12 Digital History Projects That Will Make You Say WOW!

… And by “WOW!” I mean: Wow, I need to use these with my students.  OR …Wow, I need to share these with my colleagues.  OR Wow, I  am inspired to develop my own digital history project.  Of course a synthesis of all 3 is the sweet spot. That was the course of action leading to the development of my US History in a Global Context project. 

What is digital history? Indeed, defining your terms is usually a great place to start.  I have found these explanations to be useful and bring moments of clarity which ultimately furthers the conversation and utility of these types of projects.

  1. The American Historical Association: “Digital history might be understood broadly as an approach to examining and representing the past that works with the new communication technologies of the computer, the internet network, and software systems.”
  2.  Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University  “Digital history is an approach to examining and representing the past that takes advantage of new communication technologies such as computers and the Web. It draws on essential features of the digital realm, such as databases, hypertextualization, and networks, to create and share historical knowledge.”

I have had the pleasure of working on multiple digital history projects.   So, let’s  look a bit further and see what formats digital history projects can take.  In short, when we discuss digital history, we can be referencing a number of types and purposes.  The common aspects being that they are accessible to the public and organized around a theme(s). This list comes (in part) from the Organization of American Historians.

  • Archive: a site that provides a body of primary sources. Could also include collections of documents or databases of materials.
  • Essay, Exhibit, Digital Narrative: something created or written specifically for the Web or with digital methods, that serves as a secondary source for interpreting the past by offering a historical narrative or argument. This category can also include maps, network visualizations, or other ways of representing historical data.
  • Teaching Resource: a site that provides online assignments, syllabi, other resources specifically geared toward using the Web, or digital apps for teaching, including educational history content for children or adults, pedagogical training tools, and outreach to the education community.
  • Gateway/Clearinghouse: a site that provides access to other websites or Internet-based resources.
  • Podcasts: video and audio podcasts that engage audiences on historical topics and themes.
  • Games: challenging interactive activities that educate through competition or role playing, finding evidence defined by rules and linked to a specific outcome. Games can be online, peer-to- peer, or mobile.

 

Wonderful!    With classrooms having access to computers and moving to 1:1 formats, quality digital resources is in demand. The good news is that they are out there.  But these are only good if they get used.  To that end, I have curated a collection of digital history projects that are designed for high school and higher education history and social studies classes.  These selections offer a variety of implementation pathways allowing immediate use with students (either in full or in part).  Additionally, these would be relevant for history/social science methods classes.

Here is one more general resource, a short video, to help frame and advance your understanding before you dive into the digital history resources.


What project did I miss?  What do you think of these?  Let me know and contact the project designers so they know who is using the resource they created.  Enjoy!

1. The 68.77.89 Project: Arts, Culture, and Social Change: Created by The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, this resource was just launched in early 2018! Students will be challenged to apply the lessons from the experiences of Czechs and Slovaks to better understand issues of democracy today and their responsibility for preserving democracy for the future. 68.77.89 is designed for students in grades 9-12. It provides a set of 12 learning activities in 4 modules that meet Common Core, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate standards. The activities can be used as a set designed to be used together, or in single modules as free-standing lessons. Images of the 4 modules is below.

 

2. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database:  This is a remarkable tool which synthesizes data with visualization formats very effectively.   The database “has information on almost 36,000 slaving voyages that forcibly embarked over 10 million Africans for transport to the Americas between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. In order to present the trans-Atlantic slave trade database to a broader audience, particularly a grade 6-12 audience, a dedicated team of teachers and curriculum developers from around the United States developed lesson plans that explore the database. Utilizing the various resources of the website, these lessons plans allow students to engage the history and legacy of the Atlantic slave trade in diverse and meaningful ways.  Here is one example of a search I did.

3. Slavery Images:  Don’t let the simple look of this collection dissuade you. It is a remarkable resource! “The 1,280 images in this collection have been selected from a wide range of sources, most of them dating from the period of slavery. This collection is envisioned as a tool and a resource that can be used by teachers, researchers, students, and the general public.”  The search feature is easy and inviting.  This photo is from their collection. Powerful indeed. Interior courtyard, where captive Africans were assembled, and “Gate of No Return,” the passageway through which they were led to the beach and from there to slaving vessels waiting offshore. (Photographed by Michael Tuite in Ghana; Aug. 1999)

 

 

4. Our Shared Past in the Mediterranean: This is an intriguing world history curriculum.  Given the unique geography of the transitions currently underway in the Middle East (several geographically contiguous North African states) and the likelihood that interactions between Europe, northern Africa, Turkey, and the Arab world will constitute a vitally important sub-region of globalization going forward, new cross-Mediterranean tendrils of economic and civil society connectivity will be necessary to help anchor these transitions.  An outline of the modules can be viewed here.

5. Rethinking the Region: North Africa and the Middle East:   Another contribution to the field of world history, this project “analyzed the common categories used to describe and teach the Modern Middle East and North Africa in existing  World History textbooks. Based on this research, we offer robust alternatives for Grade 9-12 social studies teachers and multicultural educators that integrate new scholarship and curricula on the region. To this end, we examined the ways in which the region is framed and described historically, and  analyzed categories like the ‘rise and spread of Islam,’ the Crusades, and the Ottoman Empire. Narratives surrounding these events and regions tend to depict discrete and isolated civilizations at odds with one another. To remedy this oversimplification, our work illuminates the manners in which peoples and societies interacted with each other in collaborative and fluid ways at different political and historical junctures.

6. Histography“Histography” is interactive timeline that spans across 14 billion years of history, from the Big Bang to 2015. The site draws historical events from Wikipedia and self-updates daily with new recorded events. The interface allows for users to view between decades to millions of years. The viewer can choose to watch a variety of events which have happened in a particular period or to target a specific event in time. For example you can look at the past century within the categories of war and inventions. Histography was created as a final project in Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. Guided by Ronel Mor.  Below is a screenschot of the platform.

Histography

 

7. American Yawp: “In an increasingly digital world in which pedagogical trends are de-emphasizing rote learning and professors are increasingly turning toward active-learning exercises, scholars are fleeing traditional textbooks… The American Yawp offers a free and online, collaboratively built, open American history textbook designed for college-level history courses. Unchecked by profit motives or business models, and free from for-profit educational organizations, The American Yawp is by scholars, for scholars. All contributors—experienced college-level instructors—volunteer their expertise to help democratize the American past for twenty-first century classrooms.”  This is being used in high schools as well. Also, you can offer insights and edits for the editors to consider.

8. Mapping American Social Movements in the 20th Century: “This project produces and displays free interactive maps showing the historical geography of dozens of social movements that have influenced American life and politics since the start of the 20th century, including radical movements, civil rights movements, labor movements, women’s movements, and more. Until now historians and social scientists have mostly studied social movements in isolation and often with little attention to geography. This project allows us to see where social movements were active and where not, helping us better understand patterns of influence and endurance. It exposes new dimensions of American political geography, showing how locales that in one era fostered certain kinds of social movements often changed political colors over time.”  The screenshot below shows a sample of an interactive map.  Fantastic!

9. Eagle Eye Citizen:  Made by the invaluable team at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, Eagle Eye engages middle and high school students in solving and creating interactive challenges about Congress, American history, civics, and government with Library of Congress primary sources. This helps develop students’ civic understanding and historical thinking skills.  It is highly interactive and invites students and teachers to use existing challenges and develop their own.

10.  Mapping the 4th of JulyMapping the Fourth of July is a crowdsourced digital archive of primary sources that reveal how Americans celebrated July 4 during the Civil War era.  These sources reveal how a wide range of Americans — northern and southern, white and black, male and female, Democrat and Republican, immigrant and native born — all used the Fourth to articulate their deepest beliefs about American identity during the great crisis of the Civil War… Whether you teach at the college or high school level, your students will jump at the chance to learn about how a previous generation of Americans celebrated the Fourth. (Yes, there were fireworks!) These are engaging documents that open up big themes: North-South differences; the causes and consequences of the Civil War; African American experiences of emancipation. On our website you’ll find standards-based assignment guidelines that make it easy to integrate it into your courses.

 

11. Back Story:  Incredible podcast focusing on American history topics in a range of contexts. The hosts are fun, informed, and engaging.   BackStory is a weekly podcast that uses current events in America to take a deep dive into our past. Hosted by noted U.S. historians, each episode provides listeners with different perspectives on a particular theme or subject – giving you all sides to the story and then some. Also,  a resources icon indicates that the episode has educator resources available. Use BackStory in your classroom! Just go to the episode archives and filter by episodes with resources.

