Connecting classrooms Connecting Worlds

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Presentation on Global Learning and how it relates to the British Council Connecting Classrooms programme in East Asia and beyond.David Mathias, Connecting the World Exhibition, Siam Kempinski Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand, March 11 2011


  • 1. Connecting Worlds David Mathias Manager Connecting Classrooms in East Asia Connecting Classrooms Online Community

2. Summary of presentation

  • Global Learning
  • Learning technologies
  • Global Citizens
  • Successes and challenges
  • Stakeholders in learning
  • Leaders in learning
  • Innovators of change
  • Our future leaders
  • Our global community

3. Global Learning Local Global 4. Global Learning So what is Global Learning? A Google search will produce a neat and concise summary of definitions of global learning in a pdf document entitled, ' What is a global education ' within which it is stated: Global education is an education perspective which arises from the fact that contemporary people live and interact in an increasingly globalised world. Education to give learners the opportunity and competences to reflect and share their own point of view and role within a global, interconnected society, as well as to understand and discuss complex relationships of common social, ecological, political and economic issues, so as to derive new ways of thinking and acting. { The Maastricht Global Education Declaration (2002) states: Global education is education that opens peoples eyes and minds to the realities of the globalised world and awakens them to bring about a world of greater justice, equity and Human Rights for all. Global education is understood to encompass Development Education, Human Rights Education, Education for Sustainability, Education for Peace and Conflict Prevention and Intercultural Education; being the global dimension of Education for Citizenship. 5. Global Learning As long ago as in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human rights stated, Educating shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. [Article 26, United Nations, General Conference, San Francisco, 10 December 1948] ( In recent times, the concept of 'Intercultural Dialogue' has been a focus amongst nations and it was this very concept that formed the basis of the development of the 'Asian Dialogues' programme that is now better known as Connecting Classrooms. The European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008developed objectives of, 'raising the awareness of all those living in the EU, in particular young people, of the importance of developing an active European citizenship which is open to the world, respects cultural diversity and is based on common values' and 'raising the awareness of all those living in the EU, in particular young people, of the importance of developing an active European citizenship which is open to the world, respects cultural diversity and is based on common values in the EU'. [European Parliament and the Council of Europe, Decision No. 1983/2006/EC, 18 December 2006] ( 6. Global Learning We have seen through working with governments and ministries in East Asia that similar values are at the heart of the development of their international educational policies and British Council Connecting Classrooms programme provides opportunities for the development of young people as global citizens through working at systemic, institutional, practitioner and learner level. We help, through providing the mechanism through both face-to-face meetings and professional development and online opportunities for developing international partnerships and joint curriculum projects, hundreds of schools to develop an international education that develops their young people into active and engaged contributors to change in their community and the wider world. Global education is about changing the way we teach and learn, and embracing the technology that exists to communicate information (ICT) about ourselves, our communities, the issues we face, our similarities, our differences and our dreams. Global education is about implementing the vision required to move to a model of partnership between peoples, cultures and religions at micro and macro levels. 'Think local' - 'Act Global'. 7. Organising learning in a curriculum for the future Standardised units (60 min sessions) Metronomic ClassroomSerial experiences Narrow range T/L Learner as receiver Teacher The class 30 -1 Content and coverage Towards the test Flexible: Time matched to learning need Regular/often deep/immersive Range of locations flexible spaces - permeable school cyber- space Connected and interdisciplinary Wider range of approaches project based, enquiry based -co-constructed, student initiated School as broker employer, artist, poet, community, peers -other goupings Outcomes and impact Towards lifelong learning When? Where? How? Who? What? C20 th C21 st 8. Learning technologies 9. Learning technologies I'd like to talk a little about learning technologies for the next part of my presentation. I say a 'little' as one could write an entire thesis on the topic and not have covered even a small percentage of the plethora of innovative tools and services that exist on the Internet today to help us and our learners to learn. Let's stat of with this very web community - the British Council Connecting Classrooms Online Community. We offer forums in which teachers 'meet' virtually, share ideas and form partnerships. Documents, Presentations, images and multimedia can be shared in these forums. During the development of a partnership, we offer lots of ideas for projects that schools and their learners can do together in the form of the 'project template' and there are dedicated discussions on each of the topics or themes of the templates. Once a partnership is set up, we offer the newly formed group of teachers from the different countries, a 'project space' where teachers and their pupils can upload the electronic versions of the work that has taken place in their classrooms as a result of the planning between the teachers prior to starting the project. We offer, live online chat, blogs like this one, photo albums and individual messaging between teachers. Connecting Classrooms Online is itself a self-contained learning technology but there are so many great tools out there that can enhance our teaching and learning and motivate our students. 10. Learning technologies The now not so recent phenomenon of the 'Social Network' has also enable Connecting Classrooms to reach more people through ourConnecting Classrooms FacebookandTwitter pagesas well as ourYoutube ,VimeoandFlickrsites. These are places we can share the work we produce using technologies such as Voki - a voice and character producing software that is free for teachers and students and can be embedded into a project space or blog like right here! There is now a brand new ' Voki for education ' site you can join for free. We can create 'virtual wall displays' with cool new sites such aswww.wallwisher.comwhere we can post posters, photos, videos, post-it notes and all kinds of other things. We could create project-based walls that we share across themes so schools working on one project can see the work another group of schools are doing for the same theme. 11. Learning technologies Schools in many developed countries enjoy excellent provision of ICT in schools with smaller classes and students' access to one laptop or tab each to use for their daily learning with in and outside of the classroom. Many schools in East Asia are equipped with well-resourced computer labs. However, these can be difficult to access for teachers on a regular basis and aren't always conducive to student-centred learning. Where is the collaboration and team work in this lesson to the right of the screen? Therefore it is not always theamountof technology that is available nor necessarily how modern and cutting-edge it is unless it brings about changes in the way we teach and learn that will bring about better results or different kinds of dynamics such as online collaboration or intercultural dialogues with learners from another class, school, town or country. I show this video often because it demonstrates the power that one tiny netbook can have when used in conjunction with pedagogy and helps to deliver the curriculum in a motivating way. 12. Developing Global Citizens Im a Global Citizen! 13. Global Citizens What is a global citizen? Good question! I've been asked it many times and there is no one definition that is necessarily the right one but I think this one encapsulates the meaning of global citizenship: We see a Global Citizen as someone who: - is aware of the wider world and has a sense of their own role as a world citizen;- respects and values diversity;- has an understanding of how the world works economically, politically, socially, culturally, technologically and environmentally; - is outraged by social injustice; - participates in and contributes to the community at a range of levels from local to global; - is willing to act to make the world a more sustainable place; - takes responsibility for their actions. (Oxfam 1997) SOURCE: Take a look at how our learners interpreted what being a global citizen is through their tremendously creative work that one first prize in last year's Connecting Classrooms East Asia Competition, 'I'm a Global Citizen': 14. Fitfor thefuture?

