Friday, February 27, 2009

Help your students become citizens of the world

Ryan E. Smith wrote a great article for today's Toledo Blade: People help us become citizens of the world.

America is a weird place. If you don't notice, it's probably because you're too used to it. What you need for a new perspective is to speak with someone from another country.

And he ends the article with this: "becoming part of today's global society requires getting to know it personally."

Global and cultural awareness are important 21st century skills. How can our students possibly hope to develop these skills if they aren't foreign exchange students? Well, thanks to Skype and a lot of other Web 2.0 technologies, it's now a lot easier than it's ever been! In our county a fifth grade teacher organized a Global Explorers project with a school in Columbia. And there are countless other success stories.

An important first step for teachers is to become comfortable using Web 2.0 technologies. I'm happy to say that 39 teachers and administrators from around our county are currently involved in an online "23 things teachers should know about Web 2.0" class.

You can also download Skype for free, and experience real-time videoconferencing with your family and friends.

Here is the video Ryan shared on the Blade website. It features foreign exchange students sharing their impressions of the United States. I'm sure our students would experience culture shock of their own in other countries as well.

1 comment:

Chuck Estep said...

It was odd hearing a kid say how that our food portions in restaurants are so much bigger in the U.S. than in their country.

The girl who said we drive on the wrong side of the road needs to learn that we drive on the correct side. The automobile was invented here as well as which side of the road they are driven on! LOL