 

12. Woodrow Wilson Center – Cold War International History Project:

This resource feels like the “godfather” of digital history projects. “Since its establishment in August 1991, the Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) has amassed a tremendous collection of archival documents on the Cold War era from the once secret archives of former communist countries. CWIHP has become internationally recognized as the world’s preeminent resource on the Cold War.” The help organize and search the trove of documents, you search using a map, timeline (going back to 1866… great extended context) and contains over 30 featured collections (sample below).

BYkids, Global Competency, & Student Voice: An Interview with Holly Carter

What are the stories your students hear about education?  I love that question.  I have found, however, that it isn’t a question educators frequently address despite recognizing the importance of messaging.   We should be able to share a compelling story about the “why” of education with students, parents, colleagues and anyone in our local or global communities.  This means that educators must devote time to reflect up, craft, and apply a compelling and meaningful story about the purpose of education.

 

But what would happen if we play with that question a bit and ask “What are the stories students tell about education?”  Hmm?!   The question certainly shifts the agency of education being done by students instead of education being done to them.  Such a shift creates a broader range  of possibilities, interpretations, and outcomes.  In short, the singular (outcomes, narrative, purpose, vision etc.) is supplanted by the multi.  This sentiment has been been engaged with millions of times in the popular 2009 Ted Talk: The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

This brings me to this post’s guest interview with Holy Carter.  I had the pleasure of meeting and discussing global education with here at the Institute for International Education in New York City.

Ms. Carter is the founder and executive director of BYkids, a non-profit organization that provides kids around the world with the training and equipment to make short documentaries about their lives. BYkids believes that we can understand the world’s challenges — and how to best meet them — through the personal stories of young people. Their Season One films aired on public television on more than 170 channels in 107 markets, in 64 million American households.

Holly started her career at The New York Times and has worked for 30 years as a journalist, editor, documentary filmmaker, fundraiser and non-profit leader.Before founding BYkids, Holly ran the Global Film Initiative, a foundation bringing feature films from the developing world to major cultural institutions across the country in an effort to promote cross-cultural understanding.

Prior to that from 1999 to 2003, she produced Media Matters, a monthly PBS magazine show about journalism and concurrently worked as a consultant for The After-School Corporation, a non-profit initiative founded by George Soros that brings quality after-school programs to New York City public schools. In 1999, Carter co-founded North Carolina’s Full Frame Festival, which has grown to become the largest documentary film festival in the world.

The BYKids website can be found here.  Enjoy!

 

  1. Holly, tell us about your background and views on global citizenship education?

I started my career as a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist at The New York Times and have worked for 30 years as a journalist, editor, documentary filmmaker, fundraiser and non-profit leader. I am interested in revolutionizing American education by teaching empathy and global citizenry to our students in a way they understand – through moving image. They spend their lives outside the classroom processing the world and expressing themselves through moving image. We need to speak to them in the language they use. Putting a textbook on a tablet is not innovative. Bringing short documentary films into their classroom and curriculum as a way for them to walk a mile is someone else’s shoes – now that has real impact. Once they feel the issues of the world, they can be guided to find solutions.

 

  1. Connecting students is indeed a key aspect of global education. How did BYkids get started?

 I started BYkids as a platform for the voiceless to share their voices. Kids are honest storytellers, yet their stories often go unheard. BYkids was created as a network of cross-cultural storytelling. By sharing the untold stories of children in countries like Nicaragua about climate change or Mozambique about AIDS, we engage a younger audience in a global discussion to teach the intangible qualities like empathy and tolerance.

 

  1. Can you share some examples of schools using BYkids and the impact it had on students, teachers, and the community?

Our films and curricula are distributed to over 100 million viewers and students around the country.

Season One of FILMS BYKIDS is a partnership between THIRTEEN, the flagship station of PBS, and BYkids, a non-profit organization, bringing the voice of five young filmmakers from different cultures to a wider audience through the power and reach of public media. In addition, we do many live screening and panel discussions, using our films as a conversation spark.

Last year, for example, we were invited to Bergen Country, NJ for Anti-Violence Week to screen and discuss POET AGAINST PREJUDICE, a story told by a young Yemeni immigrant to Brooklyn who finds a creative outlet for self-expression in a post 9/11 world. The young filmmaker was like a rock star to the thousands of high school students. In fact, the film and resulting conversation left some young audience members in tears. By watching Faisa’s inspiring response to discrimination, the kids sitting in the front row had tears rolling down their cheeks. The film reached their hearts and left them changed with a new perspective on this all too relevant issue of Islamophobia and the struggles of new immigrants.

WATCH THE TRAILER for  POET AGAINST PREJUDICE HERE 

 

  1. What is next for BYkids and what is your vision for the future of the program?

BYkids is currently working on its upcoming Season Two to include films about climate change ravaging coffee growing in Nicaragua (see trailer below), forced child marriage in Senegal, the Syrian refugee crisis, modernity in Bhutan and the juvenile justice system in the U.S.

We look to continue to start meaningful conversations around these globally relevant issues and innovate in the education space so that our students are engaged emotionally in the world around them.

By continuing to produce films, we are expanding our community of young leaders and introducing more overlooked stories throughout the world. Our future is strong with the continued support of our contributing BYkids family.

 

 

  1. If you could make one change in education, what would that be?

 Education should promote open-mindedness by teaching empathy. Our films show lives different from most audience members and children in American schools. Things that seem foreign at first, like growing up on a struggling coffee bean farm or falling victim to a longstanding tradition of child marriage, become more relatable and seemingly real through our films. My hope for education is that, like at BYkids, it does not stray from a sometimes different or uncomfortable truth, and teaches through an honest lens.

 

  1. I love what BYkids offers. The penpals platform is one of my favorites. How can teachers get involved with BYkids?

Our films extend beyond one single screening in the classroom. Our various curricula help teachers turn viewing into action. On our website, we provide School Guides and Take Action Guides, in which teachers are encourages to add to the film’s viewing curriculum, to help expand the experience of each film, promoting students to react, think, reflect and engage after watching one of our films.

http://bykids.org/for-teachers/

PBS Learning Media has grade specific curricula for each film:

https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/films-bykids/#.WhG_87Q-egQ

PenPal Schools helps connect kids around the world through the films:

https://go.penpalschools.com/projects/the-world-through-my-eyes

Once the students have watched the film and learned about their peers from around the world, the teacher helps them get engaged with the issue and understand how to access their own voice.

This is all about the power of storytelling and listening.

Thank you Holly.   Films from BYkids can be purchased on Amazon. They would be a great addition to libraries, global ed programs, leadership courses and all academic courses.Be sure to follow ByKids on twitter @BYkids 

 

Treats and Tricks to Transform Global Citizenship Education in Your School

Diogenes – I am a citizen of the world.

I am writing this blog while at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. Today they are offering a fantastic day on Trans Regional and Global Themes in Teaching: African, Latin American, Asian and Middle Eastern Perspectives.  Yes, I know what you are thinking “WOW!”

This event is made possible my one of the most amazing networks of teaching and learning – the National Resource Centers.  I strongly suggest that you add these groups to your network.

Today is also the culminating event  in a journey that began for me in August.  In mid-month I left for Budapest the day after my last post and flew back to the USA from Prague about two weeks later.  Since that trip and the start of the school year I have had the pleasure of discovering a multitude of resources that can transform your class and students learning.

I am not using the word “transform” loosely by the way.  I am convinced that the combined quality , application, and range of items below will cause you to pause and think about both your practice and how you provide your students with experiences in global citizenship education.

The collection of resources  come from colleagues, social media, events I have attended, students etc.  They touch the five areas you can modify to augment global education: (a) instruction (b) assessment (c) curriculum (d) educational vision and (e) professional learning.

As you explore, here are some guiding questions:

  1. Where are there gaps in your knowledge?
  2. How can you teach complexity, not simple binaries?
  3. What is your understanding of Globalization?
  4. How can you modify your student experiences to prepare them for tomorrow?

