With so many great edtech tools out there, it’s easier than ever to help students experience the world right from the classroom. Introducing students to new people, ideas, and cultures can happen virtually with appropriate apps and technology. Sifting through the best ones can be time-consuming, so we turned to some experts—our Ambassador Teachers!
We polled Ambassador Teachers on what their favorite websites and apps are to use for cultural exchange in their classrooms. Here are the winners!
Teachers mentioned Padlet as a tool they like to use for cultural exchange activities. Teachers can create online boards, or Padlets, on the website or app and invite students to collaborate on them. The Padlets have lots of options for customization and support most file types, so they are flexible to use.
Students can collaborate in real time by sharing videos, notes, pictures, or audio recordings on the platform. Students can respond to one another by leaving replies, up-voting, or favoriting comments. With lots of options for interaction, Padlet is a great tool for getting students to relate to one another, no matter where they are located.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re probably all familiar with Zoom. Teachers use Zoom to connect with other classrooms in different parts of the world through virtual meetings. With easy-to-use technology and video, this is a great platform for students to “meet” their peers from all over the world.
Read about how one Ambassador Teacher used Zoom for a cultural exchange activity with her Spanish dual language immersion students.
Flip (formerly Flipgrid)
Educators use Flip to engage students in responding to prompts and to one another via Flip’s platform. Teachers can post a topic and then allow students to share a response via video, audio, or text. Students can reply to their peers as well.
Teachers said they like to use it for feedback or responses after students have shared projects or presentations. It allows students who may be reluctant to speak up in front of the whole class to express themselves.
Many teachers said that using Google Earth for virtual field trips was helpful to their students for giving them context about a new place. Students love to see special or interesting places in the country they are learning about.
Time lapses, 3D imagery, and more tools are available to help students understand geography and terrain. You can create your own custom projects or allow students to move the map as they explore different places.
Wordwall allows educators to create custom games and activities for students. Students can do the activities as a class using a tool like an interactive whiteboard, or they can complete activities independently.
With many different templates, such as crosswords, flip tiles, and anagrams, teachers can decide what works best for the content they want to teach. Students can also create interactive games for their peers to play, making it a good option for virtual exchanges.
There are many more tools out there for all types of virtual exchange activities. Technology allows us to experience other cultures and meet new people in ways that previously weren’t possible without extensive travel around the world. Now, we can bring the world to our students right in their own classrooms.