing the news; SPOILER ALERT he falls in love with the news reporter). If this were to occur in the U.S., the security guard would be arrested for assault since loitering is not a crime punishable by beating. 

     I could not decipher between cultural influences, not to say that there were none. The writers of this series did a fantastic job making the story not culturally driven and more vastly relatable on the context. **edited** Having gone back through the episode several more times in hopes to find cultural influences, at last, I was able to pin point something. During the very tale end, the camera flows through people playing music and it radiates with culture; how I did not pick up on this before is a mystery! The music seemed to have no lyrics just seemingly historical instruments coming to life. (Its a stretch, a giant stretch but you get the idea.) This choice of music humbles the characters, in my opinion. It is saying to the viewer that the character(s) are grounded with their culture. Whereas as if this t.v. series were made in the U.S. I could imagine music playing that would not be of words found in any dictionary. 

     Overall, the episode seemed relatable, culturally to the U.S. I believe this was most likely intentional on the writers/producers/directors part to make the t.v. series more marketable. They did a fantastic job if that is the case. 

     Delving into a culture before connecting with a student/class/educator is essential in facilitating the learning process and experience for all. By becoming culturally aware and connected, allows for the mind to become more open to other’s views and opinions. Ultimately giving way to a greater, positive impact on the world in which we live. Because cultural awareness is the foundation of communication and it involves the ability of standing back from ourselves and becoming aware of our cultural values, beliefs and perceptions  (culturosity).

    Şubat (Netflix/Youtube)




Now that I have been fully submerged into the Twitter world, let’s reflect over my Twitter journey thus far! Ready…?! #TwitterChat

it-underworld-126I must first confess that I was apprehensive about signing up for a Twitter account. I had preconceived notions on Twitter e.g. drama and I was not sure what I was getting into. However, I took the plunge. 

Twitter was a bit overwhelming. I did not know where to turn because everywhere I turned there were “buttons.” Like a lot! I had to learn real quick (with a little help from google) what they all meant. Confession: I am pretty sure my first few encounters on twitter were mess-ups on my part. I believe I may have “retweeted” things I did not mean to “retweet” or replied to things I did not mean to reply too. Oh the embarrassment! I have since navigated my way through all the buttons and have moved onto bigger and better embarrassments discoveries. hand-drawn-twitter-logo-icons-and-buttons_23-2147536533

I have discovered another side of Twitter that I have never been attribute to; Professional Networking and Professional Development. This world has completely rocked my learning experience as an aspiring Special Education teacher. I have made connections with numerous people from around the globe in education as well as people within my community. Sharing and expanding knowledge has been beyond influential and inspirational. There is vast pool of knowledge that is waiting to be shared and explored. 

My first TwitterChat experience was a bit rough. I felt completely lost, and completely behind on the conversations. However, I left the conversation with a new outlook on homework; purpose and retainability for students. I shared conversations with principles, teachers, and fellow aspiring educators. We discussed the effectiveness of homework, its 14454029241_a19ab612ca_zimportance or lack there of as well as its hurtfulness for a lack of better words. The conversations (having gone back over them a few times upon completion of the chat) was very enlightening and has changed the way in which I view homework and how I hope to implement it within my classroom one day. Having conversations with principles about what they expect homework to “look” like or how they see it should be implemented was eyeopening and head turning. From this 1 TwitterChat my view on the way I think about learning has already begun to morph. Having the perspective of principals, teachers and aspiring educators in my “pocket” I hope I can apply this perspective or perspectives to my own classroom one day and how I implement learning. 



When you have so much to say, yet only 140 characters to say it in

I often find myself deciding between the content of my “tweet” that cannot fit into the 140 character allotment and the correctness of my grammar (see what I did there?). Grammar always seems to lose out. #GrammarCrime #NotEnoughCharacters #StopTyping

No, you cannot edit that

I cannot count how many “tweets” I have posted and than had to delete it because I forgot something to say or include a hashtag. #Hassle #EditButtonPlease #ForgotMyHashtag

There is a hashtag for that

Lucky! This one fits into both #WhatHurtsTheMost and #BecauseIAmHappy. Why? You have to, per the 140 character allotment, decide on a hashtag that best suits or describes your “tweet.” To be continued … #Uhhhh #Hashtagless #TooMany #ThereIsABetterHashtagForThat


Twitter is the only place where you can get excited for a stranger following you

It has become a strange happiness. There is no greater {possibly a slight exaggeration} feeling then logging onto twitter and seeing a new “follower.” Especially one that is part of a Professional Learning Network that you are interested in. #OhYeah #TheyKnowMe #Cloud9 #CelebrateGoodTimesComeOn