I didn’t know when to stop… so I kept going.  I also did not categorize these, but rather provide some descriptions. Also, here are some beginning ideas on how to make them move to a globally centered classroom:

  • Use powerful stats and comparative data to inspire student curiosity…
  • Metacognition and reflecting on the world shapes students view of existence…
  • Use the news as a method to discuss key issues. …
  • Use topics and choice so kids can connect more easily…
  • Learn about the Millennium Development Goals and Globalization…
  • Start with big questions and student inquiry …
  • Concepts transcend content and invites student background knowledge…
  • Have your students engage with other students around the world…

I hope you enjoy these and would love to hear how you used them. So, leave a comment and make me smile.  Happy exploring! But before you start, watch this video from Alan November.

 

  1. The World in 2050: Are you teaching for tomorrow?  Two resources here can help you make that pivot.  1) The report and PWC website   and 2) The BBC Documentary  in case one link breaks, here is another.
  2. Global Ed Conference, Nov 13-16, 2017 – The 8th annual free, online Global Education Conference takes place November 13-16. We are still accepting proposals through November 5th. Please share this information with any potentially interested friends and colleagues! See previous conference archives here.
  3. Preparing Young Americans for a Complex World: Last year, the Council on Foreign Relations and National Geographic commissioned a survey to assess the global literacy of American college students. Over 1,200 people participated; less than 30 percent earned a passing grade.
  4. Global Competence and Rubrics: The Asia Society has rubrics and assessments for your class and school to use.  This is a remarkable and valuable collection of resources.  Enjoy!
  5. Instructional Strategies for Global Thinking: From Harvard’s Project Zero, these approaches foster understanding and appreciation of today’s complex globalized world. The materials and tools include a framework to think about global competence and offer clarity about various capacities associated with global competence. The bundle describes how to plan and document your experiences bringing global thinking routines into your classroom and to share these experiences with others.
  6. 100 People: A World Portrait and Global Ed Toolkit:  The 100 People Foundation helps students to better understand the complex issues facing our planet and the resources we share. By framing the global population as 100 people, our media makes education more engaging and effective, and improves students’ abilities to remember and relate to what they learn.
  7. Our World in Data: Our World in Data is an online publication that shows how living conditions are changing. The aim is to give a global overview and to show changes over the very long run, so that we can see where we are coming from and where we are today. The project, produced at the University of Oxford, is made available in its entirety as a public good.
  8. The World Population Project:  The genesis of this project was World Population, a simple, yet powerful, video animation of “dots on a map” representing population changes through time. First produced by Population Connection (Zero Population Growth at that time) over 40 years ago, the video became a popular teaching resource. This spawned new editions that have been viewed in classrooms, museums and boardrooms worldwide. The new 2015 version is viewable here in six languages and contains the latest population projections.
  9. Global Religious Diversity:  The Pew Center’s study from 2014. In order to have data that were comparable across many countries, the study focused on five widely recognized world religions – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism – that collectively account for roughly three-quarters of the world’s population.
  10. US Institute of Peace: List of International Organizations-  A list of links to international organizations’ web sites.I am always stunned when students and adults can’t identify 10 of these groups.  Please teach about these.
  11. US Institute of Peace: Glossary of Terms – To help practitioners, scholars, and students answer questions about terminology, USIP developed the Peace Terms: A Glossary of Terms for Conflict Management and Peacebuilding. This extensive glossary provides short definitions of a wide range of complex and often confusing terms used in the field of conflict resolution.
  12. United States Diplomacy Center’s Diplomacy Simulations Program:  The United States Diplomacy Center’s education programs immerse students in the world of American diplomacy and the critical work of the United States Department of State. At the heart of the Center’s education programs are our diplomacy simulations. These are hands-on exercises that allow students and teachers to experience what it is like to be a diplomat while grappling with complex foreign affairs topics.
  13. US State Department- Discover Diplomacy: Diplomacy is a complex and often challenging practice of fostering relationships around the world in order to resolve issues and advance interests. Discover the PEOPLE who conduct diplomacy, the PLACESwhere the Department of State engages in diplomacy, and the ISSUESdiplomacy helps resolve.
  14. The White Tourists Burden: Opinion article about voluntourism and the “white savior” complex. Also,  African’s Message for America: Article and video about thinking about working locally before going to “save” Africa.
  15. SAMR Model Resources: The digital revolution in education is full steam ahead, and this challenging process needs solutions on how technology will be used to change education. In 2006, Dr. Ruben Puentedura (P.hd), the President and Founder of Hippasus, a consulting firm based in Western Massachusetts, has come up with the perfect SAMR method to infuse technology into learning and teaching.
  16. The Right Question Institute: Inquiry is essential for the development of global competence. The skill of question asking is far too rarely deliberately taught in school.  We have worked with and learned from educators to develop a teaching strategy that provides a simple, yet powerful way to get students asking their own questions and building off their peers’ questions.
  17. Environmental Performance Index    The 2016 Environmental Performance Index provides a global view of environmental performance and country by country metrics to inform decision-making. Launched at the World Economic Forum, the EPI is in its 15th year and more relevant than ever to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. A fantastic comparison tool is here! 
  18. Brene Brown Empathy vs. Sympathy Video  What is the best way to ease someone’s pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathetic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.
  19. Brainwaves Video Anthology: The Brainwaves video anthology is produced and filmed by Bob Greenberg. Here you will meet the thinkers, dreamers and innovators; some of the brightest minds in education. This series is meant to inspire and engage the viewer to dig deeper and learn more. A series from global educator Fernando Reimers is here.
  20. What if western media covered Charlottesville the same way it covers other nations?   Fascinating article with a fictional tone similar to Body Ritual of the Nacirema.
  21. Full RSA Video Library:  Want world-changing ideas, world leaders, RSA Animates, self-improvement, talks, debates, interviews, animations and loads more?! Well you’ve come to the right place! Be sure to explore the “Insights”, “Animate”, and “Shorts” playlists.
  22. Go Global NC – We are Go Global NC and we connect North Carolina to the world and the world to North Carolina. For 35 years our international education and training programs have empowered North Carolina leaders with the skills, understanding, connections, and knowledge to succeed in a global community.
  23. US History in a Global Context – Free and dynamic resource website that has modules and resources, including how to teach US history this way, for teachers to utilize.  Interactive images are library are also included.
  24. Half the Sky – A four-hour PBS primetime documentary film and national broadcast event inspired by the widely acclaimed book of the same name by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
  25. What the best schools around the world do right -What can other countries learn from these two successful, but diametrically opposed, educational models? Here’s an overview of what South Korea and Finland are doing right. And as an extension, here are images from schools around the globe.
  26. CNN10 Explaining global news to a global audience: This is the mission of CNN 10, a new, 10-minute news show that appears as a daily digital video on CNN.com. CNN 10 replaces CNN Student News, the network’s longest-running show that first aired in 1989.
  27. How does critical thinking happen: Critical thinking skills truly matter in learning. Why? Because they are life skills we use every day of our lives. Everything from our work to our recreational pursuits, and all that’s in between, employs these unique and valuable abilities. Consciously developing them takes thought-provoking discussion and equally thought-provoking questions to get it going. 
  28. California International Studies Project – The California International Studies Project promotes global education through high quality, standards-based, and interdisciplinary professional learning programs for educators in California.
  29. All Africa – Website that aggregates news produced primarily on the African continent about all areas of African life, politics, issues and culture. It is available in both English and French.
  30. Global Happiness –  Transnational and cultural expressions are important for global education.  The 2011 documentary “Happy” and the world happiness report are valuable resources.
  31. NewseumEDWe provide free quality online resources to cultivate the skills to authenticate, analyze and evaluate information from a variety of sources and to provide historical context to current events.
  32. Reach the World – Reach the World makes the benefits of travel accessible to classrooms, inspiring students to become curious, confident global citizens. Enabled by our digital platform, classrooms and volunteer travelers explore the world together.
  33. UN SDG Infographic: In September 2015, 193 world leaders committed to 17 Global Goals for sustainable development to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet by 2030. Education is essential to the success of every one of the 17 new goals.
  34. List of most sustainable companies in the world: Since 2005, Toronto-based magazine and research firm Corporate Knights has put together the Global 100, an annual list of the world’s most sustainable companies. Using publicly available data, Corporate Knights rates large firms on 14 key measures, evaluating their management of resources, finances and employees.
  35. Facing Today-  From the group Facing History and Ourselves, this blog links the past and present with posts by an international community of mindful and creative educators, students, and community members.  Great for current events.
  36. The School of Life: The School of Life is a place that tries to answer the great questions of life. We believe in developing emotional intelligence. We are based online and in 12 physical hubs around the world, including London, Melbourne, Istanbul and Seoul.
  37. Inequality Index – Inequality isn’t all about income. Here’s a guide to different ranking systems – from wealth distribution to the World Happiness Report – and which countries rate best and worst under each.
  38. Metrocosm:  Metrocosm is Max Galka’s collection of maps and other data visualization projects — trying to make sense of the world through numbers. Some of my favorites:  NYC Trash Global Defense Pacts, World Immigration 2010-2015, Disputed Land Across the Globe.
  39. Sal Khan Interview on NPR – Tech and a Global Classroom: Sal Khan turned tutoring lessons with his cousins into a series of free educational videos called Khan Academy. His goal: To make learning accessible for everyone, everywhere.
  40. UN Peacekeeping Missions:  An enlightening presentation by scholar Anjali Dayal. This piece by her provides a great framing for the topic. Checkout this video she used to introduce her presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 – Five Ways to Construct Your Global Competency and (In)Form Your World View

Happy New Year! What kind of private Idaho will you construct for yourself in 2017?

