iEARN GLOBAL
LEARNING CIRCLES
WEBSITE

Learning Circles: Setting the Standard for Excellence in K-12 Student Telecollaborative Project Work Since 1987;
Proudly Part of the iEARN Network Since 1994

 
iEARN Global Learning Circles are highly interactive, project-based partnerships among a small number of schools located throughout the world. There are two sessions each year, September - January and January - May. To join iEARN Learning Circles, you must first be a member of iEARN and register in the iEARN Collaboration Centre 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.

The Teachers' Guide to Learning Circles (Revised 2005), by Margaret Riel provides detailed descriptions of Learning Circles and includes many suggestions on how to structure cross-classroom collaborations in your classrooms. More information is available at Online Learning Circles. We have prepared a Frequently Asked Questions page as well as many handouts and presentation materials about the iEARN international Learning Circles project.

New Information and Resources

Registration for the January to May 205 session is now open.  Please click on the following Website to register: http://collaborate.iearn.org/space-24.  You will need your iEARN login and password to register. For this session we are offering many special Circles including: Money Matters, The Early People Symbols Project, My City, Global Issues, My Hero Call To Action along with our traditional project offerings Computer Chronicles, My Hero, and Places and Perspectives.

Learning Circles will be at the 2015 iEARN Conference and Youth Summit in Brasília, Brazil, from July 26th to July 31st.  Details about the conference can be found at: http://iearn2015.org/.

The September 2014 to January 2015 session of Learning Circles is in the publication phase. Currently we have 98 teachers working together in 11 different Circles. This session will finish around January 15, 2015.  Look for our Finished Project Page soon.

You can view and download all the projects created during the January to May 2014 session of iEARN Global Learning Circles.

A workshop on iEARN Global Learning Circles was presented at the Annual iEARN Conference and Youth Summit in Puerto Madryn, Argentina, June 29 - July 5, 2014
Download the presentation materials:
Learning Circle Information Handout - lcHandout2014.pdf (299 KB)

Learning Circles The Netherlands
Learning Circles Netherlands

Articles on the Use of Learning Circles in Educational Programs
Learning Circle Keynote PowerPoint Presentation - friendshipEducation.ppt (46.5 MB)
Learning Circles build skills, motivation and self-confidence in Latvia
Internet collaborative projects as an effective educational method

Global Teenager Network Event 2003: Finding improvements together!
IICD supported project: Global Teenager Ghana


Learning Circles Links

Schedule for 2014 - 2015   Learning Circle Forums
Learning Circle Themes   Teacher Sponsored Themes
Learning Circle Timeline   Learning Circle Publications
Circle Publication Templates   Instructions for accessing the iEARN Learning Circles through Web Crossing Forums

 

Learning Circles Structuring Cross-Classroom and Researcher Collaboration:

iEARN Global Learning Circles has been a long running project that has facilitated Internet and communication technology collaborative project-based learning among classrooms is diverse regions of the world since 1994. Twice a year (September and January) as many as 80 to 100 classrooms are connected in interactive Circles for the purpose of online project work. The result is authentic student work and true international collaboration.

Learning Circles have also been taking place for 11 years in French and English as a part of the Global Teenagers Project a project of the International Institute of Communication and Development. In the March 2003 session, they had 170 classes from 90 secondary schools from 21 counties in Europe, Africa, Central and South America, and the Near East. Student circle interaction can be read from the Virtual Classroom. There is a modified version of the Learning Circle Teachers Guide in French, Spanish, and English.

In Mexico, Círculos de Aprendizaje (in Spanish) were organized organized by Carlos Mart’nez from Monterrey, Mexico (originally organized by Jorge H. Gutiérrez). The Learning Circle Teacher Guide is available in Spanish.

Another project that uses some aspects of the Learning Circle structure and guide is the Friends and Flags Project dedicated to multicultural education.

In 2002-2003, Learning Circles were used to connect researchers. Each year since 2002 Learning Circles have been used by graduate students to support and organize action research as part of their online Masters of Arts degree program in Educational Technology at Pepperdine University. For more information contact Margaret Riel at mailto:mriel@pepperdine.edu.

