Resources for Cross-cultural Interaction and Project Work
As you begin to explore the possibilities for cross-cultural interaction, global classroom projects, and new learning opportunities, the following organizations can assist you in your efforts.
ePALS Classroom Exchange - Connects users from around the globe, providing the tools and meeting places to create a worldwide community of learners. The tools include ePALS SchoolMail™ and SafeBrowser™ as well as built-in language translation designed for schools. Whether you want project ideas for your class-to-class partnership, or discussion areas where you can contribute your views on a matter, ePALS strives to make it easy for members to make meaningful connections with each other. http://www.epals.com
Global Connections and Exchange Programs
An online resource on the website of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State that includes links to classrooms worldwide through a range of programs.
GEM – Global Education Motivators
Founded in 1981, GEM has consistently worked with students, teachers and administrators through on-site and distant learning workshops and classroom program support to promote a better understanding of the world and its people. GEM has always maintained a close association with the United Nations as well as several other affiliations.
GEM provides various videoconferencing applications and offers packaged videoconferencing
programs that can be customized through brainstorming with teachers to fit the
individual classroom situation.
Global Gateway - A database for schools and colleges (5 - 19 age range) looking for partner schools anywhere on the planet to develop international education projects. It is managed by the British Council, but it is open to all schools. http://www.globalgateway.org.uk/
Global Junior Challenge - The Global Junior Challenge is a
world-wide competition launched by the City of Rome to award prizes to the best
projects using new technologies for education training purposes of youth up to
the age of 29. Their webpage has a service to find new partners for your project.
You can see which projects are looking for partners by country or register your
own project in the Partner Search database so that others can see your details.
Global Nomads Group
Founded in 1998, the Global Nomads Group (GNG) is a non-profit organization dedicated to heightening children's understanding and appreciation for the world and its people. Using interactive technologies such as videoconferencing, GNG brings young people together face-to-face to meet across cultural and national boundaries to discuss their differences & similarities, and the world issues that affect them.
Global SchoolHouse - GSH has a registry of collaborative projects organized by topic, grade, and project date. Among the resources on the page:
- Keys to Successful Telecomputing
- Global Literacy in a Gutenberg Culture
- Origins of a Global Learning Network
iEARN – International Education and Resource Network
A global, non-profit network for classes of students aged 5-19, iEARN has been facilitating student and teacher-designed on-line collaborative projects and face-to-face meetings since 1988. Over 20,000 schools in 110+ countries participate in approximately 250 iEARN projects covering all aspects of the curriculum.
- iEARN-USA: http://us.iearn.org
- iEARN International: http://www.iearn.org
- iEARN Projects: http://www.iearn.org/projects/
Kidlink - Global, non-profit organization. Has rendered free services to youth through the Internet since 1990. In 2005, Kidlink had over 100 public and private conferencing communities for youth and adults (mostly teachers and parents) in over 30 languages, a private chat network for participants only, and a multi-lingual web site of more than 100,000 pages. Services were supported by 500 volunteers living in over 50 countries. Most are classroom teachers. Home page: http://www.kidlink.org
Kidlink's objective is to empower, educate, and prepare children and youth through the secondary school level for global inter-personal networking. Its motive is provided at http://www.kidlink.org/english/general/backgrnd.html.
Kidz Online – A nonprofit educational organization whose mission is dedicated to preparing K-12 students and teachers to live and work in the information age through innovative peer-to-peer technology training distributed using advanced digital technologies. To accomplish this, Kidz Online provides hundreds of free educational streaming videos and lesson plans; free registration at the site allows users the ability to download these resources for use on their local computer systems and networks.
In addition, Kidz Online produces over forty live, interactive video webcasts
each year. These webcasts support Kidz Online and a variety of other educational
and non-profit institutions in their efforts to use modern communication tools
to connect with national audiences.
Schoolworld Internet Education – A division of Schoolworld
Internet Education Foundation. It offers the opportunities for direct interaction
with schools from around the world and provides a platform for using the Internet
for teaching enhancement.
TakingITGlobal – An on-line community for young people interested in making a difference. The highly interactive website provides space for youth expression, connection to opportunities, a platform for youth voice, and support for action.
The site has featured themes that are updated on a regular basis and are developed
together with members and external partners. Among recent featured issues were:
Rural Youth (developed together with the Food and Agriculture Organization), Human
Rights (developed with the International Center for Rights and Democracy), and
the Millennium Development Goals, in partnership with the UN's Millennium Campaign.
Through the site, young people can connect directly with their peers from more
than 200 countries, read their inspiring profiles, and debate common concerns
through active discussion boards, instant messengers, and personal 'weblog'
(diary-like) pages. In August 2005, TakingITGlobal launched a new version of its
community, with new features and more exciting opportunities for young people
to take part.
Telecollaborate! The website provides the tools for teachers
to design, develop and publish their telecollaborative projects. A good collection
of telecollaboration resourses including links to project directories, and useful
online applications for project developers.
ThinkQuest – an international student competition, sponsored by the Oracle Education Foundation. Teams of students and teachers are challenged to create websites on educational topics and compete for exciting prizes. The completed websites are published in the ThinkQuest Library (http://thinkquest.org/library/index.html), a rich learning resource used by millions. http://www.thinkquest.org/
Web Accessibility Initiative - WAI has created "Quick Tips to Make Accessible Web Sites" to provide a high degree of usability for persons with disabilities. http://www.w3.org/WAI/
EUN Community http://community.eun.org/ The website provides teachers and learners with tools for building online communities, sharing files and news articles, participating in online forums, instant messaging, and publishing web pages. There are communities focused around curriculum subjects, school projects or created by educators to discuss professional issues.
Etwinning – School partnership in Europe
The project provides the opportunities for two schools from two different
European countries to start partnership and take advantage of ICT tools to work
together to obtain pedagogical, social and cultural benefits. Students are motivated
by an opportunity to learn about each other, their school culture, and family
while practicing their ICT skills at the same time.
SchoolNet Africa: Learning through Networking - SchoolNet
projects in about 30 African countries demonstrate growing interest from governments,
schools and the private sector. The demand for SchoolNet Africa has evolved from
national school networking programs. The Cape Town Declaration (September 1999)
by representative school networking projects from 10 African countries called
for the establishment of SchoolNet Africa. A key player is SchoolNet South Africa.
One of the website sections, Learner Center provides space for international online
collaboration among young people.