How about for your students? How global will your instruction and their experiences be?  Will their world views be challenged and expanded? Will your class be recognized as relevant and prepare them for the future?

So, what is on the horizon.  This Smart Brief, “Why Global Should be the Education Movement for 2017” by Bonnie Lathram and Dave Potter asserts  that in 2017, “we are going to be powered by global innovations in learning…”  I feel confident these predictions will happen and broaden the range of educational opportunities and possibilities.

 

Also, I just came across this landmark report about Global Education from UNESCO in 1990, Learning: The Treasure WithinWow.  Be sure to digest and internalize this 20th century vision as it still needs to be realized!

Lastly, this piece from Ed Surge reminds us about forward thinking and preparing our students for tomorrow.

Ok, now it is time to take a stroll through these 5 points.  I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.  Share them with your network, let me know what you think, and enjoy exploring and constructing!

 

1. Constructivism – Let your Students Know What/How Learning Is

I’ve always used the term “constructing knowledge” when talking with my students about learning and the experiences they will eventually have beyond high school.  I was surprised to find out that many of the educators I worked with had rarely used this term with their students—despite the teachers themselves being proponents of constructivism. Alternatively. words like “make”. “form”, or “create” may work better with students.  But then again, why not aim high, right? To assist with this exercise in being explicit and intentional with students about learning, I offer these planning questions and resources, both teacher and student directed.

  • Planning Questions

    Philographics is a series of posters that explain big ideas in simple shapes

    • How will you explain to students that they construct both their understanding and meaning?
    • How will you explain to students the difference between memorization and learning as a process?
    • How will you explain the “why” about learning about the past?

Education should be about students constructing knowledge to build their own personal view of the world, yet we rarely let them know that.. Constructing knowledge is about exploring new thoughts and opinions. So next time students ask the simple question, “What do I need to know?” teachers should frame the experience of education as an exercise in constructivism. Doing so empowers students to be active learners and dynamic thinkers, not just consumers of information.

 

 

2. Global Education Conference 2016  

Let’s start with this quote from Kofi Anan “I am often asked what can people do to become a good global citizen? I reply that it begins in your own community.”

We are multiple weeks removed from another fantastic Global Education Conference – huge amounts of gratitude to Lucy Gray and Steve Hargadon.  With the start of the new year it is easy for your interest in global education to take a back seat.  One way to keep your interest alive and well and inspired is to review the  global education resources and tools of the conference.  Moreover, attempt to make at least one change with students, colleagues, and for your own growth. Enjoy!

If you like what you see, tweet it out to #globaled and keep me posted @CraigPerrier

 

3. EdChange Global Classrooms 2017

The Global Ed Conference is behind us, but on deck is an amazing event – EdChange Glo
bal Classrooms 2017!  Running from Feb 28th – March 1st  The  registration page for #ECGC17 can be found here.

  • The classroom event will take place in Qiqo Chat and login information will be sent out during the month of February to all those registered. All sessions will be located in one place and each will include collaborative notes and a video chat with up to 200 participants.
  • Is your class doing amazing things? Share and collaborate with classrooms all over the world at #ECGC17 and sign up to facilitate! We would also love to have more student led sessions.

 

4. Global Reports and Indices

Context matters. Information matters. Sources matter. Interpretation matters. Comparative approaches to learning expand the US frame beyond the arbitrary boundaries of nation-hood. In other words, framing US events, people, ideas etc. in relation to a non-US equivalent provides students with  a relational and relevant experience. Dive in  and analyze.

  • Global Terrorism Index: This is the fourth edition of the Global Terrorism Index which provides a comprehensive summary of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism over the last 16 years, covering the period from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2015
  • 2016 Index of Economic Freedom For over twenty years the Index has delivered thoughtful analysis in a clear, friendly, and straight-forward format. With new resources for users and a website tailored for research and education, the Index of Economic Freedom is poised to help readers track over two decades of the advancement in economic freedom, prosperity, and opportunity and promote these ideas in their homes, schools, and communities

  • 2015 Corruption Index From villages in rural India to the corridors of power in Brussels, Transparency International gives voice to the victims and witnesses of corruption. We work together with governments, businesses and citizens to stop the abuse of power, bribery and secret deals. As a global movement with one vision, we want a world free of corruption. Through chapters in more than 100 countries and an international secretariat in Berlin, we are leading the fight against corruption to turn this vision into reality.
  • Reporters Without Borders: 2016 World Press Freedom Index Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is the world’s biggest NGO specializing in the defence of media freedom, which we regard as the basic human right to be informed and to inform others. At the turn of the 21st century, nearly half of the world population still lacks access to free information
  • Freedom in the 50 States We score all 50 states on over 200 policies encompassing fiscal policy, regulatory policy, and personal freedom. We weight public policies according to the estimated costs that government restrictions on freedom impose on their victims.
  • World Values Survey  is a global network of social scientists studying changing values and their impact on social and political life, led by an international team of scholars, with the WVS association and secretariat headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. The survey, which started in 1981, seeks to use the most rigorous, high-quality research designs in each country. The WVS consists of nationally representative surveys conducted in almost 100 countries which contain almost 90 percent of the world’s population, using a common questionnaire.

 

5. Teaching Resources

What blog post would not be complete without a good resource potpourri? I hope you add these to your repertoire and share them with you network.  Have fun!

  • 100 Leaders in World History Fantastic collection of resources that  provide a way for teachers, students, parents, and community members to engage in thoughtful discussions. By studying the leaders of the past, we learn about people whose strength and determination teach us about leadership and commitment.
  • MACAT Videos on You Tube provide concise overview of the most important books and papers in 14 humanities and social sciences subjects. A powerful resource for students, teachers and lifelong learners everywhere, our analyses do much more than just summarize seminal texts.

  • Newsela is really incredible!  Newsela is the best way for students to master nonfiction in any subject.By combining real-time assessments with leveled content from premier daily news sources and eminent nonfiction publishers, Newsela makes reading to learn relevant, interesting, and effective regardless of interest or ability about a range of topics from around the world.
  • LizardPoint Simple, fairly clean, and pretty fun.  Create an account and try your skills at the quizzes on Geography and World Leaders.  Go get ’em.
  • US History in a Global Context:  a dynamic resource that addresses the scarcity of professional development programs dedicated this approach.  Additionally, the resources we have assembled are designed to inspire your creativity and develop your thought leadership as an advocate for this approach to teaching U.S.History.
  • FPRI – The Buthcer History Institute  The Butcher History Institute, co-chaired by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Walter A. McDougall and FPRI Senior Fellow David Eisenhower, aims to contribute to the more effective teaching of history and to the public discourse over America’s identity and its role in the world.

Are You Teaching for Tomorrow? Making the Turn to Global Education

Across the United States the new school year has commenced. 48950618.cached  To kick off SY 16-17 I want to share some thoughts & resources that impacted, or reinforced, my views on education this summer. Specifically, this post emphasizes the need for building student understanding of and ability to succeed in a globalized world. How teachers design learning experiences for students (the combination of resources, instruction, assessment, and student outcomes) is indicative of a teacher’s vision and understanding of the purpose of education.

