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Global Education Network Review

Nov 07, 2014

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EDTC 645

GLOBAL EDUCATION NETWORK REVIEW

UMUC- Fall Session EDTC 645 Tamara Blesh October 16, 2012

Anna Newton 11 Grade World Historyth

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North Point High School

MemoTo: Date: Re: Mrs. Kimberly Hill, North Point High School Principal 4/9/2013 Global Education Networks From: Mrs. Anna Newton, 11th Grade World History Teacher

Introduction & Overview At North Point High School, we have taken on the motto, the real world starts here. The goal of our school is to provide all students with an education that will prepare them for the world outside of the K-12 education system. We aim to accomplish this by creating and implementing unit and lesson plans that are based in 21st century skills, such as communication, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration that our students will use to engage in solving real world problems (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2009). In order to continue this effort to prepare students for the real world, we must engage them in the real world. Global awareness, citizenship, and collaboration are worthwhile endeavors because it encourages young people to explore, develop and express their own values and opinions, whilst listening to and respecting other peoples points of view. This is an important step towards young people making informed choices as to how they exercise their own rights and responsibilities to others (Oxfam, 2006, pg. 2).

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This memo is in response to your request to research potential global education networks. I have found three possible networks that could be used in my 11th grade World History classroom and other classrooms at North Point in order to continue our efforts to prepare our students to be able to be global citizens. The addition of one of these three global education networks is extremely important because it will aid in the implementation of unit and lesson plans that will develop responsible global citizens through real world communication, collaboration, and problem solving with other classrooms around the globe. The three best global education networks that could be used in our school is iEARN (www.iearn.org), Global Schoolhouse (www.globalschoolnet.org), and ePals (www.epals.org). In this memo, I will review each of the three global education networks and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. I will rank each of the networks based on their content, resources, ease of use, and their ability to connect to our State and Common Core standards. I will conclude with my final recommendations. Networks Review # 1: iEARN (www.iearn.org) iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) is a non-profit organization made up of thousands of schools and youth organizations in more than 130 countries. The projects on iEARN are designed to fit the curriculum and classroom needs and schedules. Projects take place in the iEARN Collaboration Centre, which allows students to meet in a safe and structured online learning environment to work with classes around the world on the project. Each project aims to improve the quality of life of people on the planet by engaging

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students in problem solving, service learning projects. This purpose is the glue that holds iEARN together, enabling participants to become global citizens who make a difference by collaborating with their peers around the world (iEARN, 2010).

(iEARN, 2012) Image source: http://collaborate.iearn.org/ The above picture shows the login area where students and teachers sign in to participate in global service learning projects. iEARN has many strengths that will make it an appropriate global education network. First, it has a secure, safe, and organized learning platform for students and teachers to use. While working online for a worthwhile service learning project, teachers still need to make sure students are safe and are not exposed to

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inappropriate and potentially harmful language and images. Another benefit, is that iEARN offers face-to-face and online professional development courses to help teachers plan and implement successful global collaborative projects. This will ensure that students and teachers will have a productive project that reaches the goals of the curriculum and will help students become global citizens. A third benefit of the iEARN network is that it combines students working on current global issues that affect their lives and the world around them and the state standards for World History. An example of a specific lesson: One Right, One People

(iEARN, 2012) Image source: http://collaborate.iearn.org/space-2/group-128/about In the example above and continued below, the One Right, One People project requires students to work on solving one of the MDGs, or Millenium Development Goal, set by the

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United Nations. There are eight MDGs, end poverty and hunger, universal education, gender equality, child health, maternal health, combat AIDS/HIV, environmental sustainability, and global partnership (United Nations, 2012). The goals of the One Right, One People project meet the following MSDE World History curriculum standards: MSDE Unit 6: Expectations: Students demonstrate understanding of the post-World War II world including the impact of the Cold War, the continuous struggle for democracy, and economic growth in an era of accelerated globalization. Topic: B. Continuous Struggle for Democracy and Human Rights Indicator: 2. Trace the development of democracy and human rights throughout the world. Topic: C. Globalization Indicator: 1. Examine the global responses to address the violation of international law, regional conflicts, and disasters and emergencies during the second half of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century. Indicator: 2. Analyze the impact of globalization on economics and culture. One Right, One People Project Continued:

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(iEARN, 2012) Image source: http://collaborate.iearn.org/space-2/group-128/about The project also meets the Common Core standards attached in Appendix B and it meets the standards in the NETS student standards attached in Appendix A. While the iEARN has many strengths, there in one main weakness. There is a fee involved in participation. See the below image for the cost. Even though there is a fee involved, the fee is not expensive, but it does need to be renewed every year. Four hundred dollars for the entire school is a great deal, especially since we have over 100 teachers in our school.

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(iEARN, 2012) Image source: http://us.iearn.org/join # 2: Global Schoolhouse (www.globalschoolnet.org) The Global Schoolhouse network, also known as Global SchoolNet, is another nonprofit organization whose goal is to help educators engage students in global project-based collaborative learning. Their goal is to help teachers create meaningful e-learning projects worldwide to develop science, math, literacy and communication skills, foster teamwork, civic responsibility and collaboration, encourage workforce preparedness and create multi-cultural understanding (Global SchoolNet, 2011). Engaging students in collaborative projects across the globe help foster the skills students will need to compete in a global economy and give

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them the ability to use problem solving and critical thinking skills to adapt to the real world while trying to make it a better place for all.

(Global SchoolNet, 2011) Image source: http://www.globalschoolnet.org/gsndoors/categories/ An example of project that would fit into the MSDE World History curriculum standards, the National Content Standards for Social Studies, Common Core Curriculum Standards, and the NETS*S standards is the Doors to Diplomacy project. See the appendices for the National Content Standards for Social Studies, Common Core Curriculum Standards, and the NETS*S standards. It is one of the featured projects on the Global SchoolNet network. The U. S. Department of State sponsors the "Doors to Diplomacy"

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educational challenge - to encourage middle school and high school students around the world to produce web projects that teach others about the importance of international affairs and diplomacy (Global SchoolNet, 2011). Student teams pick one of the eight categories, leadership traits, peace and democracy: social issues, business, trade, and economics, science and technology, safety and security, history of foreign relations, health and environmental awareness, and arts and culture (Global SchoolNet, 2011). This project requires students to use technology skills, content knowledge, and collaboration skills to create a web based project and narrative that explains their research approach. After the project has been submitted, students then review other projects from students across the globe. This project encourages students to compete with others and work on issues that impact the world. The Global SchoolNet network has many strengths. First, joining the GSN network is completely free. Another benefit is that you are able to search for projects and/or partners or you can post your own project for others to potentially join using the iPOPP (International Projects or Partners Place). You can search based on age of the students, curriculum, collaboration type, and technology that will be used in the project. This makes it easier to find projects based on the needs of your classroom and the objectives of the curriculum and project. The picture below shows the project registry search page. The GSN network also has featured projects and competitions.

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(Global SchoolNet, 2011) Image source: http://www.globalschoolnet.org/gsnpr/ The last benefit of the GSN network is the resources they offer. There is a resource page, the Collaborative Learning Center, as seen below. In this center, teachers and students have resources and tools to help them collaborate online, an

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