Global Education: Internet Resources. ERIC Digest.
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
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
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
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
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.