As you explore the post and resources below, keep in mind 3 common aspects of the type of education I am highlighting:

  1. Content/Course work is always framed or connected to contemporary issues or present circumstances.
  2. The teacher is a facilitator of learning and supports student inquiry and development of skills and
    content.
  3. Students are expected to take action or produce information for public interaction and/or for the development of their own world view.  In short, assessments go beyond just the teacher’s eyes.

Ok, my point of entry for this topic is a very simple yet powerful reflective prompt.  In the last few months, this Image result for globe with question mark
question has repeatedly popped up in various media and manifested in conversations I had  with people from a range of professional backgrounds. Drum roll…

That question is: Are you teaching for tomorrow?

Despite being simple, this question generates complex and stimulating responses. Moreover, it can very well be the cornerstone of your personal educational philosophy, a guiding principle for a team/department, or, starting point to develop an instructional/assessment model. In other words, if an adult walked into a classroom, would they feel like they time traveled to their high school Image result for 1980s classroom overheadexperience of 1970s, 1980s, 1990s etc?  This would imply t hat students are being taught for 20th century goals with 20th century methods and beliefs. If so,  that  is an an eyebrow raiser indeed.

The most compelling way to teach for tomorrow  is to utilize practices that address global citizenship – a combination of knowledge, skills, and dispositions whose goal focuses on students’ futures – not to replicate the educational experiences their teacher had.   (On a side note it is imperative to prepare teachers to be globally competent in pre-service programs and to continue that training with continuing development opportunities. However,  this is for a future post but a teaser is provided below with the collaborative tool, Padlet).

Ok,  watch this inspiring Ted Talk about Global Citizenship/Education which includes the practice being done in urban centers and with elementary students.

 

What a great video… multiple main themes are expressed with applications.  Moreover, the sentiment about teaching for tomorrow is framed in practical contexts. Mary Hayden puts it this way:  

Even for those school-age students today who will never in adulthood leave their native shores, the future is certain to be so heavily influenced by international developments and their lives within national boundaries so affected by factors emanating from outside those boundaries that they will be hugely disadvantaged by an education that has not raised their awareness of, sensitivity to and facility with issues arising from beyond a national “home” context. 

By the way, if this statement doesn’t impact, reinforce, change, or inspire the way you teach or develop your own practice please let me know. We need to talk.

So, What Can Teaching For the Future Look Like?

I mentioned above 4 inroads for teachers to make a global turn for teaching and learning- resources, instruction, assessment, and student outcomes.  The suggestions below address each of these inroads (they are not Image result for world with light bulbmutually exclusive).  Utilizing any of them with your classes  explicitly and intentionally  teaches for tomorrow. Content knowledge, skills, and students’ world views are developed from a stance that is forward looking and applicable beyond classroom walls. Additionally, globalization (and all its systems, issues, possibilities etc.) – not nationalism, not a test, not industrialization -moves to the center of your students’ classroom experiences.

Here are some tools and suggestions to consider and follow up on. The bold orange headings are the topics/practices that embraces global education and citizenship.  Below them are links to online tools and resources related to the headings in orange. These are only a start…

 

 

 

 

So, to finish this post, but not this topic, I want share one more video that addresses the importance of global citizenship and effectively discredits the claim that global citizenship is impossible because of its reliance on nationhood.  To those individuals I refer them to the realities of stateless refugees and to the team of refugees who competed in the Rio Olympics.

Enjoy exploring the suggested readings and the Padlet comments below.  Lastly, Teach for Tomorrow! Your students and the world will be grateful.

 

Suggested Reading:

 

Padlet Used for Feedback on Global Education from a  Teacher Workshop:

U.S. History in a Global Context: A Free Resource for Educators

Globalization has changed the purpose of education. In response to the demands of an increasingly complex, nuanced, and connected world, schools in the United States offer a variety of global experiences for students.  These approaches seek to develop students’ global competencies. One way these competencies can be met is to globalize the teaching and learning of U.S. History.

Currently, the AP, IB,  the Common Core State Standards, the C3 Framework, and NCSS themes all share this call to infuse global perspectives into contemporary education.   Moreover, groups like the Asia Society, VIF, and World Savvy have identified frameworks and credentials addressing global competency for students and teachers. However, there is a need for resources, instructional approaches, and assessment types dedicated to placing U.S. History in a
Global Context instead of teaching it in isolation.
connectThe great news is that resource is now available!

The U.S. History in a Global Context project is a dynamic resource that supports teachers’ move toward this broader contextualization. The resources we have assembled are designed to inspire teacher creativity, develop lessons, modify instruction, and bolster understanding of the “How” and “Why” of globalizing U.S. History .

Additionally, we hope that the project develops your advocacy for this approach to teaching U.S. History. Ultimately, by using this “global turn” you will better prepare your students to succeed in the future.

  •  For an overview of the resource, watch this screencast:

http://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cDeVfZ16OF

  •  Resource Website is here:

http://globalushistory.edublogs.org/

To finish, I want to reference the prolific historian, Dr. Peter Stearns. He notes,

“A more global framework creates new perspectives, and some fresh challenges, making American history a livelier experience and, of course, linking it to other history courses in a less fragmented way. Ultimately, I would suggest, a global approach to American history lets us deal with three key, and difficult, questions – important ones, but tough ones as well.”

I hope you enjoy and utilize this resource.  It will go through monthly updates throughout 2016.  If you would like to contribute to the resource, please reach out through the U.S, in Global Context feedback area.

What is TES? Exploring Teachers’ Global Marketplace of Ideas

I love going to farmers’ markets. I try to buy from a variety of farms in order to spread my support around. I also love Oliver Wendell Holmes 1919 dissent statement in Abrams v. United States.  In it he invokes the power an individual  can have among the collective.  He notes:

“Persecution for the expression of opinions seems to me perfectly logical. If you have no doubt of your premises or Wendell-Oliver-Holmesyour power and want a certain result with all your heart you naturally express your wishes in law and sweep away all opposition…But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas. . . . The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out.”

In short,  Holmes believes that “the ‘marketplace of ideas’ is the foundation of the constitutional system, not merely the First Amendment, and efforts to suppress opinions by force therefore contradict a fundamental principle of the Constitution.”

Any marketplace  of ideas can be competitive, risky, rewarding, and collaborative. What happens when we apply this principle to the field of education… on a global level?

TES is what happens!

The English based Times Education Supplement (TES)  is dedicated to supporting the world’s teachers. Their mission “is to enable great teaching by helping educators find the tools and technology they need to excel, supporting them throughout their career and professional development.”

Additionally, TES is “home to the world’s largest online community of teachers with 7.3 million registered users… this network is one of the fastest growing of any profession globally, helping support, guide and inspire educators around the world.”

I was introduced to TES during last November’s Global Education Conference (see that presentation below).  I promptly became a member of TES (check out my TES page here) and contacted them to find out more.  From there, I met Gabe Barker.  Gabe was happy to sit for an interview about the education marketplace known as TES. His insights  follow.  Welcome to the new marketplace – Enjoy!

 

  1. Hi Gabe. Tell us about how you got involved in TES and explain the organization’s vision.

After teaching for a few years and then getting my graduate degree in education technology, I was looking for jobs that would keep me in that field. I saw an ad for the position on EdSurge and jumped at the opportunity to help as many teachers as possible to share, sell, and create teaching materials online.The high-levegabel vision of TES is quite simple – help teachers teach. We strive to support teachers in real, tangible ways. Since teachers are so strapped for time, they often can’t design every worksheet, lesson, handout, and quiz needed to teach a successful class and still have enough energy for their students in the classroom. Moreover, now that most states require classes to align with Common Core State Standards, teachers in the U.S. are in need of even more resources that they know are effective with real students.  Since teachers are the ones in class every day, they know best what materials actually increase student learning outcomes. TES works to meet that need. Every resource in the marketplace is created by a teacher for a teacher. For every resource purchased in the U.S., the teacher who created the resource gets 100% of the profit because we value the hard work that teachers put in to make those materials.In addition to this dynamic marketplace, we host Blendspace, a lesson-building product where teaching resources can be freely integrated and implemented; and Wikispaces, an open classroom management platform that facilitates student-teacher communication and collaboration.

