Bringing Global Connections to Life in Lebanon

iEARN-Lebanon Learning Circles Workshop, January 4, 2013

Today, iEARN-Lebanon is hosting its first teacher’s workshop of the new year, and the team at iEARN-USA sends its greetings to all participants. We’re privileged to begin our 14th year collaborating with our Lebanese peers, who have helped pioneer online project-based learning in their country under the auspices of the International Education Association (IEA), a non-profit organization (AD-42) founded by Lebanese educators committed to the development of global partnerships in education and the capacity-building of learning communities based on the effective use of ICT for Lebanon and the Arab World.

The vision of IEA is to empower teachers, students and communities to use ICT in active teaching and learning, through projects that make a meaningful contribution to society. Under the leadership of Ms. Eliane Metni and her team of talented educators and volunteers, IEA undertakes projects that promote the inclusion of ethnic and racial diversity, equity among genders, people of varied abilities and of diverse socio-economic status based on respect, tolerance, understanding and harmony.

The IEA Strategy

The iEA strategy:

To achieve our goals, and reach simultaneously global and local engagements and activities, as well as online and face to face

interactions, we have focused our activities on five areas:

  1. Education Networks
  2. Professional Development
  3. Classroom Projects
  4. Conferences and Events
  5. Custom-Designed Programs

Each of these areas plays a specific role to connect classrooms collaboratively. The complementarity among them has provided IEA with the capability to fulfill its vision in a holistic and sustainable manner. The teacher and the student are central to all our activities. Our point of contact is the teacher who is enabled to become the agent of change at the classroom level, and the student is given a wide range of opportunities to master the 21 Century skills.

Highlights of iEA’s work includes facilitating:

  • The I DO project in 21 Lebanese public schools in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education; it is funded by Cisco Systems. I-DO complements the Fifty Connected Schools initiative, is which aimed at connecting 50 secondary public schools from various Lebanese regions with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, MEHE, via a WAN operated and supplied by the Ministry of Telecommunication and Ogero. Together, the I DO and the Fifty Connected Schools projects form a model for a National Education Network (NEN) in Lebanon.

  • YouthCaN Med an off-shoot to the successful YouthCaN program, a global youth-run organization that has used technology to inspire, connect and educate people worldwide about environmental issues since 1992. YouthCaN Med is designed for students to enhance their understanding of environmental, social and civic education issues in the Middle East.

    Since 2001, iEA has worked with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Environment, the US Embassy in Lebanon, USAID, the Hariri Foundation, the Kamel Youssef Jaber Cultural Center Nabatieh, the Rene Mouawad Foundation, the American Community School at Beirut, and the American Museum of Natural History in New York to support this effort.
  • The Global Teenager Project (GTP), which offers thematic Learning Circles to Elementary, Secondary and Vocational schools, including Special Needs Education. Founded in 1998, GTP offers collaborative global learning to over 20,000 students in 42 countries, in the following seven languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Arabic and Papiamentu.

    Global Teenager Project Learning Circles are offered twice a year, including themes based on the Millennium Development Goals.

Teachers worldwide are invited to connect with IEA and to learn with, not just about, their peers in Lebanon.

2008 iEARN Christmas Card Exchange Project students in Lebanon exchanged holiday greeting cards with peers in the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia.

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