ISTE to Recognize the Global Read Aloud

The story of the Global Read Aloud is a very simple one indeed.  What started as a summer night’s conversation and a “What if…” moment spoken aloud, has turned into a global event that somehow grows, changes, adapts, yet perseveres year after year.  As new people join our family, as new incredible books are selected, as new technology is incorporated, the mission does not change; one book to connect the world.  One book to read aloud.  When I look back at the rise of the GRA, I don’t quite know how it happened, only that I am so grateful that it has.

Yet, this project is not just mine, it belongs to all of the educator, children, parents, and administrators that have seen value in it.  That have believed in it and made it their own.  It belongs to the world, as any global project should do, and yet, it is still my baby.  Something that takes up so much time but is so rewarding.

I am therefore incredibly humbled, yet so very excited, to announce that I have been selected for the first annual ISTE Innovation in Global Collaboration award for the creation of the Global Read Aloud.   I have wanted to share the news for a while officially on this blog but it feels terribly odd to tout your own accomplishments.  But I am proud, it is hard work, and yet, this isn’t really about me.  This recognition is about all of us.  All of the people that make the Global Read Aloud what it is.  It is about all of the kids that believe they can make the world better by taking action and reaching out.  It is about all of the teachers that take the leap of faith every year and sign up, not quite knowing what to expect, and still making it their own.  It is about all of the authors that write such incredible stories that have to be shared with others.  It is about all of you, I just get to represent us all , and for that I am so very grateful.

So if you happen to be at ISTE this summer, and you happen to be around Monday morning, there is some form of breakfast, a recognition of some sort.  And while I haven’t gotten many details, I would like to invite all of you to come celebrate this award with me somehow.  If you can meet up with me, please come tell me your story.  Find me and please celebrate with me.

This award may have my name on it, but that is only because there isn’t enough room for all of yours.  Thank you so much for spending your time with the Global Read Aloud.  Thank you so much for believing in me.

I am a passionate teacher in Oregon, Wisconsin, USA but originally from Denmark,  who has taught 4th, 5th, and 7th grade.  Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children.  The second edition of my first book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students” will be published by Routledge in the fall.   Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” is out now from Corwin Press.  Join our Passionate Learners community on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.


Show You Participated in the GRA

We finally took the plunge and decided to create some merchandise so we can show our pride of the Global Read Aloud.  Through a partnership with Cafepress, there are now 130 items with the design up for grabs.  Another design is coming as well.  So consider sharing your participation with the world and showing your support to for this project.  Click on any of the links to get to our store.

Our kids shirt comes in many colors and sizes

A funky magnet for your file cabinet

We certainly always need totebags

Countless styles of t-shirts 

EPals Meets Global Read Aloud

There is a project called the Global Read Aloud Project. They select a book and during a four-week period they are reading the same chapters, writing in wikis and blogs, connecting through Skype, and posting and sharing student work.  You can read more about their project at . You can also follow them on twitter at #GRA11. Grades 1-3 are reading Flat Stanley and Grades 4-7 are reading Tuck Everlasting. Their current project runs from this Monday, Sept 19-Oct 14, 2011.
I’m a 5th grade teacher in VA and I’m working to create a global classroom. Our school district has strict guidelines for technology, but I was given permission to use ePals and I can use Elluminate. I cannot generally make contact through Skype, wikis or blogs. I heard about the Global Read Aloud Project and wanted to find a way to get involved with this program. I spoke with ePals administrators and they were great to create a program that mirrors the program within the GRA blog and wiki. They are going to be monitoring the GRA wiki and blog and update activities and classroom suggestions within ePals.
If you are not familiar with ePals, it is a free service. ePals is the leading provider of safe collaborative technology for schools to connect and learn in a protected, project-based learning network. With classrooms in 200 countries and territories, ePals makes it easy to connect learners locally, nationally or internationally.
As a teacher, it is easy to open an account, setup a school profile, and add students to an account. They do require permission slips for students under 13 years old. Students are able to use student forums and create posts and comments on other students discussion threads in a variety of topics such as Arts and Entertainment, Sports, Current Events, Social Issues, Music, Technology and more. You can post in many languages and it has a translate button that will translate it into other languages. Epals also has partnerships with National Geographic and the Smithsonian, which I am still exploring.
For teachers, there are teacher forums where you can share ideas and post that you are looking for classes to connect with on any topic. There are prearranged projects you can link too. You can post your classes works like videos, pictures, or websites in the student media galleries and search through them by tags.
Once you open your ePals account, you can link to the GRA11 in project forums at:
There you can download the GRA11 calendar for Tuck Everlasting.
I’m hoping to have discussions on things like student predictions, new vocabulary, etc., share student work in the student media gallery, and connect with classrooms within ePals.
Anyway, if you have limited use of open technology with wikis and blogs but still want to participate in the Global Read Aloud, check and see if ePals could work for you.