 

2. What are some of the successes of TES and what is ahead for 2016?

Our greatest success this past year was launching the U.S. marketplace in August 2015, and it’s been a fast and furious five months since then. Shortly after this launch, we integrated Blendspace’s lesson builder and our marketplace platform so that educators can instantly incorporate the resources they discover on TES into digital lessons. We view this integration as a move toward making it even easier and effective for teachers to implement TES resources and engage students in differentiated, flipped, and/or group learning.Since we also care deeply about teachers and their experiences with TES, we provide personalized attention to authors via our content team (made up of all former teachers like myself!). In addition to that support, we strive to foster communication about best teaching and TES author practices through our Authors’ Hub and Teachers’ Lounge guest blog. We also offer exclusive Pinterest collections and boards filled with resources created by our educator community. As we move into 2016, we are launching the Teacher Advisory Board and the Ambassador Program in the US. The Teacher Advisory Board is composed of a small group of leaders in US education and the Ambassadors Program consists of teachers in the US and Canada. The Teacher Advisory Board is expected to give us insight into big trends in education, and the Ambassadors will provide product feedback and help out on various projects and initiatives (e.g., our guest blog, videos, etc). We have both the Teacher Advisory Board and Ambassador Program to better understand teachers’ perspectives, from their experiences with our products to broader issues impacting the education community.

 

 

3. What makes your program unique in the space of global citizenship education?

While most of my previous answers have focused on the US marketplace, it’s important to note that TES is truly a global platform. In our marketplace, teachers and other educators from around the world can discover Tes globaland share innovative teaching techniques and resources. Essentially, TES helps teachers incorporate global content and perspectives into local lessons, which works to increase global collaboration and further “flatten” the world of education. Furthermore, by using global content in their lessons, teachers help their students gain new insights about different parts of the world.

 

 

4. What are the best ways for teachers/schools to get involved?

It’s easy for teachers and schools to get involved with TES. The first step is to create a free account and search tes.com<http://tes.com><http://tes.com> for resources to try out with students. Schools can encourage team leaders to test resources from TES, and help other teachers use resources in the classroom. Additionally, individual teachers can become authors by uploading materials that they’ve created for their classrooms and making them available in the marketplace. They can either share their materials for free or sell them to earn 100% royalty. Moreover, we’re always looking for new teaching perspectives to share with our community. Teachers can submit a blog post or an article for publication in our guest blog.

 

5. What are some examples of feedback you have received on the teacher resource component of TES?

One of the best parts of my job is the daily communication and feedback I have with teachers in our community. We are thankful that we receive so much feedback from teachers! Here are a few gems:

“The uploader on TES resources is incredibly user-friendly and easy!! Thanks for this service!” – a seller of Spanish resources on TES

“I like the personal touch at TES which I haven’t had from other online marketplaces…it feels like I’m noticed and recognized.” – a Social Studies teacher on TES

“Thank you for your marketplace and always being ready to help!! I did the happy dance when I saw my sales this morning. :)” – An English Language Arts Teacher on TES

 

6. It has been a pleasure. What final words do you have for readers?

Teachers are some of the hardest working and most passionate professionals, and they don’t receive recognition often enough about their value and impact on students in their classrooms. TES provides a venue to help alleviate some of the stresses on teachers’ time, including finding effective resources and creating digital lessons, and to elevate and share their teaching practices with other educators around the world. Essentially, we hope to make a difference in teachers’ lives, so they can continue making a difference in students’ lives. We’re always open to feedback, and look forward to working with you!

 

The TES Presentation that Inspired Me…

During the 2015 Global Education Conference (please get involved with this) Jim Knight, Chief Education Adviser at  TES was a keynote speaker. As a former Cabinet minister in the Labour Government, Minister for Schools and Learners, and member of the Privy Council and the House of Lords, Jim Knight has skills in decision making, communication, media handling and strategic policy, and has unrivalled expertise in the inter-relationship between education, skills and employment policy given his ministerial experience. He also has a current understanding of the potential use of digital technology in the delivery of public services. See his presentation below.

The Global Concerns Classroom: Civic Education that Turns the World Around

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. day.  My 2013 post framed Dr. King not merely as an American citizen, but rather as a global citizen… a concept that is widely used today in education and beyond.  In a 1979, Harry Belafonte performed the song  “Turn the World Around” on the Muppet show emphasizing the power of knowing, not otherizing, people and recognizing the agency and positive results that engagement can foster.   Watch the video below and enjoy!

 

How great is that?

In preparation for the segment, “designers at The Muppet Workshop did background research on African masks, to serve as the chorus. While these would be patterned very closely on real African masks, Jim Henson was very particular about selecting the final designs, since as Belafonte recalled, “he didn’t want to cause offense by choosing masks that would have some religious or national significance.”

Well done Mr. Henson.  And although some people may dismiss this as political correctness, an error in application of that term, I consider this understanding to be an example of global citizenship in practice.

So, what about today in 2016? Currently, there are a range of global citizen programs available for educators, schools, and communities to select GCC_logo_Colorfrom in order to bolster the global education experiences students have.  One program that stands out and should be explored by you  is “Global Concerns Classroom.” In their own words:

Global Concerns Classroom (GCC) is an innovative global education program that seeks to raise awareness of current international humanitarian issues in U.S. youth and to empower them to take meaningful action. Through dynamic resources, student engagement programs, and professional development for educators, GCC prepares youth to gain the knowledge and skills needed to be globally competent for the 21st century.

Very compelling indeed!  At a conference this past November, I had the pleasure of meeting  GCC Education Officer, Margi Bhatt.  We reconnected in the new year and discussed GCC and global education.  Margi’s insights about GCC’s  vision, resources, and her own work are provided below.  Be sure to connect with her and explore how GCC can contribute to your school and class.

 

1) Tell us about how you got involved in GCC.

After finishing my Master’s at Teachers College in International Education Development, I was eagerly seeking a position at an education NGO in New York City that not only captured my interest but whose mission I could believe in. Concern Worldwide’s reputation was well-known at Teachers College and when I saw there was an opportunity to work in the domestic education side of it through the Global Concerns Classroom program, I jumped at the opportunity! Luckily, the fit was great and I was hired for the job! I’ve been here for almost a year and half now.Margi

2) What are some of the successes of GCC and what is ahead for 2016?

GCC has been active since 2001, though it has taken on many faces since its conception. One of the strongest aspects of GCC is the content it provides teachers and students through standards-aligned curricula and our global issue guides. Because GCC sits under the greater INGO Concern Worldwide, we have access to up-to-date material on global issues. We source our information directly from our teams in the field so we can best capture what’s happening around the world and make it accessible for the US classroom.

All our resources are completely free of charge as well and as streamlined, easy to implement as possible for our teachers. Having been teachers ourselves, team GCC is always teacher-conscious and we hear great things from our participating teachers about the resources we provide, which gives us pride in our work! You can read more about our approach to programming on our website!

The last two years, we’ve focused our yearlong programming on Innovations in Global Health and Global Climate Impact. The yearlong program includes standards-aligned curriculum in the fall (5-6 lessons, 50 minutes each), Global Youth Summit in the winter, Community Action Plan and a Showcase event the spring, followed by the overseas field visit opportunity in the summer.

For the 2016-17 school year, we will turn our focus to Humanitarian Emergencies. Our curriculum will cover both manmade and natural disasters and how humanitarian organizations like Concern Worldwide respond in times of crisis. The lessons will include information about the humanitarian landscape and emphasize the importance of coordination. Our Global Youth Summit in the winter will give students the opportunity to put all this to the test through a simulated emergency scenario.  We are very excited for what’s to come!

 

3) What makes your program unique in the space of global citizenship education?

 Besides the fact that all our resources and program participation is completely free of charge, one very unique factorGcc unit of the GCC program is the annual overseas field visit. After participating in the various components of our program throughout the school year, students who are deeply interested in the global issues they’ve learned about are invited by their teachers to apply for a field visit opportunity.

Chosen students (and their teachers!) spend a week visiting Concern Worldwide programs in the field, with previous trips to Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia. This experience is hugely impactful for students as they are able to complicate and deepen their understanding of development work. You can read about our students’ experience last summer in Ethiopia on the GCC Blog!

Student alumni of our field visits have gone on to explore college degrees and career tracks in this field, citing their GCC/Concern experience as an inspiration. Teachers who participate in the visit find they are better equipped to talk about global citizenship topics in the classrooms back home and are more motivated to include global concepts in the topics they teach. We are thrilled to be able to provide such a special opportunity for our students and teachers!

