Global Bridges: Creating global citizens - USA

We would like to connect your school with one in the United States.  Our project is international, interdisciplinary project called “Global Bridges”.  The UNESCO website is https://en.unesco.org/aspnet/globalcitizens/users/ms-amy-stalker and the project website is creatingglobalbridges.com

Prospective classes that would be good international pairs are classes in Global Politics, Geography, World Religions, Economics, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, Environmental Science, World History, Global Perspectives, Information Technology in a Global Society, History, or Foreign Language.

This activity pairs schools in the U.S. with schools overseas. It opens dialogue between cultures. Students will develop a multidimensional geographical global perspective and an understanding and empathy for people in other places.   Students will gain the ability to understand critical world issues and understand the world from a perspective other than their own. As empowered global citizens, the more our students know about recognizing the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly complex, diverse, and interconnected world, the better they will be able to effectively participate in it.

Classes that participate in this project will use teleconferencing technology to communicate with students in foreign countries. Geography comes alive as students engage in authentic field work and original research through the use of photography and the interactive multimedia formats of maps, text, audio, still images, animation, graphs, charts, geo-spatial representations of information, and video.  Students create engaging rich media presentations teaching students in other countries about their cities. Students work cooperatively and creatively with others to communicate and articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively through the presentation media. Students then compare and contrast their local geography with students in other parts of the world.  Students gain critical cultural knowledge through exchanges such as these. Students also gain in-depth content knowledge by applying basic knowledge to real locations that have meaning to them.

Lili Monk, a former member of the Test Development Committee for AP Human Geography and Fulbright Teaching Award recipient created this project.  Her project connected her students to students in Argentina.  The students in Argentina and the US researched their local immigration history, created rich media presentations and exchanged projects by videoconferencing with Skype.

In my project, my students shared aspects about their cities and cultures with each other.  My students used pictures that they took to create PowerPoints and Story Maps explaining Jacksonville, Florida's urban morphology and cultural history to the students in Córdoba, Argentina.  The students in Córdoba did the same.  Then, the students had a skype video session at the end of our school year in which they shared their projects with each other.  It opened an international dialogue between the students and increased their understanding of people and cultures in other places.  It was such an awesome experience for our students that this year, we are expanding to include other U.S. teachers.

Lili presented this project at the National Council for Social Studies annual conference.  Her project focus was on immigration.  This project can incorporate a variety of Human Geography and history concepts, while strengthening foreign language learning. We incorporated some of students from our Spanish classes as support translators during the skype session.  I presented this project at the AP Human Geography Reading in Cincinnati, Ohio, and at the National Council for Geographic Education annual conference in Memphis, TN.  I also plan to present this project at the Florida Council for Social Studies regional meeting in Pensacola Sept. 6th and the annual meeting in Orland on October 24-26.  I am looking for more teachers internationally to connect with teachers here in the US.

“The National Council for Social Studies has identified "creating global citizens" as one of the most important missions facing social studies teachers. Creating opportunities for students to interact with geographic tools such as maps and globes will enable them to experience the world a lot closer than through a textbook.” (Lili Monk)  I think this project is an awesome opportunity for students around the world to learn about each other and gain an empathetic Global Perspective.  I feel that it is imperative that students develop a multidimensional geographical social perspective of other cultures in order to be educated responsible world citizens. In an increasingly complex, troubled and closely intertwined global community of cultures and states, students must develop an understanding and empathy for people in other places in order to make informed decisions. Connecting students with students in other countries will help them understand critical world issues such as maternal health in developing countries, food security, environmental degradation, political conflict, and other global concerns.  Please let me know if your school is interested and I will connect you with a school here in the US.

Please see the attached abstract of my project below.

- The National Council for Geographic Education presentation can be viewed here
- To give you an idea of what you can do, my student projects can be viewed in video format here and as a PowerPoint presentation here.
- The international blogspot where you can view Lili Monk’s and Sharon Shelerud’s projects is available here.  

I hope we can continue to create new bridges and grow this project.  Please contact me or Lili Monk with questions and whether or not you are interested in participating.

Thank you, Amy Bridgewater

Abstract

Students learned to use teleconferencing technology to communicate with students in other countries. Urban Geography comes alive as students engage in authentic field work and original research through the use of photography and the interactive multimedia formats of maps, text, audio, still images, animation, graphs, charts, geo-spatial representations of information, and video.  Students create engaging rich media presentations teaching students in other countries about their cities.  Students work cooperatively and creatively with others to communicate and articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively through the presentation media. Students then compared and contrasted the evolution of their cities economically and morphologically with students in Argentina.  Students gain critical cultural knowledge through exchanges such as these. Students also gain in-depth content knowledge by applying basic knowledge to real locations that have meaning to them.  Students investigated local power relationships, as well as the effects of local segregation, economic stratification, inner city poverty, white flight, employment decentralization, urban sprawl, deindustrialization and inner city poverty.  Students investigated local urban renewal efforts and the effects of those policies on the impoverished.  Students photographed evidence of Jacksonville’s employment structure (basic and non-basic) and applied knowledge of urban models to explain the urban morphology of Jacksonville.  Students analyzed the effects of scale and connected Jacksonville’s local urban development with national and international events. 