Searchpreneur you will become

The most gratifying? Having, figuratively, the world at your finger tips to make connections and share knowledge. This has to be my favorite part of Twitter. I have stumbled upon numerous articles, people and tech that have expanded my outlook on so much in the world; outside of education as well. My knowledge, interest and inspiration for education has grown in such a short period of time. Especially Global Learning. #MindBlown #Knowledge=Power #WorldCatalog #IBelieveICanFly #QueenOfTheWorld

There is a hashtag for that

…Continued. Having endless possibilities of what you can type after a # is amazing. You can create your own hashtags, follow and find hashtags. #Whaaat #SkyIsTheLimit #WeCantStopWeWontStop #Hashtag #SeriouslyAnything #AreYouReadingMyHashtags

Twitter has really challenged my notions on, well, everything. Social media can be a large tool for Professional Learning Networks and Developments, when used properly. It has afford me the opportunity to become connected with educators from vast cultures, levels of educations and perspectives. I believe I will stick around on Twitter for awhile.

Embrace the hashtagimageI have @jheritag1


Anne Mirtschin: The World is my Classroom


Global Learning 

Global Learning (or The global dimension, or Global Citizenship) is concerned with exploring the interconnections between people and places around the world. It asks us to observe the similarities and differences that exist around our world today and relate these to our own lives. –

Learn how a virtual, global, and culturally-blended classroom is not just a dream, it’s a reality. -Anne Mirtschin

  • blended classrooms are global in nature
  • learning is occurring 24/7
  • students and educators of all ages and learning abilities are learning together
  • learning goes well beyond the square walls of the classroom
  • global projects encouraged
  • learning is “messy” but the outcome is worth it
  • develop socially, emotionally, empathically and cognitively; for both man kind and the world
  • appreciation for those around them as well as the world in which we live


Global learning encourages and exposes students to explore and make sense of bigger issues in the world, teaches critical thinking and creativity through topical and controversial issues, facilitates the development of social, emotional, cognitive growth as well as self-awareness and facilitates a positive attitude to differences, facilitates reflections on personal actions; past, present and future, encourages participation is society as active and responsible global citizens and so much more!

Educators can find connections and ideas from numerous resources. Branch out of your classroom and expand the learning environment; students and educators. Below is just a few of the resources where you can develop connections.

Twitter        Skype        WordPress Blogs         LinkedIn        Classroom2.0         Conferences       Wikispaces         Google Docs          Blackboard Collaborate          Facebook       Epals       The Global Classroom Project          Flat Classroom Projects

Leading teacher in Global Learning

Anne Mirtschin: The World is My Classroom

l8id6aebbrn7815izrq6_400x400 Anne Mirtschin is an award winning teacher who uses online tools to create powerful learning opportunities for students. She teaches Information and Communications Technology(ICT), Business Management and at Hawkesdale P12 College. She is passionate about rural and global education, immersing technology into the classroom and loves collaborating and learning online. Technology together with an amazing network has enabled her to make the world her classroom. Anne is the co-Australasian Chair for Global Education Conference, a Skype Master Teacher and Microsoft Innovative Educator, a Flat Connections Lead teacher Communications Chair, ISTE Global PLN and moderator of Tech Talk Tuesdays  ISTE 2016

Twitter: @murcha           Blog: On an e-Journey with Generation Y

The below video from classrooms in a small rural P12 school in Hawkesdale, Victoria, Australia; a town of only 120 people which is isolated both culturally and geographically incorporate technology to engage students allowing them to connect, communicate and collaborate with students and classrooms from around the world.  I truly encourage you to follow Anne and read her blog (above) to get a more in-depth look at how to incorporate and utilize technology within your classroom to expand learning outside the walls of your classroom.


A 21st-century curriculum needs to prepare learners to live and work in this fast-moving, interdependent, global society. It should enable all young people to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens, and should contribute to the achievement of the five outcomes for children identified in Every Child Matters. Each school should have a unique curriculum that meets the needs,interests and aspirations of its particular learners.


Digital Tool: Padlet


Padlet Free/Plans. An internet based website (digital tool) that acts as a virtual bulletin board, blog and portfolio allowing numerous people to post notes, photos and videos from anywhere, anytime! Collaborate, invite, share! 

