We recently participated in the Worldwide Culture Swap, where families (or schools) exchange cultural packages and learn about another culture. The letter and package was so thoughtful, I though I would share it with you here. Emma’s mom is the founder of Be Bilingual and has written a fabulous practical guide for multilingual families.
Opening our letter and packages from Finland!
Are you an educator or homeschooler who would like to connect your students with other children around the world? Classrooms that are thousands of miles away from each other are working on “global collaboration” projects together, sharing their diverse perspectives, teaching each other about their countries and their cultures, and learning how to navigate technology- all while virtually “meeting” each other. Here are some of my favorite examples of elementary classrooms connecting globally. By no means is this an all-inclusive list; instead, read it and be inspired at the connections these innovative and forward-thinking teachers have made. Continue reading
I had the pleasure to chat with Lisa Petro and Genevieve Murphy, co-founders of a wonderful new web site that coordinates global collaboration for classrooms called “Know My World.” Know My World offers opportunities for cross-cultural exchange for schools around the world.
How did you start Know My World?
This is my favorite question to answer about Know My World. It really displays how my world and your world and his or her world is a shared experience…
In the spring of 2010 Genevieve and I were living in Aomori prefecture of Japan. Continue reading
When I first heard of the Worldwide Culture Swap- where schools or families can “trade” cultural packages with others from around the world- I was SO excited. What an amazing experience for the kids involved to be able to deliberately choose artifacts that represent their culture, and then exchange them with those that another child around the globe has specially picked out. I asked one of the site’s founders and organizers to help explain the process.
My name is Rachael from Worldwide Culture Swap – a completely free resource for schools and families who are interested in learning more about different cultures around the world.
Imagine you are teaching French, and you’d like your students to speak with kids their age who live in Paris. Or, you’re a science teacher doing a weather unit with your 3rd graders and you’d like to share your local weather with other 3rd graders. What if you’re a social studies teacher in India, and you have a great lesson about population growth that you’re excited to share with kids on the other side of the globe?
According to the Common Core State Standards, an compilation of skills and knowledge for academic success, students should be investigating the world, recognizing different perspectives, communicating ideas and taking action. Interviewing students from around the world and presenting projects to classrooms worldwide are two phenomenal examples of achieving these goals. How can teachers provide these international experiences? With the growth of the internet around the world, and developments in videoconferencing, it is now possible for educators to search a global directory of classes by student age range, language and subject- all through “Skype in the Classroom.“
There are over 20,000 teachers registered on the site, ready to connect with other schools around the world. The possibilities are endless for teachers with a little creativity, enthusiasm for bringing technology into the classroom, and a passion for global education. Here’s how to get started: Continue reading
I would like to thank Ed Gragert, Executive Director of iEARN-USA and creator of Connect All Schools, who graciously allowed me to interview him for this article.
In 1988, the non-profit organization iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) matched 12 schools in Moscow with partner schools in New York. As the schools began to collaborate on projects, the teachers and parents noticed significant improvements in other areas of academic life: the students read more, discussed global issues more, and their interest in studying other languages increased. The project was a success, and in 1990 iEARN expanded multilaterally by launching 9 additional country programs. With 46,000 teachers, and 2 million kids participating daily in projects located in over 130 countries, their k-12 on-line network is the largest of its kind. iEARN has shown that kids learn better and increase their global awareness when engaged with their real peers around the world. Continue reading