Objectives

1. Teachers will learn of an international collaborative project that they can adapt and replicate in their classrooms. 

2. Using my project as an example, cooperative groups of students will be responsible for researching one functional region of their city.  Students create informative digital reports based on their research findings.  The students’ digital reports will be compiled into a single report to share with students in other countries. Students will share the reports via e-mail first and then hold a Skype session to discuss their findings. Requiring students to teach others about a topic greatly increases student engagement in their own learning. Presenters will share examples of digital reports from Minnesota, Jacksonville, FL, Bethesda, MD, Misiones and Rio Cuarto, Argentina.

3. The National Council for Social Studies has identified "creating global citizens" as one of the most important missions facing social studies teachers. This activity opens dialogue between cultures.  Students will develop a multidimensional geographical global perspective and an understanding and empathy for people in other places.  Connecting my students with students in other countries will help them understand critical world issues.  This is necessary in order to make informed decisions.  As empowered global citizens, the more our students know about recognizing the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly complex, diverse, and interconnected world, the better they will be able to effectively participate in it.

4. With an appreciation of cultural diversity, students will gain the ability to see and understand the world from a perspective other than their own.  “This entails the ability to know, understand, and appreciate people from other cultures along with the capacity to acknowledge other points of view about pressing world issues. Awareness and appreciation of cross-cultural differences, and the willingness to accept those differences, opens doors for opportunities to engage in productive and respectful cross-cultural relations.” http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/HE/PB28A_Global_Competence11.pdf

5. Essential to the ability to analyze and synthesize information is the ability to transfer understanding between the disciplines, apply knowledge through higher order thinking skills and solve real world problems. By taking part in the urban field trip students will elaborate, refine, analyze and evaluate their own ideas.  They will synthesize information and make connections between material found in their text book and in the real world.  They will interpret information in order to draw conclusions and come up with arguments to improve local conditions.

6. To be ready for college, workforce training, and life in a technological society, students need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and report on information and ideas, to conduct original research in order to answer questions or solve problems, and to analyze and create a high volume and extensive range of print and non-print texts in media forms old and new.“  Using a variety of rich media is a multi-disciplinary approach to learning and prepares students for the global work place. http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/introduction/key-design-consideration/

Background

Jacksonville, FL is an excellent model to demonstrate certain aspects of the AP Human Geography course on American urban development, morphology and land use. Jacksonville began as a rural town called Cowford, and then developed into a booming industrial city with a central business district downtown.  Today, Jacksonville has transitioned into a service oriented city with banking and insurance as the basic.  You can see evidence of sprawl and the corresponding deterioration in areas surrounding downtown.  Using the example of the City of Jacksonville makes the curriculum more relevant and tangible to my students.  Generally, students have a narrow understanding of the world beyond the immediate upscale suburb of Jacksonville in which they live. Translating abstract, big picture concepts into the immediacy of the world students live in is challenging. It is critical to connect the impacts that large scale issues have had on the local urban and economic history and development of our metropolitan area. This approach makes urban concepts and models real and relevant to students. Students evaluate the distribution of different populations locally and at a level they can recognize as they travel around the city in their daily lives. They are often surprised at the changes in the geography of our city and are able to generalize these patterns to other large American cities.

Instructional Methods

1. Kagan Cooperative/ Active Learning Groups- - students become teachers and students are invested in their own learning

2. Application of information technology

3. Application of higher order thinking skills (Common Core, Marzano, Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and Bloom's Taxonomy)

4. Kolb’s experiential learning model- field work through the study of related content

(a) having a concrete experience (field trip) followed by

(b) observation of and reflection on that experience (project) leads to

(c) the formation of abstract concepts (analysis) and generalizations (conclusions) which then

(d) the learner applies to the world around them

                  http://www.simplypsychology.org/learning-kolb.html

Cross-curricular, multidisciplinary Common Core Connection

1. English Language Arts & Literacy

2. Technology- GIS, Map-story, Prezi & PowerPoint

3. Math (Modeling and scale)

4. History

5. Economics

6. Sociology & Anthropology

7. Environmental Science

8. Foreign Language

United States