International Classroom"NING"

We're falling behind, in part, because we don't know what's going on in the rest of the world. We're hindered by having only two international borders and less experience with other ways of thinking. We don't have an existential clue about how our educational system differs from, and lags behind, other nations. Real, person to person, experiences challenge our beliefs/hypotheses, make us ask questions, and cause us to reformulate our knowledge about the world.

An international classroom social network would let primary and secondary teachers put their classes/students into a learning network with other teachers/students at the same grade, in the same subject, all over the world. What if a student studying history in high school in the US could contact a peer in Germany/Sweden/England/Ireland/India/Australia/Japan to video a tour of a nearby historical site? What if both students were able to turn this collaboration into a classroom assignment with the help of their teachers? What if the respective teachers could compare their understanding of historical events? What if foreign teachers could clarify their views of the US, directly?

This has the potential to provide a foreign exchange experience for every teacher and student, regardless of their ability to travel. It will prepare students for the differences in perspective that they will encounter at the college level. It can provide teachers (and parents) with firsthand knowledge of the status of their education, relative to the rest of the world, providing opportunities to assess and improve.

It's a global world; we need access to global education for our children.


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  1. Comment

    I love it. I wonder if anyone has information on examples of schools and teachers doing this sort of long distance collaboration and instruction? I know that INACOL and CA K-12 HSN are both working on things like this.. Any other examples of this kind of work would be very welcome.

  2. Comment
    Jan Zanetis

    Along these lines, I am pasting an email I got today from GEC, a wonderful Global Education initiative. Jan

    Greetings, GEC members!

    I'm pleased to report that we now have over 2100 members in the Global Education Collaborative. Even more opportunities exist to connect with other educators around the world!

    New members in the last month hail from South Africa, Qatar, Canada, Australia, the Phillipines, China, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Denmark, Mexico, Columbia, the U.K, Uganda, Ghana, Pakistan and El Salvador. As the US school year resumes, we also have a slew of new members from the U.S including Puerto Rico. I'm thrilled with our growth; please keep inviting your friends and colleagues to our community.

    Important Announcements:

    *Global Awareness Panel on the Future of Education webinar series is scheduled for September 10, 2009 at 7 PM CST. Several GEC members will be discussing their work and implications for 21st century skills. For more info, visit:

    *There are about 15 new projects listed on the GEC spreadsheet: . Please add your own projects or update your current listings.

    *Don't forget to follow the GEC on Twitter. I tweet new discussion forum posts as they happen. *If you are interested in research in general and open education resources, please join another project with which I am involved:

    *I'm looking to organize a group of first grade teachers (student ages 5-6) interested in exchanging info with other classes. Leave a message in the GEC if interested.

    *If you are looking to explore links related to global education, check out our Diigo group:

    Thanks for your continued support and I hope many of you join us for the September 10th webinar!

    Lucy Gray

    GEC Founder

    Visit The Global Education Collaborative at:

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