 

Schedule for 2014 - 2015 Learning Circles

September to January Session (2014: Session 2):

Begins September 30, 2014 and ends on January 15, 2015 (15 weeks with a 1-week break in December).
Learning Circle Placement forms are due September 15, 2014

January to May Session (2015: Session 1):

Begins January 30, 2015 and ends on May 25, 2015 (15 weeks with a 1-week break in April).
Learning Circle Placement forms are due January 15, 2015


The first edition of CIRCLE NEWS will be posted to all participants announcing the beginning of the "Getting Ready" Phase. This first phase is one week and it involves testing accounts, and reviewing the Learning Circle Timeline and reading the Learning Circle Teacher's Guide. The next Circle News message will "open the Circle." Circle News 2 formally opens the Learning Circle session and will contain the names and addresses of the classes that have been placed in each Learning Circle. It invites the teachers and students to begin introductory activities. After teachers and students find out about each other through letters and a class survey, the activity shifts to planning the Circle projects which are drawn from the curriculum of each classroom related to the Circle theme.To understand more about Learning Circles, read the first section of the Learning Circle Teacher's Guide and look over the "Teacher Comments" at the end of each section of the Teacher's Guide.EARN members can participate in one Learning Circle each session without any additional cost. You must be a member of iEARN to participate, and you need to complete the Learning Circle Placement Form 2 weeks prior to the start of a session. Placement forms can be submitted in any time prior to two week before the Learning Circle Session. Late forms are sometimes accepted during the two weeks prior to the start of Learning Circles if there is space in a specific Circle. Applications received after October 1st will be considered for the next session.  


Learning Circles Themes for 2014 - 2015

  Computer Chronicles - This theme promotes writing across the curriculum. Interaction online revolves around producing a newspaper called The Computer Chronicles. Each class has the opportunity to sponsor one or more sections of the newspaper as their Learning Circle project. They solicit articles from their partner classes and edit them to create one section of the newspaper. This section is combined with the other sections sponsored by circles partners to form the completed newspaper, the Circle publication. 
     
  Places and Perspectives - Places and Perspectives encourages students to explore regional history, culture, government, and geography by sharing their knowledge with people from different locations. The goal is to help students understand how historical events and geographic conditions interact to help shape their lives and gives them a deeper understanding of themselves, their families and their communities. Each classroom sponsors a project for a section in the Places and Perspectives Review. For instance, a classroom might sponsor a section on local legends, interview native inhabitants or the elderly, describe the historical attractions of the area, examine local constitutions, or compare weather patterns, map studies.
     
  MindWorks - MindWorks is an writing theme designed to enhance creative and expository writing as well as develop different forms of self-expression. The goal is to help student learn how to communication their thoughts and feelings in writing, then share and compare them with other students from distant places. The Circle publication for Mind Works is a literary magazine that might be called Creative Minds, Mind Works or a name selected by the group. The sponsored projects could be a specific form of writing such as: personal narratives, place poetry, city dialogues, school fables, local myths or personifications of local products. Or students can select a topic to sponsor and request different forms of expression on subjects like the family, jobs, schools or cities. 
     
 

My Hero - My Hero Learning Circles is a joint venture between Learning Circles and the My Hero project (www.myhero.com). This Circle will bring together students and teachers who are interested in collaborating with other schools from diverse areas of the world on the topic of My Hero through writing, photography, and digital video. For more Information: http://myhero.com/myhero/go/theteachersroom/lessons_view_blu.asp?id=832

My Hero Learning Circles Information Flyer

     
 

My Hero: A Call To Action - My Hero: A Call To Action is an advanced level project for teachers and students who have already participated in My Hero Learning Circles. Students and teachers will discuss and collaboratively plan action components to put the principles of the My Hero Project into action in their local community.

     
 

Global Issues - Global Issues encourages students to discuss a broad range of educational, environmental, social, political, and economic issues with concern on how they affect the Earth's entire population. Projects focus on identifying and developing solutions for the countless issues that face the Earth's inhabitants.  This curriculum encompasses many subject areas including sociology, science, government, history, and economics.

     
My City and Me   My City and Me - A social, cultural and environmental project that encourages students to explore what they can do to improve their life in the place they live, so they can be active members of their communities. Through online discussions and collaborative project work, students learn, share, and create projects about local governments, culture, society, and the environment.
     
Money Matters   Money Matters - Money Matters is a project where students will be able to get into conversation about money, learn some facts about history of money and about money in other countries, discuss students’ pocket money and proverbs about money, make media products about money.
     

Early People Symbols Project

 

 

Early People Symbols Project - Students will explore the meanings of their cultural symbols. They will start by doing research (Internet, local libraries, museums, art books, and artifacts such as rugs, wall, ceiling, floor drawings, pictographs, etc.) in their communities. Then, they will briefly tell the story related to the symbol using journals, Voice Threads, PowerPoint Presentations, videos or digital photos.  Students are also invited to create a drawing or painting using these symbols.  Early People Symbols Website

     

 

The Bat-Chen Diaries - A Circle based on the children’s book the Bat-Chen Diaries that focuses on the theme: "For Me, Writing is Something Awesome." The purpose of the Circle is to expose children to the values of writing a diary; to encourage young children to write in a reflective and personal manner and express their anxieties, fears and concerns as well as their hopes and dreams - hopefully this will lead to getting acquainted with others. Part of the process includes creating "Dream Circles” where children share similar dreams from all over the world. The Final Publication for this project will be a joint publication called a pupils' "Book of Dreams"

Bat-Chen Diaries Teaching Resources





Teacher Sponsored Themes - Teachers are invited to sponsor a theme for a Learning Circle. We will list it in this space to help create this special Circle. If you would like to facilitate a special theme Learning Circle, send information to bskramer48@hotmail.com.


