Promote scientific inquiry and cultural awareness by engaging your students in global learning projects with students and scientists from all over the world. In this article, EBSCO Product Manager Chelsea Crowley shares seven resources for bringing global learning to the K-12 science classroom.
Global learning in schools has gone beyond international pen pal programs. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Education published Succeeding Globally Through International Education and Engagement, a strategy which aims to strengthen U.S. education and advance the nation’s international priorities by increasing global competencies, learning from other countries and engaging in education diplomacy. Global learning projects provide students of all ages with opportunities to develop cultural awareness and better understand their roles in the world.
Educators can introduce global learning in a variety of ways, but a great place to start is in the science classroom. Students can participate in a variety of citizen scientist projects, many of which involve schools in other countries. Projects include monitoring air quality, testing water quality and digitizing plant collections. In addition, teachers who are looking to develop their own global learning projects can find structure and support from reputable organizations experienced in organizing these types of projects.
Here are seven resources that can help you and your colleagues get started:
SciStarter is the place to find science projects, join, and contribute to science projects through hundreds of formal and informal research projects and events. The database of citizen science projects enables discovery, organization and greater participation in scientific initiatives around the world. Students can engage in projects focused on animals, environmental issues and more.
TakingITGlobal, a Toronto-based initiative, connects young leaders who wish to make a positive impact in the world on issues ranging from the environment to technology. The organization’s website offers discussion boards to foster communication across cultures, youth media platforms, and action tools to guide eager students to action. One such tool is Sprout, a website that aims to inspire social innovators by offering students self-directed learning opportunities, idea camps, online courses and fellowships.
AsiaSociety.org, run by the Asian Museum in NYC, offers project-based learning lesson plans and an Afterschool Self-Assessment Tool to get you started in your own afterschool programs. Its Center for Global Education provides global learning information for educators, administrators, parents and communities. Visit the website to find projects and curriculum starters that introduce multilingualism, cultural understanding, global competence and other 21st century skills.
The Global Classroom Project initiates new global classroom collaboration projects each year. This year, the My Moon project shows students, ages 5-11, real-life cultural observations, such as how the moon looks to people located in different parts of the world. Students are invited to share descriptions and pictures of the moon via Twitter, Instagram, Skype and email.
Connect All Schools presents many ways to contribute and collaborate with schools around the world. You can learn how to contribute to projects currently underway or start your own project.
Research new project ideas or global environmental issues using EBSCO’s Science Reference Center. Designed for high schools, the database includes activities, experiments and science projects to ignite student inquiry. Science Reference Center contains hundreds of science magazines and journals to help students investigate real-world problems and the technology that may provide solutions. Based on their research, students might be inspired to start their own global learning initiatives.
The world is much more connected than it was before, thanks to the power of the Internet. Today’s students must prepare to live and work in a globalized world, and engaging with the international learning community can help.