As educators, we need to help students become globally minded through the expression of curiosity, compassion and empathy with others. It is this philosophy that the IB is founded upon, with a view to developing students who “help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”
Creating Global Classrooms requires us, as educators, to build links between our students and other students around the world. These links nurture understanding, respect and discussions on global issues, allowing students to develop a truly global perspective. Previously, if we wanted our students to communicate with a school in another country, it would have required us to arrange long winded Pen-Pal exchanges and other painstaking activities, all of which take up lots of time with little by way of end result. However, at a time when technology is growing within the classroom and online social media use is on the rise, we are now able to easily build mutually beneficial relationships with students and educators all over the world. So, what are realistic ways we can impact students and help them develop a global mindset?
We’ve outlined some of the great resources out there that educators can use to help connect their students with students around the world, helping them become global learners.
- eTwinning: This online service allows staff in schools to collaborate, communicate, design and implement projects together as part of a joined community. Available throughout Europe, eTwinning helps foster friendships and learning opportunities across language and cultural boundaries.
- ePals: With participants in over 200 countries, this service allows educators throughout the world to connect with one another in meaningful ways and collaborate. Projects and challenges are available to reinforce the connections made.
- Mystery Skype: This interactive program connects classrooms from around the world via Skype. Students ask each other yes or no questions; through these questions and answers, each group tries to determine where in the world the other group is from.
- TWICE: This is a K-12 video conferencing organisation that supports collaborative communication between teachers, students and technology coordinators. It enables classrooms across the globe to learn together.
- Global Education Collaborative: The Global Education Collaborative is a community for teachers and students interested in global education. Contribute by adding media, conversation and collaborative project ideas.
How do you think connecting classrooms globally would benefit your class? Let us know in the comments.