 

Current Active Learning Circles Forums

These forums are like classrooms. A list of all the Learning Circle forums can be found at: http://collaborate.iearn.org/space-17. You need an active iEARN login name and password to access the forums online. They are intended for use by the students and teachers who are part of the Learning Circle. They are private spaces for the work of teaching and learning. We hope to be posting excerpts of student publications soon. These forums are listed here to make it easy for those who are members of a Learning Circle to use this web page to interact with their Circle partners. If you want to be a part of a Learning Circle, you are most welcome but first need to be a member of iEARN. If you want to know more about these Learning Circle themes, click on a theme icon.

  Computer Chronicles
Computer Chronicles -- Elementary School: CCE1
Computer Chronicles -- Middle School: CCM1
Computer Chronicles -- Middle School: CCM2
Computer Chronicles -- High School: CCH1
     
  Places and Perspectives
Places and Perspectives -- Elementary School: PPE1
Places and Perspectives -- Middle School: PPM1
Places and Perspectives -- Middle School: PPM2
Places and Perspectives -- High School: PPH1
     
  MindWorks
MindWorks -- Elementary School: MWE1
MindWorks -- Middle School: MWM1
MindWorks -- High School: MWH1
     
 

My Hero
My Hero Learning Circle -- Elementary School: MHE1
My Hero Learning Circles -- Middle School: MHM1
My Hero Learning Circles -- Middle School: MHM2
My Hero Learning Circles -- High School: MHH1
My Hero: A Call To Action: MHI1

     
 

Global Issues
Global Issues: Environment -- Middle School: GVM1
Global Issues: Environment -- High School: GVH1
Global Issues: Education -- Middle/High School: GEH1
CSYN Peace Education -- High School: CPH1

     
  My City and Me
My City and Me -- Middle School: MCM1
My City and Me -- High School: MCH1
     
  Money Matters
Money Matters -- Middle School: MMM1
Money Matters -- High School: MMH1
     
  Bat-Chen Diaries
Bat-Chen Diaries -- Elementary/Middle School: BCD1
Bat-Chen Diaries -- Hebrew Language: BCD2



Early People Symbols Project


Early People Symbols Project
Early Peoples Symbol Project -- Elementary/Middle School: EPM1

 

Learning Circle Publications

Most teachers have been working with their students to put their section of the publication, their Learning Circle Projects on the Web. We are also beginning to have complete Circle publications online. Each Finished Project Page features all the work that was created by students and teachers during one Learning Circles session.

Congratulations to the students and teachers of the following Learning Circles for creating online Learning Circle Publications!

Learning Circles International Project:

January - May 2014 Finished Project Page
September 2013 - January 2014 Finished Project Page
January - May 2013 Finished Project Page
September 2012 - January 2013 Finished Project Page
January - May 2012 Finished Project Page
September 2011 - January 2012 Finished Project Page

January - May 2011 Finished Project Page

September 2010 - January 2011 Finished Project Page
January - May 2010 Finished Project Page
September 2009 - January 2010 Finished Project Page
January - May 2009 Finished Project Page

September 2008 - January 2009 Finished Project Page
January - May 2008 Finished Project Page
September 2007 - January 2008 Finished Project Page
January - May 2007 Finished Project Page
September 2006 - January 2007 Finished Project Page
January - May 2006 Finished Project Page
September 2005 - January 2006 Finished Project Page
January - May 2005 Finished Project Page
September 2004 - January 2005 Finished Project Page

 

Learning Circles Course:

October - December 2010 LC Course Finished Project Page
February - April 2010 LC Course Finished Project Page
September - December 2009 LC Course Finished Project Page
February - April 2009 LC Course Finished Project Page
September - December 2007 LC Course Finished Project Page
February - April 2007 LC Course Finished Project Page
September - December 2006 LC Course Finished Project Page
February - April 2006 LC Course Finished Project Page

     

Special Projects:

Asia/Pacific Learning Circles - March 2007 Finished Project Page

 

Individual Projects 2002 and Before:

Jan-Jun-2002 Places and Perspectives (Elementary)
Sep-Jan 2000 Computer Chronicles (Elementary)
Jan-May 2000 Places and Perspectives Learning Circle (Elementary)
Sep-Jan 99-00 Computer Chronicles (Elementary)
Jan-May 1999 Computer Chronicles Learning Circle (Elementary)
Sep-Jan 98-99 Computer Chronicles (Elementary)
Jan-May 1998 Computer Chronicles Learning Circle (Elementary)

Also please visit the Learning Circle Projects which are individual school's contribution to their Learning Circle Publication.

