Visualizing Global Classroom Collaboration

Last year, our staff in New York City had the privilege of attending a reception for new Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee, who said, “use local experience to build global peace.” That concept resonates with our work over the past 24 years to connect more than 40,000 teachers in 130 countries to help their students to take action locally while sharing globally with their peers. Building global peace through local experience is a great way to think about iEARN projects such as: Kindred Project, Public Art Project, Our Footprints, Our Future, Talking Kites and YouthCaN.

Worldwide, classroom walls and school hallways are places to act locally while thinking globally. Anyone who has stepped inside a school with international connections knows how excited administrators, teachers and students are to show visitors photos, flags, drawings, crafts, textiles, books, letters–even wheatgrass (above image) that show their affection for their peers worldwide.

Beginning this Saturday, please join us and our colleagues from around the world for the #globalclassroom Twitter chat as we celebrate these classroom walls and school hallways. The chat will run for several days at different time zones, so everyone can participate at a decent hour.

In addition to sharing images of what you are displaying in your classroom, we also look forward to discussing what new technologies you believe may help policy-makers, educational-focused foundations, corporations, entrepreneurs, and community-based organizations to “visualize” the importance of global education. Video storytelling from Adobe Youth Voices, Global Citizen Year and YES Abroad program are powerful, as are Skype calls. Bringing visually striking efforts like Historypin, Ushahidi and the Tiziano Project into the classroom has the potential to further take the local experience global for teachers and students across the world.

We look forward to hearing your ideas beginning this Saturday!

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