Going Global on Edmodo

EdmodoJoin us today for the launch of our new iEARN-USA Publisher Page on Edmodo – a space for educators, administrators, and parents to connect and discuss global project-based learning.

Virtual exchange and globally connected learning are hot topics in 2014, and we’re pleased to share our projects, expertise, and cross-cultural collaboration guides with the more than 31 million Edmodo users.
Stay-tuned this year for collaborative webinars and other joint Edmodo-iEARN efforts to support teachers and students worldwide to build the global connections and competencies they need for their futures.
Edmodo iEARN

Getting Creative in the TabLab

Getting Creative in the TabLabSince the launch of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program in 2003, iEARN-Pakistan has used online technologies to enhance English Language proficiency support to prepare students for a successful exchange year in United States.

This year, iEARN-Pakistan is introducing “TabLab,a pre-departure English language learning program for 108 YES students that leverages handheld devices with connectivity and accessibility from anywhere in Pakistan, including the remotest regions. The YES students in Pakistan, representing all four provinces and 38 different regions nationally, commonly do not have access to the quality resources and materials (books, dictionaries and other published materials). TabLab will serve as a one-stop solution, which will keep them connected with the group, teachers and facilitators 24/7.  Students will spend an average of 40 hours per month using this facility to improve their English.

TabLab benefits from a special discounted package negotiated with Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation Limited (PTCL) to provide wireless Internet services across Pakistan. Through this package, every student will get wireless Internet connection and an Android device in February 2014 until their departure to the United States in August 2014.  Different open source and paid applications and software will be used for the activities. For webinars and online interactive sessions, Adobe Connect, Skype, Google, and Facebook will be the main platforms. Survey Monkey will be used for collecting different information about the students’ progress, challenges and opinions.

Activities facilitated by approximately four English Language Teaching professionals and experts in the field will include:

  • Learning through online English language teaching resources including those developed by U.S. Department of State i.e. www.americanenglish.state.gov;
  • Accessing self-paced English language teaching/learning materials and resources available online;
  • Participating in scheduled webinars and online interactive sessions for English language improvement and enhancement in understanding of cultural diversity and adjustment to a new culture; and
  • Participation in online collaborative projects and posting on selected project forums, such as Get to Know Others, Civics, Marriage Customs around the World, Cultural Recipes, Me and My Country, and Photojournalism.

Whether through Digital Storytelling workshops, the SMS partnership with SoukTel, or Youth TechCamps, iEARN is pleased to work our partners across the world and the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to build upon the success of the YES Program through the creative use of new technologies.

Getting Creative in the TabLabGetting Creative in the TabLab

Getting Creative in the TabLab

The Big Day is Here!

The 12-month Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program 10th anniversary celebration reaches its zenith today as partners, host families, alumni and students on program connect virtually to share YES memories as well as 10th Anniversary cakes in their country chapters. We are honored by the special message on YouTube (above) from Evan Ryan, the Assistant Secretary of State at the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Please join the celebration on Twitter @yesprogramnews using #KLYES10 and like us on Facebook to share the awesomeness.

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You are also invited to watch the 10th Anniversary Yearbook Video to see highlights from the yearlong celebration! The video will feature interviews with Senior Advisor at ECA, Rick Ruth, alumni from early years of the program, and a host family. After a look at the last 10 years of the YES program, as well as all of the 10th Anniversary celebration activities, the video looks forward to the next 10 years of the program.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 9.47.57 PMFinally, from all of us at iEARN-USA, congratulations YES on 10 fabulous years. Sometimes a picture says it all

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Make a Meaningful Global Impact with iEARN-USA

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Dear Friends of iEARN-USA,

Thanks to your generous contributions, iEARN-USA continues to build cross-cultural understanding through innovative youth exchange and collaborative-based learning initiatives.

As we look ahead to a busy 2014, we hope you will consider making a year-end contribution to iEARN-USA. Our goal is to raise $25,000 by December 31 in celebration of iEARN’s 25th anniversary in 2013.

Your donation is critical in helping ensure that iEARN-USA and its staff continue to make these life-changing programs available to as many young people around the world as possible.

Thank you!

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When the Sky is not the Limit

 Adeel Pasha YES Alumnus, Pakistan

Join us on the YES Programs WebsiteTwitter, and Facebook for the next ten days as we celebrate a countdown to the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program 10th Anniversary Virtual Reunion. The festivities will culminate on December 12, beginning with a special message from Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 

iEARN is a founding partner of the YES Program, which was established by the U.S. Congress in October, 2002. This model 21st Century youth exchange program is funded through the U.S. Department of State and sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Each year, the YES Program provides scholarships for more than 900 high school students (15-17 years) from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend up to one academic year in the U.S.

YES participants, host families, and alumni mean the world to us, and to paraphrase YES Alumnus Adeel Pasha (above), this extraordinary program is only limited by our imaginations.

