Bringing Global Connections to Life in Iraq
This fall, iEARN-Iraq has partnered with Touchable Earth, the first digital world book for kids where kids in each place explain all the facts about it. Touchable Earth founder Tudor Clee describes the program on Facebook:
Traditional world books tell you what a place is. Touchable Earth tells you what its like – from the perspective of 10-year-old kids in each place.
Every piece of information is presented with a portrait photo of a child – click the photo to see a video of them explaining or demonstrating something.
We cover the important facts – where it is, the capital, flag and anthem. From there the focus moves to experience. Visit famous locations with 360 degree virtual reality imaging and have kids explain traditional clothing, dance, music, language and other unique things. Follow their school day, see what games they play, meet their family.
iEARN-Iraq participants have been “first-adopters” and successfully joined two million of their peers worldwide to integrate new technologies into teaching and learning. The overall development objective of the program is to create opportunities for youth to engage in meaningful and constructive activities and projects that contribute towards facilitating them to become contributing citizens of their local and global communities. Based in Erbil, Kurdistan, iEARN-Iraq has built innovative partnership since 2003, and now serves more than 700 youth from 35 schools in partnership with the Ministry of Education.
Highlights during the past nine years have included community service in city parks and joining the Machinto, Teddy Bear, and My Hero projects. The Ronaky School For Girls’ My Hero project is a good example of iEARN-Iraq’s efforts from its Global Connections and Exchange (GCE) Program participation. In the My Hero project, a classroom chooses a hero to research and then uses a provided space to share an essay, video, or website about the hero with others in the project. For their hero, the GCE students in Erbil chose the Minister for Education of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Dr. Dilshad Abdul Rahman Mohammad. The class chose Dr. Mohammad because he has helped them by improving the education system and because he has supported iEARN-Iraq and the GCE program and offered his support and encouragement to participating teachers.
GCE Country Coordinator Bina Bayan and their GCE teacher, Sirwa, arranged a meeting with the Minister and he met with the GCE classroom for an hour and a half. The GCE students interviewed the Minister in English in the style of journalists, and Dr. Mohammad answered every question clearly and was impressed with the questions the GCE students came up with, as well as their English speaking skills. The GCE students of the Ronaky School For Girls were thrilled to be able to meet with the Minister and have him answer their questions and the visit was a great encouragement as they continue to learn English and about journalism.
iEARN-USA is proud to be a partner of iEARN-Iraq, and we’d love your help to enable as many U.S. and Iraqi classrooms as possible to share Teddy Bears and stories of heroes, and to learn with, not just about, each other.