Website Features

  • Photo & Video Sharing (possibilities are endless here. Incorporate student involvement with research and exploration.)
  • Bulletin Board (repeat! Virtually pin “post-its” to the board)
  • Communicate (from anywhere, anytime, with anyone; seriously, even in other countries!)
  • Group Work (amazing for collaboration and co-creation)
  • Sharing (with anyone, to numerous social media outlets, save as pdf for printouts, embedding possibilities e.g see below)

Overall, Padlet is a super easy to use website that allows people of ALL ages to utilize within any setting, especially the classroom. Basic features are free and you can also upgrade to a plan (schools can take advantage of the school plan which allows usage for the entire school for one price). If you already have a google account you are set! If not, no worries, set-up is easy. Padlet is a great digital tool to utilize within the classroom for collaboration and co-creation

My Padlet example – click on the photo to maneuver around and watch videos

Made with Padlet


Usage within the classroom setting – Possibilities are endless

First grade teacher utilizing Padlet to distribute learning materials and Text Here for students to submit their work. Students are using a 4th generation iPod touch. Kari works for East Noble School Corpoartion. Published May 2, 2014

Lesson Plan utilizing Padlet

Using Padlet to collect resources  –> Lesson Plan <–

5 uses for Padlet within the classroom

  • Book Review Post a book title, allow the kids to post their review of the book or allow them to post/share different book. To advance this assignment you can have the students discus characters, settings, climax, quotes, and ask questions.
  • Topic Summary From timelines to sharing photos, videos or information on the topic. Share information on American history through a timeline the students create.
  • Question Board Place for students to spatter off questions and have the students respond to one another. Check for understanding; teacher can ask a question and have the students answer.
  • Discussion Forum Students can communicate with one another on a topic; group work.
  • Research group projects or class sharing information on a topic pre-lesson or even after a lesson. –> Lesson Plan <–

4 Guided Ways To Use & Not Use Technology So You Do Not Get Fired

We all use it. We all cannot live without it. However, have we ever thought about the dangers it posses to our careers? Technology can be utilized in numerous ways throughout career fields; teachers more specifically.  Be it through e-mails, google and apps, teachers are met with a thin line for what is appropriate technology usage. Here are 4 guided ways to use and not use technology so you do not get into trouble FIRED.

“It’s essential for some jobs, handy for most, but don’t be fooled—the personal computer can be a job ender.” – U.S. News Liz Wolgemuth | Contributor

7543411458_955765a2a0-21. E-mails Vastly used within the teaching profession as an essential way to communicate within the school building as well as parent-teacher and outside agency communications.

*Administration monitor e-mails and save data therefore can be used within the court of law. 

  • Write as if administration is reading 
  • Be professional
  • Job related topics only
  • Not sure about an e-mail’s liability, ASK
  • DO NOT use profane language, discriminatory words, or offensive material
  • DO NOT share photos or attachments that are not professional e.g. offensive, discriminatory, violent etc.

CBS News – Fired For Sending E-mail

Producing a vulgar, discriminating, violent, or offensive in nature e-mail can result in the loss of job or possible criminal charges. 

    google_2015_logo-svg 2. Search Engines An essential internet tool to the teaching profession to look up anything and everything.

*Administration monitor internet usage and save data therefore can be used within the court of law. Most schools use internet restrictions therefore some searches may be deterred. 

  • Search only student-learning relevant topics
  • Use/turn on Internet restrictions *Most schools have these restrictions already set forth.
  • Use caution with search terms
  • DO NOT use personal search engines e.g. Pinterest 

Search for offensive, vulgar, violent, and indecent in nature topics, photos, or videos can result in the loss of job or possible criminal charges. 

yt3. YouTube Utilized to facilitate learning within and outside the classroom. Often used as a media aide.

*Administration monitor internet usage and save data therefore can be used within the court of law. Most schools use internet restrictions therefore not always accessible. 

  • Student-learning based only
  • Pre-view to its entirety before lesson
  • Check sources 
  • Use expanded screen for viewing (minimizes viewing of possible “suggestions” of other videos)
  • DO NOT show or search anything unrelated to or not age appropriate, education related subject matter

Search for offensive, vulgar, violent, and indecent in nature topics, photos, or videos can result in the loss of job or possible criminal charges. 

511_33510314. Social Media Utilized (with excepections) outside the school environment as a means of communication, social and interest based development.

*Administration monitor internet usage and save data therefore can be used within the court of law. Most schools use internet restrictions therefore not always accessible

  • Consider usage for Professional Learning Development instead
  • Practice caution and use discretion e.g. profanity, provocative or in-bad taste photos or posts
  • DO NOT discuss professional relations or students and their matters (with anyone outside their education interests)
  • DO NOT use a school computer to access
  • DO NOT “friend” students/parents 

CBS NEWS – Teacher Fired Over Facebook

Search for offensive, vulgar, violent, and indecent in nature topics, photos, or videos can result in the loss of job or possible criminal charges

**Misuse of technology could result in loss of job and possible criminal charges. Laws and school wide regulations on technology usage are in place. Make sure you check your school’s or work’s policy. 

 Teachers can utilize technology to further reach their students, communicate with a vast amount of people/professionals involved in his/her student’s learning environment as well as promote and develop social and personal interests and beyond. However, technology could, in an instant, destroy a career if one is not cautious and proactive in his/her choices. As outlined above, misuse of technology for a professional could result in loss of career as well as bring on possible criminal charges. Thus…

Be Cautious, Be Smart, Be Professional & When In-doubt ASK! 

