by Pinhey, Laura A.
Developments over the past two decades have increased the media exposure of nations and interactions among them in politics, trade, education, science, medicine, entertainment, and athletics, as well as other arenas. Such attempts at international cooperation are frequently marred or thwarted by cultural misunderstandings. When citizens are reasonably informed about the cultures of other nations, the possibility of effective, fruitful interactions among nations is enhanced. In preparing today's students for the realities of life in the global age, global education is becoming crucial to the curriculum.
A good global education curriculum consists of more than simply facts and figures about nations and their relations with one another; it also encourages understanding of cultural differences and similarities, tolerance, and a globally interdependent view of the world. The goals of global education may be realized as never before through the use of telecommunications technologies such as the World Wide Web, electronic mail, and teleconferencing. These tools allow teachers to take global education beyond the textbook by connecting their classes with other students and even politicians, scientists, authors, CEOs, and other leaders from around the world. Opportunities for students and teachers to talk and work with people in other nations via these new communication media are opportunities to dispel stereotypes and forge camaraderie, both elemental steps toward building the mutual respect required for international relations in the global age.
Over the past 30 years, numerous non-profit organizations and grassroots groups have formed to further the cause of global education. Many of these groups produce curricula, newsletters, and books; develop education standards; conduct workshops and conferences; and support collaborative projects such as pen and keypal programs and exchange programs. Appropriately, many of these organizations maintain World Wide Web sites describing their programs and sometimes featuring on-line versions of their publications and other resources. This Digest points to the websites of some of the leading global education organizations, programs, and resources currently on the World Wide Web.
NOTE: The author has selected these sites because of their potential usefulness for global educators; however, she neither endorses all the content of the Internet resources on this list or the beliefs of the organizations sponsoring them, nor does she guarantee the stability of the sites or the accuracy of the information provided on them.
AMERICAN FORUM FOR GLOBAL EDUCATION
The website of this non-profit organization provides information about the AFGE listserv for discussion of ideas and practices in global education; materials and programs for both the classroom and professional development; study tours and other projects; and a publications catalog.
This section of the Global Schoolhouse website (presented by the Global SchoolNet Foundation and sponsored by Microsoft) is dedicated to informing teachers about the CU-SeeMe Schools program available to K-12 schools which have Internet videoconferencing capability. CU-SeeMe allows K-12 students and their teachers to interact and cooperate with other students, famous politicians, CEOs, scientists, authors, and other leaders around the world.
CHILDREN'S INTERNATIONAL SUMMER VILLAGES (CISV INTERNATIONAL)
According to their website, CISV is an "independent, non-political volunteer organization promoting peace education and cross-cultural friendship." CISV supports activities and programs that foster inter-cultural learning among children, young people, adults, and families.
CHOICES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY EDUCATION PROJECT
The website of this program of the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies at Brown University features both classroom and community resources, including excerpts from the "Choices for the 21st Century" curriculum units, an annotated library of resources appropriate for use with the "Choices" curriculum, and information about "Choices" teacher workshops.
COUNCIL OF CHIEF STATE SCHOOL OFFICERS (CCSSO) POSITION ANDRECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION ON GLOBAL EDUCATION
FOREIGN POLICY ASSOCIATION (FPA)
This non-profit, non-governmental, non-partisan educational organization aims to educate Americans about significant world issues that affect their lives. The "Great Decisions" program, which focuses on secondary, college, and adult education about key foreign policy issues, is the core of the FPA's education efforts. The website includes extensive information on FPA's various programs, an opportunity to join the FPA on-line discussion group, and an on-line bookstore of FPA publications.
GLOBAL EDUCATOR'S GUIDE TO THE INTERNET
This guide is part of a Master's of Education project at the University of Victoria. The guide begins with a lengthy discussion of global perspective; cross-cultural awareness; using telecommunications and the Internet to promote a global perspective; telecommunications, action projects, and the Internet as alternative media; using the Internet effectively and cautiously; and global communication. Also describes and links to global education resources and projects on the World Wide Web, newsgroups, and listservs. Note: this site is intended to accompany the print version, which is available for order.
GLOBAL SCHOOLNET FOUNDATION
"Linking Kids Around the World" is the motto displayed on this website. The resources and information on the site enable teachers, parents, and students to connect with classroom teachers and students around the world, join existing global education projects (such as International Schools CyberFair), or develop their own global education projects.
I*EARN (INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION AND RESOURCE NETWORK)
Students and teachers from member schools in 30 countries collaborate via telecommunications on projects in the creative arts, language arts, humanities, social studies, science, and the environment and action projects that aim to improve the quality of life on the planet.
INTERCULTURAL E-MAIL CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS (IECC)
St. Olaf College hosts several free electronic mailing lists for teachers and classes interested in establishing classroom pen-pal and project exchanges through e-mail. This site provides information about subscribing to and using these lists and links to websites of other international e-mail classroom connection projects.
Kidlink is a non-profit grassroots organization aimed at getting youth through the age of 15 involved in global dialog via public mailing lists, a private network for real-time interactions such as chats, and an on-line art exhibition site. Kidlink is supported by volunteers, mainly teachers and parents; over 100,000 children in 117 countries have participated in Kidlink since it began operation in 1991. This website extensively describes the history and structure of Kidlink and how to join.
NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR THE SOCIAL STUDIES (NCSS) POSITION ON GLOBAL EDUCATION
The full text of the NCSS position statement on K-12 global education, developed by the International Activities Committee of NCSS, is provided in this section of the NCSS website.
SPICE (STANFORD PROGRAM ON INTERNATIONAL AND CROSS-CULTURAL EDUCATION)
An outreach program of the Institute for International Studies (IIS) at Stanford University, SPICE provides up-to-date curriculum materials on international topics for grades 6-14. The SPICE website consists of an on-line version of the SPICE publications catalog, which includes curricular materials on contemporary world issues, world cultures, world geography, and world history. The site also features the full-text of several free, introductory lesson plans, and the annual newsletter "SPICE Connections."
UNITED NATIONS CYBERSCHOOLBUS
Curriculum, activities, and resources on the United Nations (UN), numerous nations, and international events and days of commemoration. Also featured is information on the Model UN, a simulation of the UN system; and the UN Publications' Educational Bookstore.
WORLD WISE SCHOOLS (WWS)
The World Wise Schools program of the Peace Corps allows United States educators and their students in grades 3-12 to correspond with Peace Corps Volunteers throughout the world. Besides information about how educators can participate in WWS, this site includes lesson plans, teaching guides, information on how to obtain educational videos, and other educational resources.
REFERENCES and ERIC RESOURCES
Cummins, Jim, and Dennis Sayers. BRAVE NEW SCHOOLS: CHALLENGING CULTURAL ILLITERACY THROUGH GLOBAL LEARNING NETWORKS. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995. ED 387 083.
Field, Sherry L., and Others. "Real People, Real Places." SOCIAL STUDIES AND THE YOUNG LEARNER 9 (November-December 1996): 16-18, 23. EJ 541 932.
Hunter, Barbara, and Carole A. Bagley. GLOBAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROJECTS: READING AND WRITING WITH THE WORLD. Stillwater, Minnesota: The Technology Group, 1995. ED 387 081.
Lynes, Kristine. "Hello Kids Network Around the World." MULTIMEDIA SCHOOLS 3 (Jan-Feb 1996): 20-25. EJ 516 637.
Martorella, Peter H., ed. INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND THE SOCIAL STUDIES.
EMERGING ISSUES AND APPLICATIONS. Albany, NY: State University of New York
(SUNY) Press, 1997. ED 406 302.
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