Going Global with Online GEC Part -2
A dive into TIG, TCGE and Participate!!
Date: 19th Nov 2017
Some more insight into the amazing sessions at the online Global Education Conference 2017. One of the most inspiring sessions has been the key note address by Michael Furdyk Co Founder TakingITGlobal and Teddy Godwaldt Executive Director Center of Global Education. It was after the session I had a chance to explore thoroughly TakingITGlobal website and initiative. Its great to see such a large number of youth from all over the globe playing an active and positive role in solving global challenges collaboratively.
TIG is a whole new world, which provides ample opportunities to take part in initiatives, comment or blog about it, create your own initiatives, share new ideas with the global community, Or join e-courses online to build and enhance your professional competencies. The initiative offers a dive into a global world and the challenges surrounding it related to education, poverty, environmental issues, technology, human rights, peace ,media and health.There are ample resources for you to share and connect with world. I was really moved by a quote shared on the educational portal by Sydney J.Harris "the whole purpose of education is turning mirrors into windows". The whole project offers opportunity to practically apply expertise acquired during or before studies to find possible solutions to global issues.
While skimming through some of the blog posts, I came cross an interesting post titled, "how to transform our inspirations into thoughtful actions", the TakingITGlobal team visited the International School of Helsinki and spent a week with the kids, teachers, administrators and parents. They held different sessions with kids, started with reflections on how smile can ensure happiness for oneself and others. This was followed by sharing many examples of thoughtful action which included opening door, inviting others to play during recess etc. The Dot story by Peter Reynolds was shared with kids and they were asked to write down their ideas on how they plan to make a mark. This was followed by a very creative task where kids were asked to share ideas on how to take action on sustainable development goals. Kids were also asked to identify one thing they wanted to improve about their community, in the end the project teams pitched their ideas in front of the school head and the other students.
Some of their key programs include Online Community (platform for discussions, social networking, connecting youth with global issues and resources to help resolve the challenges), Commit2act (a mobile app that connects youth to social issues and lets them connect to it), Sprout E Course (equips youth with project management skills thus empowering them to initiate own innovative social projects. There are dozens of other projects that you could connect too, its simply amazing work. A golden opportunity for teachers to connect their students to the global world and ensure they become active global citizens, these projects could be easily linked to the curriculum taught in schools, there are ample links visible already. I have signed in as a member, you guys need to dive in now :)
Moving to exploring Centre for Global Education, the organization aims to provide global learning opportunities to students around the globe, since 2006 almost 150,000 students from 400 schools across 30 countries have participated in real time collaboration. They are offering programs like Global Encounters, Virtual Town Halls and AVIKA (Alberta virtual indigenous knowledge awareness program). What I liked most is the Global Encounter program, which brings students from all around the globe together and connects them through live video conference and gives them the opportunity to share views on global matters and share their potential as change agents in the society. They begin with discussing matters in a virtual classroom and then followed by a live video conference with peers , question answer session with key note speakers, ending with through understanding of the global issue at hand.
The Centre for Global Education offers different resources and PD opportunities, these include global encounters, online collaboration between schools, sharing lesson plans and curriculum resources, e- courses etc tailored to meet the needs of various educators.
Some of their upcoming events include live video conference titled Global Citizenship: SDGs, Globalization & You on Dec 12, which aims to explore topics like equity, empathy and relationality. It will look at some of the UN SDGs which include peace and justice, sustainable cities, reduced inequalities etc and enable youth to discuss and share ideas to work as global citizens to resolve global issues.
Another upcoming event is the Resistance Art: A UNESCO Human Rights Exploration on Dec 7, its a great opportunity for students to celebrate international human rights day with students all over the globe, students can use different art mediums to express their views about two of the SDGs Reduced Inequalities and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. I found these two events interesting and thought of sharing, there is a complete list of upcoming events available on the website. I see it as a huge opportunity for our kids to get global and interact with a wider audience, listen to different perspectives. Not to be misses, so get connected with TCGE.
I found another very interesting quote while surfing the TIG website ,"Today's education system faces irrelevance unless we bridge the gap between how students live and how they learn - the Partnership for 21st Century Skills". And I completely agree with it, with my 13 year background of teaching and training in a very prestigious institution of our country (Beaconhouse School System) I think the education we are imparting to our kids at school needs to be reviewed, from the early year kids need to be made aware of the global challenges the world faces and what needs to be done in order to overcome these together as citizens of a global village. This can begun with sharing and discussing UN SDGs with not only students, teachers, administrators, but the whole parent community should be taken on board o achieve sustainable results.
One of the most amazing resources I came across at GEC was Participate. This was shared during a keynote address by Dr Jennifer Williams Director of Education Strategy at Participate. Participate is basically is an online learning platform, offers various opportunities for continuous professional development in the form professional chats with experts in the field, enrollment into various courses all linked to SDGs and creating a collection of your work.
One of the courses that I explored was Transform Our World: Quality Education, which lets students explore the impact of education on quality of life. With this course you can have access to a number of resources for kids, including lesson plans, access to global experts and digital badges. You can sign up the course for free.
Another course that I really liked was Writing Reboot: EDTech for student writers across content areas, the course basically empowers students to use technology to write, create and publish on the web. They will learn how to use technology available in schools in the most effective ways. The course will enable teachers to design meaningful and engaging activities using technology.
There are several free courses available on Participate from letting you design own PD, participate in EDCamp, working with Twitter, Zero Hunger, Sustainable development goals etc. Its all just a click away. I think its really powerful because it lets you choose your own PD, take control of your own learning based on your interests, in your own time and space.
Not the least but in case you get to connect your school with Participate, they offer professional development courses, coaching and support, collaborative learning opportunities, mentoring principals, classroom partnerships, customized evaluation plan and much much more.
One last tool that I would want to share before I end this post is Empatico. Empatico is another amazing online collaboration tool which lets your students engage in real time collaboration with a partner class. The whole process comprises of three steps Activate (lets you connect with prior knowledge), Interact(live video interaction where partner classes meet and discuss perspective) and Reflect (respect and understand each others perspectives). The activities are divided into short spark activities and long fire activities. These are all aligned to academic standards.
There is still more to share and this is all thanks to GEC 2017. It has simply opened door to a global world out there full of innovative resources which yet needs to be explored. More in my next blog post Going Global with Online GEC 2017 - Part 3 soon.
Enjoy Reading :)
3. The Dot
4. Taking Education Global
5. The Centre for Global Education
6. Transform our world, Quality Education
7. Writing Reboot: EDTech for students writers across content areas