In his address to the Council on Foreign Relations in May 2010, Secretary Arne Duncan stated:
“We must improve language learning and international education at all levels if our nation is to continue to lead in the global economy to help bring security and stability to the world and to build stronger and more productive ties with our neighbors….We have never been more aware of the value of a multiliterate, multilingual society, a society that can appreciate all that makes other cultures and nations distinctive, even as it embraces all that they have in common.”
This Guide has been prepared as part of the Department of Education's effort to expand global awareness through collaboration between students and teachers in the US with their peers around the world.
On these pages, teachers will find many projects and suggestions to begin or expand classroom projects that reach across the globe and enable students to learn WITH the world, as well as about it.
In each section of this Guide we have also provided links to elementary, middle and high school projects and links to organizations that are involved in international education via the Internet and Web 2.0 tools.
As part of its commitment to education, Viacom partnered with The Associated Press to conduct "Young Adults' Perspectives on American Education 2011," a groundbreaking study based on a combination of peer-to-peer interviews and a large-scale poll of more than 1,100 American 18-24 year-olds.
Viacom and The Associated Press approached the study by looking at 18-24 year-olds as "core consumers of education" and evaluating how the education system is meeting their needs.
According to the study, young adults are optimistic that high schools and colleges can prepare them for the working world, but also feel these institutions aren't adapting quickly enough to meet students' changing needs.
As a result, more and more 18-24 year-olds are taking a less traditional approach to higher education, via self-directed curricula, internships and self-teaching.
Recognizing the important role young people can and should play in reaching their goals, Viacom launched Get Schooled, which provides the tools and guidance young adults need to succeed in today's competitive environment.
According to the study, students are increasingly creating individual, self-tailored curricula by cherry picking schools and courses. They're also taking longer to graduate because they feel that, by combining school with work and internships, they stand a greater chance of finding a desirable job.
Young adults are relying more on themselves, their families and friends and less on community or religious organizations and high school counselors when it comes to education decisions.
Detailed findings from the study include:
Overall, 27 percent of young adults say the education system has little to no understanding of their values and goals. More than a third (36 percent) report it is ambivalent to their values and goals.
Only 37 percent say the education system mostly or completely understands them.
Among those surveyed with a high school diploma, but no college experience, 33 percent say the education system has little to no understanding of their values and goals.
How College Leads to a Better Life is Unclear
The most consistent theme among those interviewed – from those with no college experience to those with bachelor degrees – is that college should prepare one to join the workforce.
But today's pragmatic, goal-oriented young adults are unsure that the education product being offered to them will deliver the job or career that they want.
More than half of young adults say it's more worth the money to get "an education that is focused on success in the world."
Skype realizes full well its software is used by many school teachers and students from around the globe, and today announced that it has built a dedicated social network to help them connect, collaborate and exchange knowledge and teaching resources over the Web.
The platform, which has been in beta since the end of December, already has a community of more than 4,000 teachers, across 99 countries.
Teachers need only sign up with their Skype account at the website, create a profile with their interests, location and the age groups they teach and start connecting with other teachers by exploring the directory, where they can also find projects and resources that match their skills, needs or interests.
A members-only community, Skype in the Classroom lets teachers easily add each other to their Skype contact lists or message one another.
Once we reach our goal of 100,000 submissions, the cranes will be woven into an art installation - a symbolic gift from students around the globe to Japanese youth.
Cranes are sacred creatures in Japanese culture. According to legend, anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes will be granted a wish by a crane.
While anyone can contribute to the virtual mosaic on Facebook, our goal is to collect 100,000 origami cranes from young people to represent 100 wishes of support and healing for Japan. A list of wishes will begin to appear when we receive the first 1,000 cranes by mail.
"Setting up this Facebook page was one of the first things I did after I created my spring syllabus for this class, International Public Relations. It wasn't my idea; it was something I learned from students and junior colleagues when I returned from sabbatical.
After eight months of being in research la-la land, stepping back onto a high-speed, wi-fi campus was like moving from the cave wall paintings to, well, digital walls.
I attended a one-day university-sponsored teaching symposium and zeroed in on technology sessions to get myself up to speed. The line that really stuck with me was: "If you want to fish, go where the fish are." The fish, is seems, were all on Facebook, and I wanted to cast my net."
At Google, the only thing we love as much as science is science education. We want to celebrate young scientific talent and engage students who might not yet be engaged with science.
So, in partnership with CERN, the LEGO Group, National Geographic, and Scientific American we’ve created an exciting new global science competition, the Google Science Fair.
Students all over the world who are between the ages of 13 and 18 are eligible to enter this competition and compete for prizes including once-in-a-lifetime experiences, internships and scholarships.
We’ll be accepting submissions from 11 January to 4 April 2011. Students who make it to the finalist stage will be invited with a parent or guardian to our celebratory event at Google headquarters in California in July, where they’ll be able to showcase their project and meet some of the brightest minds in science today. We will select and announce our winner at this event.
The competition is open to students aged 13 to 18 from around the world working on their own or in a team of two or three. For more details, visit the Science Fair Rules page.
Here are some tips for getting started:
Direct students to the sign up page to register either as individuals or teams of up to three.
Get familiar with Google Sites so that your students are prepared to complete their project submission. Their Google Site will become their official project submission. The Materials section is full of resources for using Google products to help students illustrate their work.
Start immersing students in the scientific method using some tips from the table below and in our Science Resources section.
Assist students in developing their project and learn along with them!
Royal Society Publishing science journal Biology Letters is releasing a paper about the way bees use color and space to navigate between flowers. It was written by 25 co-authors, all of whom are between the ages of 8 and 10.
Really: The 25 kids, all from the Blackawton Primary School in Devon, England, designed the experiment from the ground up, and wrote every word in the paper.
The students who published the paper were participants in "i, scientist," a project set up to engage kids with science in a hands-on way. A very hands-on way.
This is a briliant and hands on way to teach kids science. Instead of sitting in classroom and listening to a teacher, these kids are getting a hands on experience that makes science move from theory into actual practice and proves that anyone can do science.
This graphic, created for Socialcast, looks at how educators are encouraging students to engage in social media, and how the education and social media sectors are being integrated to create a whole new way of learning.
A visionary cultural leader, Sir Ken led the British government's 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements.
This animate was adapted from a talk given at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA's Benjamin Franklin award.
According to a study from the Pew Internet & American Life project (Lenhardt & Madden, 2005), more than one-half of all teens have created media content, and roughly one-third of teens who use the Internet have shared content they produced.
In many cases, these teens are actively involved in what we are calling participatory cultures.
A growing body of scholarship suggests potential benefits of these forms of participatory culture, including opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, a changed attitude toward intellectual property, the diversification of cultural expression, the development of skills valued in the modern workplace, and a more empowered conception of citizenship.
Access to this participatory culture functions as a new form of the hidden curriculum, shaping which youth will succeed and which will be left behind as they enter school and the workplace.