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An Invitation to Explore Food Heritage, Hunger, and Security

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On this Thanksgiving, we wanted to let you know how thankful we are to have such dedicated and amazing teachers as part of the International Education and Resource Network. We recognize the outstanding work you do with your students and your commitment to providing them with a globally-focused education and skills for their success in school and their careers. Each year, inspired by your efforts, the team at iEARN-USA seeks out new programs and partnerships to support you and your students. This fall, we’re pleased to announce an exciting program beginning this fall called, Photojournalism 2.014: Heritage, Hunger, and Food Security. This program, funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, builds on iEARN’s World Youth News, Finding Solutions to Hunger Project, and several journalism education programs.
World Youth News
Photojournalism 2.014 will engage educators and youth in Pakistan, Tajikistan, and the United States in cross-cultural collaboration to help them develop photojournalism and media skills.  Features of the program will include:
  • An online course and webinars for educators;
  • Photojournalistic education and fieldwork for students; and
  • The opportunity for educators and students to apply to participate in a three-day regional workshop and exhibition in Tajikistan at the conclusion of the program.

We are currently inviting U.S. high school educators, high schools and youth organizations in the U.S. to apply for participation in our Photojournalism 2.014 program. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and the program will begin in January, so be sure to apply soon! If you are not a U.S. high school teacher or administrator or U.S. youth organization staff member, please pass this along to others who might be interested. To find out more and how to apply, please visit our website, or contact Program Manager Nicole Weitzner at: nicole@us.iearn.org or (212) 870-2693 ext. 4913.

Thank you again for all the work that you do, and Happy Thanksgiving!
World Youth News

Lesson For All at the Global Education Conference

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Universal Education for All. This is the second of eight Millennium Development Goals made by the United Nations in the most broadly supported, comprehensive and specific development goals the world has ever agreed upon.  It’s big. It’s important. It impacts us all. Lack of education contributes to world instability, inability to make informed decisions, spread of HIV, inability to develop full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accord with interest, among others.

After making great strides in this effort around the world in the past decade, progress has slowed down. There are still about 57 million primary aged children out of school. Conflict, gender policies, natural disasters, poverty, and location are some factors keeping children out of school.

The Campaign for Global Education, United States Chapter offers resources including the Lesson For All, a free series of units focusing on the fact that education is a human right, but one that nearly 132 million children worldwide do not enjoy. Each Lesson is mapped to Global Competence Matrix and the Common Core State Standards.

Find out more about these resources, the session of the Global Education Conference runs Monday, Nov. 18th  at 7:00pm GMT -6 during the free and online Global Education Conference. Find the time in your location here. 

The session description is here.

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The 4th Annual Global Education Conference

GEC SPonsorJoin us again this year for the fourth annual Global Education Conference, a free week-long online event bringing together educators and innovators from around the world, to be held Monday, November 18 through Friday, November 22, 2013 (Saturday, November 23rd in some time zones).  iEARN-USA is a founding partner of the Global Education Conference, which is helping build momentum for the connected education movement that is transforming teaching and learning around the world.

Each year, iEARN educators, youth, and other partners have given keynote and program sessions that share examples and collaborative projects related to connecting classrooms and youth programs, with a strong emphasis on promoting global awareness, fostering global competency, and inspiring action towards solving real–world problems. iEARN presentations this year will include:

Making International Education for Everyone - David Potter.

My Hero Learning Circles and Call to Action - Wendy Millet and Wendy Jewel.

IIME develops 21st century skills through international collaborative learning - Atsuko Shiwaka.

Able-bodied Individual’s Perceptions of People with Disabilities- Dr. Jamal Din Slimani. 

Join Radijojo World Children’s Media Network: Award winning global competency empowerment for your students - Thomas Rohlinger. 

Photojournalism 2.0 and 2.014 Engaging Educators in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Tajikistan and the United States - Nicole Weitzner. Farah Kamal, Firuz Baratov.

Internationalization of learning in experiences in collaborative project “Our Rivers, Our World”- Rajib Lochan Das.

Passport to the World-Susie Oh.

Improve your Skills as a Global Education through Action Researcher –  Margaret Riel

Connecting Classrooms in the U.S., Middle East, and North Africa through Online Projects - Jennifer Russell. 

iEARN Local History Project as a tool to develop the 21st Century Skills and enhange cross-cultural dialogue - Rimma Zhukova, Patty Wu, Hiba Kheirbik.

In Our Global Village - Barbara Cervone.

Student Driven Environmental Projects - Kathy Bosiak and students.

International School Award – Tariq Refaat Bahi Eldin.

Daffodil and Tulips Project and Talking Kites on the Footsteps of J. Korczak - Ruty Hotzen.

Building Upon Your Physical Exchange Experience - Bethany Kreider. 

