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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