Learning Circle Publication Templates

To help schools create online publications, we have created some templates and graphics that can be used to help create your web page documents. For each type of Learning Circle there are two templates. One is the index with the list of schools and the name of the projects. The second is a project or section template to be used for projects or sections created by each school. Copy the source code and the graphics and use any html editor to modify for your Learning Circle Templates.

Mind Works Index Template   Mind Works Project Template
Places and Perspectives Index Template   Places and Perspective Project Template
Computer Chronicles Index Template   Computer Chronicles Section Template

 


Learning Circle Timeline - 2014: Session 2

Getting Ready 

Prior to Week 1 

Sept 30 - Oct 5

Teachers log on to iEARN, receive Circle News and read the Teacher's Guide. They introduce the concept of Learning Circles to their students. Learning Circle Placements are sent on September 30th.

Opening the Circle 

(2 weeks) 

Oct 6 - Oct 19

Learning Circle interaction begins. Classes log on and respond to the Electronic Roll Call. Each teacher sends an introductory message to the on-line Learning Circle forum. Teachers and students prepare and send their responses to the Classroom Survey. Welcome Packs are mailed to postal addresses.

Planning the Learning Circle Projects 

(2 weeks)

Oct 20 - Nov 2

Teachers in the Learning Circle discuss the projects proposed in the Classroom Survey. Each class selects a section to sponsor. The class sends a message to the forum describing the information it would like to receive.

Exchanging Student Work 

(5 weeks)

Nov 3 - Dec 7

Student work on different projects is collected and sent to the Learning Circle forum at least once or twice a week. Teachers and students continue to plan and share work related to the Learning Circle projects. (Most groups will be out of school for at least a week during this period, the circle continues with those who are in school).

Organizing the Circle Publication 

(3 weeks plus one week break) 

Dec 8 - Jan 4

Students evaluate, select, and edit the articles they received for their project. Teachers work with students in their classroom to layout and print their section of the Circle publication. Schools exchange project reports (electronically or via postal mail) and assemble their Circle publication.

Closing the Circle 

(1 week) 

Jan 5 - Jan 15

Teachers and students send their final good-bye messages to the forum and the Learning Circle closes. The Christmas Break is used as time for mailing sections to the schools with the final comments and good-byes taking place when many students return to school in Jan. The list will still be active for a week after the end of Learning Circles to make sure all final messages are received.

Learning Circle Timeline - 2015: Session 1

Getting Ready 

Prior to Week 1 

Jan 30 - Feb 8

Teachers log on to iEARN, receive Circle News and read the Teacher's Guide. They introduce the concept of Learning Circles to their students. Learning Circles Placements are sent on January 30th.

Opening the Circle 

(2 weeks)

Feb 9 - Feb 22

Learning Circle interaction begins. Classes log on and respond to the Electronic Roll Call. Each teacher sends an introductory message to the on-line Learning Circle forum. Teachers and students prepare and send their responses to the Classroom Survey. Welcome Packs are mailed to postal addresses.

Planning the Learning Circle Projects 

(2 weeks)

Feb 23 - Mar 8

Teachers in the Learning Circle discuss the projects proposed in the Classroom Survey. Each class selects a section to sponsor. The class sends a message to the forum describing the information it would like to receive.

Exchanging Student Work 

(5 weeks plus one week break)

Mar 9 - Apr 19

Student work on different projects is collected and sent to the Learning Circle forum at least once or twice a week. Teachers and students continue to plan and share work related to the Learning Circle projects. (Most groups will be out of school for at least a week during this period, the circle continues with those who are in school).

Organizing the Circle Publication 

(3 weeks) 

Apr 20 - May 10

Students evaluate, select, and edit the articles they received for their project. Teachers work with students in their classroom to layout and print their section of the Circle publication. Schools exchange project reports (electronically or via postal mail) and assemble their Circle publication.

Closing the Circle 

(2 weeks)  

May 11 - May 25

Teachers and students send their final good-bye messages to the forum and the Learning Circle closes. The list will still be active for a few weeks after the end of Learning Circles to make sure all final messages are received.

 


 

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iEARN Global Learning Circle Coordinators:

Barry S. Kramer
bskramer48@hotmail.com

Margaret Riel
mriel@us.iearn.org

Last update: December 2014