Interested in connecting with another school this year? Hoping to build a bridge between classes at your school? Looking for an opportunity to let your students lead? Do you want to facilitate an authentic audience for your students?

Is ‘diversity of thought’ an objective you want to unpack this year?

The fact is that if you want to build teams or organizations capable of innovating, you need diversity. Diversity enhances creativity. It encourages the search for novel information and perspectives, leading to better decision making and problem solving. Diversity can improve the bottom line of companies and lead to unfettered discoveries and breakthrough innovations. Even simply being exposed to diversity can change the way you think. This is not just wishful thinking: it is the conclusion I draw from decades of research from organizational scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and demographers.

Read the full article from Scientific American here

Don McCullough Connection Via Flickr

Don McCullough
Via Flickr


Here are 44 ways to spark Creative Agency in a Connected Classroom:

  1. This I Believe: performed essays. Could your class submit to the website–or would you host your own variation? What would you change? How could students use this to connect with current studies?
  2. Global Youth Debates: Would you join this debate with your students? Or do you want to craft your own debate across campuses/continents? Connect with Flat Connections founder, Julie Lindsay. (Intelligence Squared is a great resource if you want to build your own debate).
  3. Global Day of Design Select any of the challenges, or come up with your own.  Would you join this in 2017, or rather host one in your region?
  4. The World of 7 Billion Student Video Challenge: would your students jump at this opportunity, or would you propose an entirely different topic?
  5. Blog Action Day: join in or reconfigure for your needs?
  6. Host a Global Book club, like Tracy Blaire did for her COETAIL project.
  7. Join JR’s Inside Out Project (see his TED talk here)…or design your very own JR-esque challenge.
  8. Register your school/community for 2017’s Earth Hour.  Follow them on Twitter here.
  9. Be like Malala and host a social media campaign like #yesallgirls.  Read all about it here.  Or, be like teacher Michelle Lampinen and host a live Twitter debate, read all about that here.
  10. (Re)imagine school, co-author the book across continents or classrooms.  See Sonya terBorg’s example e-text here.
  11. Join in any of the International Mother Language Day events here. Or invite others to join your design for the day. Follow in the footsteps of Zoe Page and document your mother tongue mystery readers, see here for more on that.
  12. Organize a run for World Toilet Day, see UrgentRun.
  13. Check out any of the Stop Hunger Now options here. Consider gamifying any of the UN’s ‘Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World.’
  14. Produce and exchange any video problems with other schools. Consider curating a Youtube Channel meant to store them all. See the Collaborative Mathematics site for a premade maths journey, or consider hosting a local geometry exchange.
  15. Create a shared bank of music made by students for students.
  16. Cross-campus movie project: one class writes the screenplay–another acts it out–a third edits and soundscapes. Or–put something out there with a greenscreen and await the remixes (see here for an example).
  17. Exchange 5-Card-Flickr stories with other classrooms, or co-author them in real time. Alan Levine is ready to get you started here.
  18. Hour of Code: host an event for students, parents, teachers. Follow the #hourofcode hashtag and connect with others.
  19. Join in the International Dot Day movement.  Connect with the author Peter Reynolds on Twitter.
  20. Join in, or create your own #BannedBookWeek event, check out this menu.
  21. What if schools all across the world followed Elizabeth Lesser’s lead and  ‘took the other’ to lunch for a day?
  22. Join the Global Garden movement and participate with students around the world. Follow #globalgarden on Twitter for more.
  23. Get involved in the Global Cardboard Challenge. See what students around the world are doing by following the tag: #globalcardboardchallenge.
  24. Get buddy blogs going.  Use this list of 50 blog challenges to build your blogging community. Here is a quick look at how blogging can help foster collaboration and creativity for students and teachers alike.
  25. Reenact a historical event through Twitter.  Check out this example here.
  26. Share your Snapchat ‘Booksnaps’ as a cross-school PD, or story share.  See the examples here.
  27. Take a topic and explore it as a ‘slow chat’ via Twitter and host a week long conversation.
  28. Follow the lead of The Refugee Project and make the narrative and data visual and accessible. Chris Jordan is another example of taking data and turning it into art, see his TED talk here.
  29. Join in with The Big Draw, or modify the event for your students and region. Check out #thebigdraw via Twitter.
  30. Reboot The 4am Project, take a look at the a few of the stunning photos here.
  31. #BunceeBuddies: explore The Buncee Blog (DM @cesca_buncee for more): connecting classes in order to better understand the U.N.’s Day of Peace. Read @shannonmiller’s blogpost about it here.
  32. Join a Design Squad Club and share your process with clubs around the world.
  33. Connect classrooms through any one of the Global Oneness Projects (here’s one example looking at issues of sustainability).
  34. Explore resources and thoughts on microfinance. Pick one area/sector to represent and team up to offer loans in line with your learning via Kiva.  Learn more here.
  35. Follow in the remarkable footsteps of Jane McGonigal and design a ‘live event game,’ like one of these.
  36. Use Skype as a way to practice a language and provide a service, see this example here.
  37. Allow parents, teachers, or other students to join you on your field trip by live streaming ala Periscope. Take a look at examples of ways to use the application in your school here. (You can save your live stream for those who miss it, click here for more).
  38. Join up with other classes/schools to co-host your very own Podcast channel.  Practice being journalists, delivering commentary, commenting on key global events, debating, or develop a narrative together.  Here’s an example of what one teacher did with podcasting. The Moth (storytelling), Periodic Table (a podcast for each of the elements), Point of Inquiry (social sciences), CodeNewbie (computer science/coding), How I Built This  (entrepreneurs) or More or Less (statistics and politics) could be an interesting model for a variety of subject areas.
  39. A History Class ‘Live’ Dinner Party, read Rebekah Madrid’s process here and contact her here to join up with her.
  40. #ExploringByTheSeat or #ebtsoyp allows your students to ‘hangout’ with scientists around the world, or get involved in a variety of conservation projects. Learn more here. Connect directly via skype: ExploringByTheSeat @EBTSOYP 
  41. Look at the variety of virtual field trips lined up via Skype for this year, click here for more.
  42. Track and connect with Markus Pukonen @routesofchange as he travels the world without using any motors.  Click here to learn more about that sustainable journey.
  43. Connect with the Galactic Unite community online. Learn about Galactic Unite in this video here.  “Galactic Unite is the brainchild of our amazing international community of Virgin Galactic Future Astronauts. As pioneers of the second space age, they are helping to make an important new industry a reality. Through Galactic Unite they are combining their resources and the excitement surrounding their upcoming spaceflights as a force for good and as an inspiration to young people from all over the world.” – Richard Branson
  44. Could we organize a Learning2 with students for students?

Continue to think about developing your connection with this Listly: