Saturday, April 28, 2012

Global Learning's Effect on Education

Although we only briefly touched on Global Learning in Classroom Computer Applications with Dr. Z, I learned a lot about it in his other class, Emerging Instructional Technologies. While in his other class I had the privilege of working with with the Flat Classroom Project during which I was able to learn  a great deal about the benefits of global learning. Global learning isn't something that I've quite got my head wrapped around yet. When I think of education, naturally I think of my own experiences while in school. Going to elementary school in the 90s and early 2000's definitely did not mean being able to connect with a classroom in a foreign country. Instead, the only cultural diversity teaching I had was reading articles and watching edited videos that showcased different cultures. In my opinion, that isn't really a fair way to learn about the world and it's people. How authentic is reading an article full of facts, or watching a video that has been edited to show only certain aspects of people?

These days global education is a completely different ball game. There are countless programs that let you connect with foreign classrooms LIVE! Wow! The best way to learn about other people is to actually get to know them "unedited" so to speak. As an example I will use the Flat Classroom Project. This project is a program that allows students to connect with other students around the globe to create a project based on the work of Thomas Friedman. Friedman wrote a book called The World Is Flat, here is a video of a lecture he gave about this idea that the world is flat.

As a future teacher, all this talk about global education seems extremely overwhelming. I keep asking myself "how am I going to implement this kind of stuff?" or "How am I going to keep up with the changes in education?" It's important to remember that the teacher is also a learner. If you truly want to give your students a first rate education, then topics like global education are the topics to keep up with. It's so easy to find another teacher to connect with. Do yourself and your students a favor and set up authentic learning experiences with global learning in mind. It definitely has a positive effect on education. We CAN live as one world, we just have to take advantage of our resources to connect and get it done!

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