Global Project Based Learning and 21st Century Skills are dialectically connected - Samah AlJundi, Hiba Kheirbeik & Yousef Alhayek.

iEARN participants are invited to submit proposals by November 15 and are requested to tag their proposals with “2013iEARN” so that they can be included in the iEARN calendar of activities happening as part of the event. Enjoy last year’s iEARN keynotes by Narcîs Vives and Héla Nafti and we hope to see you next week!

Let’s Make International Education for Everyone

We are excited to celebrate the kick-off of International Education Week by joining the Exchange 2.0 Coalition’s launch of this brand new website for virtual exchange. We hope that the new site will accelerate efforts to combine the deep impact of cross-cultural exchange with the broad reach of new media technologies to support the goal of giving all young people the opportunity to have a meaningful cross-cultural experience as part of their education.

It is critical that international education is for everyone, regardless of socio-economic background, age, special needs, or geographic location. While physical exchange programs, including study abroad, are growing and have long provided important international educational experiences, those opportunities are still only accessible to a privileged few. The costs and logistical challenges of such programs prevent this model from reaching a broader set of students. Only 1 in 10,000 US high school students study abroad. Less than 2% of US college students study abroad. Only 11.7% of American students who studied abroad in 2010-2011 were Black or Hispanic.

This isn’t just an American issue. Less than 2% of students in most European countries study abroad. While Middle Eastern students who study abroad are likely to come to the United States, only 3% of higher education students in the Middle East study overseas. Too few young people worldwide are having the deep and meaningful cross-cultural experiences we need them to be having.

In 2011, iEARN-USA joined together with several other like-minded groups, including Qatar Foundation International, Soliya and Global Nomads, to form the Exchange 2.0 Coalition. The Coalition’s purpose is to foster a more supportive and generative ecosystem for virtual exchange to develop, innovate and grow. The Coalition joins other ongoing efforts, such as Connect All Schools, Flat Classroom, Dot Day, Global Read Aloud, Skype in the Classroom, Edmodo, and the Chris Stevens Youth Network to vastly increase the diversity and number of students gaining global awareness, meaningful collaboration, and empathy beyond what would be possible through physical exchanges alone. These efforts were bolstered this month by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, a long-time virtual exchange innovator, and its new initiative, The Collaboratory, which will be “responsible for both conducting virtual exchange programs and housing an idea lab to develop, incubate, and pilot new ideas that amplify people-to-people exchanges via new technologies.”

Other efforts that are helping build the ecosystem for virtual exchange are the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Connected LearningMicrosoft’s Partners in Learning, Digital Promise, Intel Teach Program, the Global Education Conference, a myriad Twitter chats and Google Hangouts, and the US Department of Education Office of Education Technology sponsored Connected Educators Month in October.

This week, we invite teachers, students, and partners everywhere to add to this momentum by:

  • Checking out the Exchange 2.0 website, and spreading the word:  Share the link with your communities and add your voices directly to the site through the “Get Involved” section.
  • Joining the “I <3 Virtual Exchange” campaign: Take a picture with an “I <3 virtual exchange because…” sign and then upload it to the Exchange 2.0 website or post it directly to twitter with the hashtag #exchange20. Continue to follow www.exchange2point0.org  and #exchange20 on Twitter to view and share other people’s pictures from around the world!
  • Learning more about International Education Week (IEW) and join the conversations: Visit the International Education Week Facebook page and join the Twitter conversation via the hashtag #IEW2013.

It’s education’s “Connected Moment,” and the outcomes of increasing meaningful cross-cultural experiences for our students will be a critical mass of college and career-ready young leaders who have empathy, trust, and respect for their peers abroad. International education needs to be available to everyone because we need everyone working together towards a healthier, more prosperous, more just, and safer planet.

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Your Day to Connect with Teachers Worldwide

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Chris Stevens Youth Network Master Trainer Workshop, Doha, Qatar, July 2013

Want to give your students a real-world, world-class education? Connect them to real classes worldwide!  The Chris Stevens Youth Network is an excellent place to start. This initiative is administered by iEARN and funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. State Department to engage students and educators in the Middle East, North Africa and the U.S. in meaningful, curriculum-based project-based learning.  We’re excited to launch this new Chris Stevens Youth Network site in time for World Teachers’s Day, October 5.

As part of the Chris Stevens Youth Network, iEARN-Jordan will be conducting a workshop on collaboration and online collaborative projects on October 5th at the American Language Center in Amman. Teachers get a chance to meet virtually their colleagues around the world who are also participating in the program, and explore ideas for collaborative global projects to engage their students in.  Also this October 5th, iEARN-Tunisia will celebrate its 2nd anniversary and World Teachers’ Day.  Students will read out poems that celebrate their teachers, sing songs and share this celebration with their peers in the USA via Skype. See more on the TEARN World Teachers’ Day page on the UNESCO website.

Have a happy World Teachers’ Day and don’t miss your chance to participate in hundreds of Connected Educators Month events this October, as well as the Global Education Conference and International Education Week this November.

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