4 Great Apps to Facilitate Parent-Teacher Communication & Beyond

I am so excited to be sharing these 4 great apps with you to facilitate parent-teacher communication within your classroom. I will give you the inside scoop (tips) as well as helpful insights on each app. So you can say bye-bye to parent-notes and hello to ease!

First an foremost, lets be real about parent-notes! They are so dreadful to write, draw-up and keep copies of (if you are an elementary teacher you may possibly have pre-made parent-notes that consist of behavior, daily schedule etc. We use a pre-made parent-note within our classroom that we design each year that is focused on our students’ schedules and daily needs). Along with these notes, you never know if a parent even received the note! This is a big one if you are teaching older students who may tend to throw out notes before they get home, wink wink. Lastly, in today’s day and age where we are constantly on the go and faster is better, parent-notes are like snail mail.

Now onto the apps! My source; 4 Apps to Foster Parent-Teacher Communication. I found this article through Twitter and wanted to share with you all a more in-depth review on the apps. Hope you find this blog post, as well as my source, very helpful! 

unnamedBloomz: Free. This app reflects a more professional feel with calendar reminders, student portfolios and even behavior tracking; this app has it all!  

App Features

  • Photo & Video Sharing (can really be beneficial for homework help! Also wonderful for including parents on a project/activity completed in school) 
  • Class Updates (reminders, due dates, special events e.g. The math test is now Friday)
  • Manage Events (send invites. Parents can R.S.V.P. to an invite and you can keep track of what parents will be bringing to a party! Field trips, in-school events etc.)
  • Student Timelines (sharing students’ work with parents)
  • Behavior Tracking (great for special education kids! or just to work on behaviors with a parent; staying in the loop)
  • 2-Way and Group Messaging (great for one-on-one communication and entire classroom communication to get ideas on parties etc or to say congratulations to the entire class for doing well on a test or while a substitute was in)

Overall, Bloomz is a great app; easy to use and its features are endless! It does take sometime getting used to, however it is pretty simple once you get the hang of it. This app sends email alerts  e.g. message from teacher, so you can stay in the loop and not have to keep checking the app. Great way to get to know parents (profiles) and for parents to get familiar with one another. 

mojo6Classdojo: Free with some in-app purchases. This app reflects a fun, cute way to communicate with parents & kids through messages, point system and timelines; this app is fun for all to use!

App Features

  • Photo & Video Sharing (beneficial for homework help, sharing in-classroom experiences)
  • Class Updates (reminders, due dates, special events e.g. The math test is not Friday)
  • Behavior Tracking: (both students and parents can be engaged in behavioral tracking through a point system)
  • Messaging (great for one-on-one communication as well as sending out group messages)
  • All Teachers (every teacher can be linked to a student’s account rather than having several accounts for one student)
  • Student Involvement (students will love creating a “monster” for their profile picture and can be engaged with their school work and behavior +/-)

Overall, Classdojo is a great app that functions well for teachers, parents and students alike. This app is very easy to use, and very family friendly for both children and parents to utilize. This app sends email alerts e.g. message from the teacher, so you can stay in the loop and not have to keep checking the app. Creating “monsters” for their profile picture is adorable and engaging.

9s9sqihkRemind: Free. This app reflects more of a messaging system that can also be utilized for all classes and student-student communication as well. Simple app setup, geared toward high school. You do not need the app to participate

App Features

  • Messaging (built to mimic text messaging, great for instant communication as well as to know who read what messages)
  • Photo Sharing (beneficial for homework help)
  • Voice Recording (great for non-visual learners)
  • Student Involvement (meant more for teacher-student communication with class updates, reminders, and homework help)
  • SMS (no app needed to participate in messaging. Great for those parents who do not want to download the app or do not have a smartphone)

Overall, Remind is a great app for high school students/teachers/parents to communicate about assignments, facilitate learning as well as assignments/test/classroom change reminders. Very simple setup and is a way to communicate instantly with students and parents.

simplycircleSimply Circle: Free/Membership. This app reflects more of a professional feel and can be used for P.T.A., sport groups, scouts and communities etc. Can be used for messaging to sharing to fundraising.

App Features

  • Photo Sharing (beneficial for homework help, document sharing as well as flyers for sales/fundraising)
  • Class Updates (automatically sends reminders for events or assignments. Parents can also save the event right to their personal calendars)
  • Volunteers (easily create needs for parent volunteers for parties, field trips in room support; this feature is part of the membership)
  • Messaging (group messages or one-on-one messaging)

Overall, Simply Circle is a great app for classrooms as well as P.T.A., sport groups, scouts and communities. Very easy to use and reminders and volunteers are a breeze to keep track of. Though this apps free version is very limited to its utilization, investing into the app may be more beneficial to those needing help with fundraising.