Adapting classroom practice should be an easy, ongoing set of processes drawing from a range of resources and nodes of information. Professional teaching, and teachers, are at their best when they are agile, adaptable, open, and look to improve their craft. Of course there are ranges of willingness, complexity, time, and opportunity around this aspect of education. Focus and organization are key attributes as well. However, classroom improvements need to not be paradigm shifts in teaching. Small pieces which explore the possibilities of education, address contemporary educational demands, and indulge teachers’ interests form the base for continued evolution. This includes changes made in the name of global education. I suggest this need not be an all encompassing move. Likewise, static teaching is like bad customer (and existential) service…
If Jack was the student and the waitress a teacher set in stagnant practice, the order (adaptive teaching) never gets delivered (authentic, relevant learning). Thankfully, their is no lack of ways teachers can explore and improve their craft. Below is a menu of 5 global education resources. They can be engaged in varying layers of depth, explored individually or with a group, and implemented according to your students, personal, school, and community needs. Let me know what you think about them and how you use them. I am going to get a chicken salad sandwich.
Global Nomads: Connect -> Collaborate –>Create –> Change! So simple, yet so effective a formula is the central mantra of Global Nomads. “Global Nomads Group (GNG) is an international NGO whose mission is to foster dialogue and understanding among the world’s youth. GNG engages and empowers young people worldwide using media, including: interactive videoconferencing, webcasting, social networking, gaming, and participatory filmmaking. GNG operates at the intersection of international and peace education, striving to serve as a vehicle for awareness, bridging the boundaries of cultural misconceptions and instilling in our audience a heightened appreciation and comprehension of the world in which they live.” Heads up…. their Election Watch Webcast is coming up:
- WhenThu, November 1, 12pm – 1pm
- DescriptionGrades 7-12 Join us as we follow the 2012 Presidential election campaign. In this four-part program, we will explore the following topics: • Voting in the USA & Campaign 101 • Political Parties: Policies, Perspectives & Promises • Voting Day
- Register at http://bit.ly/N9pK81
Collabornation: Whoa! You have to check this interactive website designed by Susan Fisher of Ridgeview IB Charter School in Georgia. In her own words “This is the gamification website I created as an integral part of my “Dream Classroom” where students can experience and interact with the curriculum in an exciting and unique way. It includes elements of flipping, webquest design, differentiation, gaming, and project based learning… just to name a few. Areas the students explore include Noob Quests, Cartographer’s Workshop, Shaman’s Insight, Capital City, Economist’s Lair, Library, Urgent Evoke and Arcadia.The names are all plays on the themes we visit throughout the year.” It feels like Blade Runner meets Khan Academy… a great mix indeed.
Tourwrist: This is pretty amazing. “In less than 60 seconds, you can now create, label and submit your own 360°panorama (pano) with the totally free TourWrist iOS app.” Although not designed as an educational tool, using Tourwrist in social studies and history classes adds a visual element to lessons, projects, etc not available before. Be sure to scroll up and down to get the full effect.
UN Cyber Schoolbus: “The United Nations Cyberschoolbus was created in 1996 as the online education component of the Global Teaching and Learning Project, whose mission is to promote education about international issues and the United Nations. The Global Teaching and Learning Project produces high quality teaching materials and activities designed for educational use (at primary, intermediate and secondary school levels) and for training teachers. The vision of this Project is to provide exceptional educational resources (both online and in print) to students growing up in a world undergoing increased globalization. The Global Teaching and Learning Project is part of the Outreach Division of the United Nations Department of Public Information. ” My favorites include their curriculum of 20 global issues and their interactive game on refugees.
US Peace Institute: I had the pleasure of visiting the institute at its new, stunning headquarters in Washington D.C. this past week. The institute, “the
independent, nonpartisan conflict management center created by Congress to prevent and mitigate international conflict without resorting to violence”, recognizes that conflict is part of humanity but need not lead to violence and war. Their education programs, many of them found at the Global Peacebuilding Center, are extensive including classroom resources, professional development, networking, and online resources. There is something very every level of educator… don’t miss the conflict style assessment test, virtual passport, and essay contest.
OK…. 6 easy pieces. Consider this dessert. Mmm.. Enjoy.
My Hero: “Educators use The MY HERO Project in schools, libraries, after-school workshops, and community and media centers around the world to build student’s 21st Century skills, stimulate character development and engage them in thinking critically about heroism, personal and cultural values, human rights, and environment issues.” There are numerous resources on their educators page A great feature is the numerous ways to share projects to the community on their site form around the globe.