 

4) What resources do you have for teachers?

 We have ten global issue guides focusing on major humanitarian and development issues in various countries, seven standards-aligned, ready-to-go unit plans (5-6 lessons, 50 minutes each), student narrated videos, and classroom posters to help teachers get the conversation started. Most recently, we’ve added an issue guide and unit plan on Climate Change in Niger. Our Water poster is very popular!

All of our resources are available on our website for free in PDF downloadable format. Teachers can also request hard copies of our issue guides for their classroom library. In 2015, we received dozens of requests from teachers all over the world, impacting hundreds of students.

In addition, teachers are welcome to request any other needs they may have for teaching global issues in the classroom and we do our best to provide guidance and additional resources.

 (sample video from GCC)

5) Are you seeing more schools in the USA making a move toward global education?

Yes, definitely! We are continually hearing from teachers all over the US seeking resources on global topics. Most recently, I’ve noticed a trend at the state-level for creating a global citizenship certification program for high school students. A lot of times, it’s the teachers themselves who are leading these campaigns to make global education a priority and to create incentives for their students to take part. States like Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and others are at various levels for making the certification program a reality. With these programs in effect, we hope that our resources will help fill any gaps teachers and administrators experience in their need for curriculum. Very exciting to see global education trending, especially since, from my conversations with teachers and students, it’s what they want to be teaching and learning!

 

6) How can schools get involved with GCC?

Currently, our yearlong program is available to high schoolers in NYC, Chicago, and Boston metro-areas. Any educator that fits those two criteria (geography and grade-level) are welcome to register on our website for next year’s program on Humanitarian Emergencies. Once registered, teachers will receive further information on the details of the programming, including curriculum and dates for events.

For those who don’t quite fit the bill, we have amazing online resources, PDF-downloadable and for free! If you’re a teacher looking to teach about global issues, you will find global issue guides per topic and by country on our site. In addition, there are 5-6 lesson (50 minutes each) unit plans on topics like Climate Change, Child Survival, hungerDisplacement, Education, HIV and AIDS, Hunger, and Water. There are also student-narrated videos to play in the classroom, as well as classroom posters to get the conversation started!

If teachers have other needs related to teaching global issues, we are always ready to receive requests and provide whatever resources and assistance!

 

 7) It has been a pleasure.  What final words do you have for readers?

Having worked with teachers the last couple of years on global citizenship education through GCC, I see first-hand the demand on teachers from all sides – administrators, students, guardians, and peers. It can be challenging in such a shifting educational environment to continue to provide great learning for students with energy and without losing sight of what is at stake – after all, the next generation of leaders are in the classrooms today!

In the last two years, I’ve also seen amazing teachers who are so dedicated to their work, which inspires me continuously to provide them with the most effective and streamlined tools to make their jobs easier. I will never forget last fall in Chicago, when a teacher came up to me after our professional development session – she hugged me and explained that she’s been looking for something like the GCC program for her students and she’s so thrilled that she’s found it!

Global citizenship education is quickly becoming essential to better prepare students for the 21st-century and to generally provide them with critical perspective on global issues. I am happy to be a part of the work that is making this happen!

To keep updated on all we’re doing at GCC, follow us on social media, where we’re constantly updating on the latest big thing and providing additional resources for teachers! You can find us on Facebook at Global Concerns Classroom, on Twitter @concerngcc, and Instagram at GlobalConcernsClassroom. Be sure to also check out our blog, where we post on international awareness days – an easy way to bring current events and global issues into your classroom!

Thank you Margi.  It has been a pleasure.  I look forward to staying in touch and seeing the continued impact GCC will have on global education.

Whoa ho, so is life!

Italo Calvino, Technology, and the US DOE: 6 Moves for the Current Millennium

Happy New Year! I hope that 2016 is an enlightening and inspiring year for you.

I remember reading Italo Calvino’s   Six Memos for the Next Millennium at cafes and along Ipanema beach in ipanemaRio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Reading it in 2003 the millennium had already started and Calvino’s swansong was nearly two decades old.  But “Six Memos” resonated with me in a way that transcended Calvino’s focus on literacy criticism  and theory, “(the work was an )investigation into the literary values that he wished to bequeath to future generations.” In short, I felt the world and education profession had passed through a gateway.  What did we bring with us as a guide in the new era?

Calvino prepared a series of lectures in 1985. Five of them were planned in Italy. He intended to complete the sixth while in the United States. However, prior to his departure, Calvino died, his sixth lecture was unfinished. The title of the compilation indicating six memos was retained, although the book contains only five.

The topics/values which Calvino highlights  in his lecture series are:

  1. Lightness
  2. Quickness
  3. Exactitude
  4. Visibility
  5. Multiplicity
  6. Consistency (never finished)

Below is a rare interview with Calvino recorded just before his death and broadcast on BBC TV just after his death.

So, it is now 2016 and we are well into the new millennium. What is the current status of education in your world? How do you, your students, and your colleagues use technology as a tool for teaching and learning?And lastly, what can Calvino offer us as we frame education and ed technology in this millennium?

Calvino talks about the new novel and the need for change in the literary craft. I contend that the qualities Calvino identifies in Six Memos for the Next Millennium are useful and relevant guides for us in education.  A new craft for teaching and learning is needed so that when you see a classroom today, it should not be a replication of the 1980s or 1990s.  One of the key factors in education’s evolution is the ubiquity and potential of technology.

 

 Six Uses of Technology 

Education Week’s recent Spotlight “Leaders in Technology and Innovation” contained a range of insights and case studies regarding the implementation and current use of ed tech.  A point that stood out in the publication echoed adad-and-kid-barter-tech common sentiment among educators expressing the limits of technology in teaching and learning.  Taken from an evaluation of a 1:1 initiative in Charlotte, NC, the program noted that  “on average, students and teachers used the laptops for one lesson per day, often for ‘superficial’ academic purposes, with Internet browsing the primary form of use.”

This observation is a legitimate concern.  Such use is a limitation to education in this millennium. Certainly there must be more to do with technology. especially in a 1:1 setting.  But what else can be done?

To begin answering this question, I have returned to Calvino for inspiration.  Below you will find a use of ed tech matched with one of the qualities found in Six Memos for the Next Millennium.  Combined they represent changes in education that are facilitated by technology. With the start of the new year, there is no better time to try one, or more, with your students.

  1. Video Conference and Chat with Students Beyond the School (Lightness) “I have tried to remove weight, sometimes from people, sometimes from heavenly bodies, sometimes from cities; above all I have tried to remove weight from the structure of stories and from language.”
    • Why do it? Collaboration, engaging with students on a global scale, and communication skills
    • Try this: http://tonyblairfaithfoundation.org/projects/facetofaith 
  2. Use Social Media for Formative Assessments (Quickness) “Quickness of style and thought means above all agility, mobility, and ease, all qualities that go with writing where it is natural to digress, to jump from one subject to another, to lose the thread a hundred times and find it again after a hundred more twists and turns.”
    • Why do it? Authentic setting, full class participation, learning beyond class time
    • Try this: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/frictionless-formative-assessment-social-media-paige-alfonzo
  3. Students Create a Portfolio (Exactitude) “To my mind exactitude means three things above all: (1) a well-defined and well-calculated plan for the work in question; (2) an evocation of clear, incisive, memorable visual images;(3) a language as precise as possible both in choice of words and in expression of the subtleties of thought and imagination”
    • Why do it?  Used to collect, organize, reflect upon, and share student work – digital presence
    • Try this:   https://threering.com/     OR    https://sites.google.com/site/googlioproject/ 
  4. Creating Media (Visibility) “…the power of bringing visions into focus with our eyes shut, of bringing forth forms and colours from the lines of black letters on a white page, and in fact of thinking in terms of images.”
    • Why do it? Student generated information is part of this millennium.  Not just written papers…
    • Try thisInfographics, video, images, screencasts, podcasts… subscribe to this: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/ 
  5. Require Students to Apply Knowledge to Contemporary Issues (Multiplicity) “…the grand challenge for literature is to be capable of weaving together the various branches of knowledge, the various “codes” into a manifold and multifaceted vision of the world.”
    • Why do it? Taking informed action and/or using knowledge to impact a student’s worldview makes learning relevant.
    • Try this: http://www.c3teachers.org/taking-in4med-action-45-options-for-dimension-4/ 
  6. Modify/Develop Online Resources (Consistency) 
    • Why do it? Students engage with already created resources and contribute/edit the source with what they know.
    • Try this: Students can fact check, suggest modifications, and provide updates to existing information.  http://edtechteacher.org/my-product/fact-check-your-textbook/

Implementing any of these in your classroom will move the experiences of your students into the 21st century.  But this list of 6 is by no means the final word.  To explore more options, and an even greater vision, let’s finish with the US DOE’s recent 100 plus page “memo.”

