Our Learning for Life vision statement calls for us to seize the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century by promoting global citizenship by integrating content and relationships that connect us to the larger world and the world to us.
If shown a world map, could I find Uganda or Ecuador? Do I have any idea how to connect with someone or something in a country that I can’t even find on a map? How will I find content to promote global citizenship while teaching content that falls under my responsibility?
An email from a blog that I follow arrived on Dec. 2.
From: SimpleK12 Blog <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 4:47 AM
Subject: How You Can Empower Your Students to Make a Global Difference
So I joined Bill Ferriter, Dan Sudlow, and three of their students, E, C, and J, for a webinar discussing their Kiva Club and how they use microlending to help people in developing countries throughout the world.
E and C are 6th graders and J is an 8th grader. With expert and supportive facilitation from Bill and Dan, these young learners taught us about microlending through their experiences and stories. Worth emphasizing…I learned about microlending and integrating content and relationships that connect us to the larger world and the world to us from these three young learners.
The connections to math and geography are obvious to me, but I still have questions. You can read more about microlending on Bill’s blog The Tempered Radical. In High Tech High’s video What Project Based Learning Is, Jeff Robin strongly suggests to be successful with PBL you need to “do the project yourself.” While the math and geography seem obvious to me, what will be learned from a microlending project? So, I have taken the challenge to learn by doing. I am participating in funding two loans.
I have a better idea of where Uganda and Ecuador are when I look at a map, and I have the opportunity to connect to these women’s stories. I also know more about Kiva. Listen to and watch this beautiful story from Jessica Jackley about poverty, money, and love:
In her talk, Jackley says
The way we that we participate in each others stories is of deep importance.
I am collaborating with 18 others across the world to help Carlina improve her business and family income. Her dream is to have a well-constructed house; her current home is made of reeds.
If integrating “content and relationships that connect us to the larger world and the world to us” is an essential action, then what do we do? What actions do we take? How do we “do the project” ourselves? How will we practice? What will we learn?
Still wondering how social media can be used for learning, leading, and serving? Read One Tweet CAN Change the World from The Tempered Radical. I cannot physically take my young learners on a field trip to Uganda, Ecuador, or another part of the world. Social media (blogs, Twitter, YouTube, iChat, Skype, etc.) affords us opportunities to “connect us to the larger world and the world to us.”
Let’s learn by doing.