This snapshot provides examples of how ICT Literacy skills can be used to support Global Awareness in K-5 curricula. It includes the following:
Physical distances are no longer barriers to learning and sharing information about different cultures, languages, and traditions. Internet technologies have bridged the geographic distance that separate global communities, raising the importance of developing the skills needed for communicating and collaborating with people from different countries. Students, therefore, need opportunities to take advantage of the communications and collaboration tools available in today’s wired classrooms to engage in projects and dialogue with their international peers. Just as students can deepen their knowledge when teamed with their peers in the classroom, students can both broaden their perspective and enrich their understanding of the world through relationships with their international counterparts. Making this connection will be vital to navigating the global marketplace.
International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) offers online and face-to-face K-12 professional development workshops that are tied to school and classroom projects. Workshops address how to integrate global issues into project work across curricula, and how to facilitate online collaborative projects with classrooms around the world. In addition to workshops, iEARN provides several guides for educators interested in using technology to create a global classroom. A number of states have already approved iEARN as an accredited professional development provider.
The First People’s Project is an iEARN online global collaborative project that brings together indigenous communities across the world through an Internet-based arts and culture project. In completing the project, students use information and communication technology skills while gaining an awareness of other indigenous cultures participating in the project.
Students interviewing tribe members about their culture.Credit: edutopia.orgIn this Edutopia video clip, produced by The George Lucas Educational Foundation, Native American students that attend an elementary school in Mississippi participate in the First People’s Project. Students from this native community develop art and language arts skills by collecting information about their tribe and creating art that represents their cultural heritage. Students post stories, digital photographs, and scanned artwork to the project website to share their culture with other indigenous schools throughout the world.
Through the digital exchange, the Native American students in Mississippi learn about global poverty when students in Thailand share information about their school’s lack of basic infrastructure and educational resources. The Native American students, and students in Mexico who also participate in the First People’s Project, decide to raise funds and donate supplies to the school in Thailand.
Journey North, supported by Annenberg Media, is an online collaborative project in which students study wildlife migration across international borders and through seasonal changes.
Teacher Frances Koontz shows students a butterfly
created by a child in Mexico. Credit: edutopia.org