Tag Archives: globaled

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The Real Value of Connecting All Schools

The Real Value of Connecting All Schools

This is  an excellent article in Education Week

A couple quotes:

“I have seen study abroad experiences change the lives of many students in our International Studies Schools Network. The new Connect All Schools consortium has a very specific goal: to connect every school in the US with the world by 2016. Travel is one way they are doing this and here David Potter, Chief Development Officer, iEARN-USA, explains why.”

“It is unimaginably hard to do this,” Wallace adds, “to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out.” It is difficult for educators in the day in and day out of teaching, testing, and trying out new technologies to commit their students to a collaboration with We need an empathetic, globally aware citizenry capable of working with their counterparts in other countries to meet the economic and geopolitical challenges of this century.”

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Shabby Teddy Bears

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It’s iEARN‘s (International Education and Resource Network) 25th anniversary, and I reblogged a post by David Potter that highlighted their Teddy Bear exchange project. In short, schools across the world send each other a teddy bear in the mail, and each class documents the bear’s experience.  When the bear’s vacation is over, they send it back home so the class can learn about life in the other country.  I had some great comments on that post, but this one really stuck with me. It’s from a teacher in Japan:

“Hi Donna,
One time, a Teddy came back to the school , but white body was turned grey and shabby. Children got shocked. Then the teacher said “Children, you can find how much our Teddy was hugged and kissed by your partner friends”. I love this story.
When I first attended iEARN Conference in Hungary in 1996, it was Teddy Bear presentation by Bob (Australia) which took my heart.
Yoko, Japan”

Such a great project, and a great organization.

Original photo found here

 

iEARN at 25. Going Strong with Teddy Bears in the Front!

Although we have participated in iEARN projects before, for the first time, a class in our school, Mill Creek Elementary in Geneva, IL, USA, participated in the Teddy Bear Project through iEARN. It’s been great hearing about their exchange with Wen Ya Elementary in Taiwan.

 

What a great organization. There are many global collaborative education organizations out there now, but iEARN…well, they were the true cutting edge for us all. They have only become stronger in their numbers, larger in their geographic reach and curriculum scope, and more influential during their 25 years. Lucky for all of us, they have retained all of their professional generosity, humanity and incredible inclusiveness. They are true leaders in every possible way. Happy 25th iEARN! I’m proud to be among your many admirers and participant teachers.

iEARN-USA

We’re celebrating our furry friends today, and invite you to join our Teddy Bear Picnic. The iEARN Teddy Bear Project has been a favorite of hundreds of thousands of teachers and students in more than 8,000 schools worldwide since 1996, and we’re spending the day sharing stories, images, and the joy of global collaboration in one of its most huggable forms.

Congratulations to all participating schools worldwide, and a big thank you to the current Teddy Bear Project Facilitators Rasagnya Puppala and Fumi (Bee) Ito in Japan, for all their bear care.






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It’s Time to Get Serious About Global Education

Screen shot 2013-01-18 at 5.34.59 AMRead more HERE.

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Our Global Education Conference Proposal

Using Data to Make Sense of the World

Link to Global Education Submission

Your Name and Title: Donna Roman, CUSD 304, Matt McGuire, Kingsclear Consolidated Schools, NB, Canada , George Petmezas, CUSD 304, Illinois USA, Ruth Hou, Wen Ya School, Taiwan

Countries from Which You Will Present: USA, Canada, Taiwan

Language in which you will present: English

Target Audience: Elementary Teachers, Administrators

Short Session Description:

An interdisciplinary project using monthly data collection by schools in eight various locations around the world; we discuss topics in relationship to the data to better understand our world.

Full Session Description:

Using location data, (temperature, daylight, precipitation), and topic discussions, (such as: landforms, plants, animals, food, celebrations, jobs and transportation), eight schools from around the world are collaboratively exploring:

1. What contributes to differences around the world and how?

2. How does our judgment of differences contribute to misunderstanding?

3. How can knowing the context of cultural difference help us understand each other better?

4. How does collecting and analyzing data help us understand this?

Website Associated with Your Sessionhttp://data2makesenseofworld.wikispaces.com/

I can’t do That! Sure you can…

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As we start the school year and online projects, I’m reminded that incorporating the richness of global collaboration into my curriculum has been a gradual process. The whole process seemed more daunting when I first started, but there are so many people and organizations willing to help make it a real possibility for you and your students. There is no end to the Professional Generosity, a phrase Lucy Gray describes in her TedxTalk, available within the global education community.

In my class last week, after our mixed-class small group meetings, Lisa Parisi instructed both of our classes on fact checking and how to cite sources for their collaborative Google docs. That may not seem unusual, but it was all done on Skype, and  Lisa’s class was in Long Island, New York and we were in Geneva, Illinois. We are working collaboratively on a geography unit called Natural Disasters and Us.  This is a complex project involving research, documenting, writing, communicating online and on Skype, and finally the creation of community prototypes that are designed to withstand specific natural disasters.

Lisa and I are able to spend time in each other’s classrooms to learn together as we co-teach. We can be mentors and advisers to one another. She has influenced my teaching greatly. All that, and I have never actually seen Lisa in person. A couple years ago, I could never have envisioned myself doing such a complicated interdisciplinary unit outside of my own four walls. This didn’t happen overnight. I was able to do this little by little with some amazing help.

My first exposure was a pilot global project, A week in the Life, a Flat Classroom Project, and at that point, I had to ask my then principal , Dr. Barrett, what a Web 2.0 tool was. The Flat Classroom teachers in that project patiently walked me step by step to not only a successful outcome, but a toolbox filled with web 2.0 savvy.  Next came my first iEARN project, the Holiday Card Exchange, involving another group of amazing teachers to learn from and with.  Many of us are still in contact doing projects together and sharing information.  iEARN’s motto is Learning with the world, not just about it… and that is true in every sense.

I cannot stress enough the value these interactions hold. The available growth as educators is nothing short of amazing. Opportunities to learn from teachers all around the world, with varying educational cultures and climates….and with different background knowledge… has added a dimension to my teaching that could be gained no other way.

If I can be the teacher in the first paragraph, so can you. All it takes is a gentle guiding hand to lead the way. You can find that in iEARN or the Flat Classroom, as well as many other wonderful organizations.

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