 

Introducing the US DOE 2016 National Education Technology Plan

Give this document a read.  I am confident that it will inspire, inform, provide context and possibilities.  Moreover, the number of resources and models will surprise you.  Checkout the vision of the plan:

“The National Education Technology Plan is the flagship educational technology policy document for the United States. The 2016 Plan, Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education, articulates a
vision of equity, active use, and collaborative leadership to make everywhere, all-the-time learning possible. While acknowledging the continuing need to provide greater equity of access to technology itself, the plan goes further to call upon all involved in American education to ensure equity of access to transformational learning experiences enabled by technology.”

For the sake of this blog, it is section 2 of the plan that is most relevant. It is titled,  “Teaching With Technology”  Goal: Educators will be supported by technology that connects them to people, data, content, resources, expertise, and learning experiences that can empower and inspire them to provide more effective teaching for all learners.

Start there as a very practical in-road to changing teaching and learning in your school using ed tech.  Even better -for inspiration and an overview of the section – start with the short video below .

What Now…

Let’s finish with this Calvino quote.  I love it because it reinforces the need for change and the new.  Indeed, the wheel of education does deserve to be reinvented.

“Whenever humanity seems coWriter Italo Calvino in a Cafendemned to heaviness, I think I should fly like Perseus into a different space. I don’t mean escaping into dreams or into the irrational. I mean that I have to change my approach, look at the world from a different perspective, with a different logic and with fresh methods of cognition and verification. The images of lightness that I seek should not fade away like dreams dissolved by the realities of present and future…”

The heaviness of teacher centered and teacher directed learning anchors education to the previous millennium. How light will you become in 2016?

 

Summering with Shulman: What did you add to your (T)PCK Repertoire?

When I am asked by people for advice or have the ears of social studies educators I work with (rookie or veteran) I like to share this bit of advice–  “Each year, be sure to add at least one new aspect of teaching to your repertoire.”  I have come to consider this sentiment to be a core belief, maybe wisdom at this point, of my professional philosophy and personal world view.

This synthesis of professional and personal convictions reminds me of scholar Lee Shulman’s concept of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). Shulman stressed the interplay of two domains often considered to be exclusive aspects of K-16 teaching: subject matter expertise and instruction. He reminds us,

“If teachers are to be successful they would have to confront both issues (of content and pedagogy) simultaneously, by embodying the aspects of content most germane to its teachability… It represents the blending of content and pedagogy into an understanding of how particular topics, problems, or issues are organized, represented, and adapted to the diverse interests and abilities of learners, and presented for instruction.” (Shulman, 1986, p. 8-9)

Here is Shulman in 2011 reflecting on teaching and education.  The 55 minutes are well worth it. So get a coffee and some ice cream, and enjoy!

 

Welcome back. In 1987 Shulman co-authored an article I consider part of the pedagogical canon, “150 different ways of knowing: Representations of knowledge in teaching.”  In essence,  a synthesis of understanding by the teacher is part of each class and, in turn, the educator’s professional expertise. For example, using a high school English class reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin as an example, pedagogical uses of literature and the role of discussion  as an instructional strategy in uncovering meanings in the work, combined with subject matter knowledge of the history of slavery and abolition can be represented using a simple Venn diagram labeled with Shulman’s theory.

So, from Shulman, I return to my very simple recommendation: expand your instructional repertoire every year by trying something new that can help students engage with your content.  This summer my goal was…well still is… to improve my expertise with a range of educational technology tools  so that I can use them with my students and promote them among my colleagues. Each of them can be used with online, traditional and blended approaches to teaching and learning.  Moreover, the 6 tools below are applicable to a range of content areas. Mastering them and then using them with intent in your classes will place you in that sweet spot of Shulman’s Venn diagram.

 

1) Thinglink (Interactive Images)

This tool “develops interactive images that help students develop 21st-century skills and enrich their enthusiasm for learning… It’s an engaging, all-inclusive tool for students to demonstrate their learning, though its full potential depends on how teachers use it.”

I am super excited about this one.  You, and your students, can take any image (including maps, political cartoons, data charts, etc.) and add information to it – explanatory notes, prompts and questions, video, additional information, links, etc.  I created this one below to collect the Atlantic World via music. In the end, with ThingLink, your creativity, content knowledge. and instructional vision is the limit.

9 Songs About Society from the Atlantic World, 1957-1988

   

 

 

2) Google Cultural Institute: Historic Moments (Online Exhibits/Content) From the f0lks at Google, the Historic Moment portal to their umbrella website “Cultural Institute” provides “online exhibitions detailing the stories behind significant moments in human history. Each exhibition tells a story using documents, photos, videos and in some cases personal accounts of events.” Wow! Be sure to explore tutorials on the site or a growing repository by people online. The content is growing  and is useful for online, face to face, ad blended approaches to teaching about the past.  So far, my two favorites are “The Second World War in 100 Objects” and “Nelson Mandela: One Man’s Memory.”  Bookmark this one and share it far and wide.   

 

3) Joomla! (Content Management Platform)  “A content management platform is software that keeps track of every piece of content on your Web site, much like your local public library keeps track of books and stores them. Content can be simple text, photos, music, video, documents, or just about anything you can think of. A major advantage of using a CMS is that it requires almost no technical skill or knowledge to manage. A mobile-ready and user-friendly way to build your website. Choose from thousands of features and designs. Joomla! is free and open source.”  How do you organize and present you resources to students? Where can students interact with the assignments, resources, and assessments you create and use?  Joomla is ideal for creating your own electronic portfolio as well and getting your research out in the public sphere.    

 

4) Social Explorer (Visualizing Data): This tool was introduced to me by my colleague, Patti Winch. See, sharing does work! “Social Explorer provides quick and easy access to current and historical census data and demographic information. The easy-to-use web interface lets users create maps and reports to illustrate, analyze, and understand demography and social change.”  Amazingly, it contains data from each census back to 1790!  I am excited to tap into this tool with gusto.  Take a look at what can be done.  

 

    5) Screencast-o-matic  (Presentations) –Screencast-o-matic is video and audio screen capture software. In the classroom, Screencast-o-matic is useful for recording audio commentary on student writing, recording a mini-lecture, narrating a presentation, or any other function you can think of! Ok, so this isn’t a new one for me, but they have recently expanded by adding a bunch of new features.  So, I need to catch up.  I have students create their own explaining their final paper topic Here is a short example of a screencast I made and use in class.

 

      6) Ted Ed: Lessons Worth Sharing: (Online Lessons) “TED-Ed’s commitment to creating lessons worth sharing is an extension of TED’s mission of spreading great ideas. Within TED-Ed’s growing library of lessons, you will find carefully curated educational videos, many of which represent collaborations between talented educators and animators nominated through the TED-Ed platform.”

My goal is to submit a lesson that will be accepted and then made into a Ted Ed lesson.  Review your resources, and your colleagues (because you can nominate teachers too) for outstanding lessons.  We all have gems that should be shared with as many educators and students.

Now, if these tools have not captured your interest, check out these two lists for more options.

 

So, where can this bring us. Back to Shulman of course, and then beyond.  By recognizing educational technology as a domain of knowledge for educators’ to master, we transfer PCK to TPCK.  “Technological pedagogical content knowledge refers to the knowledge and understanding of the interplay between CK, PK and TK when using technology for teaching and learning (Schmidt, Thompson, Koehler, Shin, & Mishra, 2009). It includes an understanding of the complexity of relationships between students, teachers, content, practices and technologies (Archambault & Crippen, 2009).”  

Whatever tools you add to your repertoire, I say congratulations! You have modeled life-long learning and are an inspiration to your students and colleagues.  Let me know what works for you, suggest additional tools, and stay in touch via twitter:  @CraigPerrier 

Enjoy the rest of your summer!