AFT Resources for Teaching Darfur

I recently had the privilege of attending the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) conference in Washington D.C. where my colleague Karon Weber and I had the opportunity to present Yahoo! for Teachers at a workshop being held at the 2007 AFT QuEST Conference.

One thing that really struck me was how progressive the AFT is in their approach to teaching as well as their positions on social issues. There were several booths that centered around what the AFT membership could do to support AIDS Advocacy, Genocide Awareness in Darfur, and Democracy in Africa.

"As men and women of conscience and as educators committed to the dignity and worth of all humanity, we have a responsibility to speak out against injustice on behalf of vulnerable and disenfranchised peoples across the globe." ~ 2006 AFT resolution on Opposition to the Genocide in Darfur

The AFT-Africa AIDS Campaign is a multi-country campaign in partnership with African teacher unions to provide resources to fight the spread of this disease. The impact of AIDS in the teaching community is staggering.

"This year in South Africa, more than 1,000 teachers will die of AIDS. In Zimbabwe more than 30 percent of the country's teachers carry the HIV virus. Many school age children have lost a parent to the epidemic. Throughout Africa, the statisics tell a similar story--teachers' lives lost and whole education systems endangered (Source: AFT-Africa AIDS Campaign)."

Here are some of the excellent resources complied by the AFT to help teachers educate their students on issues related to Africa, HIV and AIDS.

Related Resources

Geographic Literacy

Houston (that's in Texas) we have a problem.

According to the 2006 Geographic Literacy Study, most American young adults between the ages of 18 to 24 have a limited understanding of basic geographic skills.

In fact, of those surveyed, only 54% answered all of the questions correctly. Among the findings:

  • 37% could identify Iraq on a map.
  • 88% can't find Afghanistan on a map.
  • 20% think Sudan is in Asia.
  • 48% believe the majority population in India is Muslim.
  • 43% can't find Ohio on a map.

To combat this trend, the National Geographic Education Foundation has launched, My Wonderful World, a new literacy campaign designed to give kids the global knowledge they will need to survive in this increasingly "Flat World."

The My Wonderful World web site contains lesson plans, and other activities and resources for teachers, parents, and kids!

The Association of American Geographers (ARGUS) has compiled a myriad of geography teaching materials along with a text which contains 26 case studies that illustrate major geographic concepts, transparency masters, a teacher's guide, and an interactive CD.

Digital Geography is an UK-based website for teachers focused on using ICT and social software resources in the geography curriculum.

Noel Jenkins, the brains behind Digital Geography, uses Google Earth and Flickr, along with his own model curriculum (including animation), to make geography a fun and active learning experience for students.

These are just a few of the many digital resources available on the web that can provide teachers with the building blocks and ideas to integrate geographic knowledge and skills into their curriculum.

Web Resources

FlickrEDU | Social Software Goes to School

Flickr, the popular online photo sharing and social networking community, is popping up in lots of classrooms as teachers find interesting and creative ways to integrate its many features into their curriculum.

Why is Flickr so popular in the classroom?

Perhaps the June 2005 Adaptive Path newsletter said it best:

“Flickr recognized that people wanted a better way to share their photos. They also recognized that people might have myriad ways of doing that. Flickr lets people derive their own value from sharing photos…Instead of attempting to define your experience, they simply provide a sandbox, and give you the means to create a meaningful experience within that.”

Sounds like social constructivism to me.

So how do you use Flickr in your classroom? I've started a Flickr community group where educators can share curriculum ideas, make suggestions, share student Flickr projects, or learn more about using social software in the classroom. So please join the discussion!

And for a more ideas how to use Flickr in your classroom, be sure to look for my article, FlickrEDU in the Nov 2005 issue of TechLearning.

Nov 11 Update: The article has been published. Here's a printable handout you are free to use for professional development workshops.

Pepperdine University Guest Lecture e-handout

Hello to the Pepperdine MA Education Technology Cadre 7: The Magnificent 007s!

I’m looking forward to meeting with you all in EDC 665:Curriculum and Technology to discuss adult learning theory and strategies for using social network media in online training/education.

Here is an outline of our discussion for tonight. I’ve also included a quick overview of Andragogy vs. Pedagogy to get our discussion off to a flying start and for you to use as a reference as we dig deeper into the topic!

Thanks again for inviting me!

Derek E. Baird

Pepperdine Graduate School of Education & Psychology
M.A. Education Technology

Lecture e-Handout

1.What is Andragogy? (15 min)

Foundations & Theory
Teen vs. Adult Learning
Pedagogy vs. Andragogy

2. Practical Applications (15 min)
Andragogy in web-based VLEs
Role of Knowledge Managers/Trainers/Educators
How to Write Great Learning Objectives

3. Instructional Tools on the Horizon (5 min)
Blogs & RSS

4. Q & A (10 min)