  • Positive attitudes - character
  • Self-confident
  • Self-motivated
  • Adaptable and enterprising
  • Resilient and resourceful
  • Act with integrity
  • Skilful
  • Literate and numerate
  • Enquiry skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Creative and imaginative
  • Collaborative skills
  • Self -management skills
  • Knowledgeable
  • Understandmain branches of human achievement
  • About the best (and worst) of the past... accrued wisdom of humanity.
  • Informed about contemporary issues

15. What are we trying to achieve? 16. Successes and challenges 17. Successes and challenges The successes of the Connecting Classrooms programme are plain to see. People's lives have changed as a result of some of their experiences in international school exchanges and online project work through the sharing of cultures, knowledge and understanding of global issues that affect our daily lifes. We have seen hundreds of schools and thousands of teachers and students working together not only online, but also transforming the way they learn in the classrooms to extend the boundaries to learning beyond the classrooms and into the community. We can take a look at some examples of the impact Connecting Classrooms has on communities in some of the slides in my presentation. However, with the successes there come a number of challenges and here are but a few of these categorised by the stakeholders involved 18. Successes and challenges - Governments & Ministries of EducationIn most cases we have seen strong support from Ministries of Edcution in the countries with which we work through their advocacy of the key principals of internationalising education and their recognition of the benefits of developing the 21st century skills of their future leaders. Where there has been no support we have not seen success as in the example of Japan that withdrew from the programme last year. We have seen success where Ministries and Local authorities with the autonomy to allocate budget to support schools and professional development for our programmes have done so in order to reach and benefit more people. The British Council does not have the capacity or resources to fully support such initiatives and we hope that it is through the developmental work done with ministries of education that we can plant the seeds that grow into nationally adopted and funded programmes. Policy-makers have written and implemented policies that will ensure the development of schools' international policies and the allocation of dedicated time for international coordinators to drive the programmes to reach all of the students in the schools and not just the fortunate few. Advocacy, support and adoption of the International School Award, as has been the case with the support of the Ministry of Education Thailand and the offices of basic education commission and private education commission in Thailand. This ensures benchmarking the achievements of the schools involved in Connecting Classrooms and ensuring sustainability and growth for the programme at a national level through recognition of the importance of becoming a truly international school. 19. Successes and challenges - Local AuthoritiesIn regions of countries where we have seen success it has been due to the efforts of the Local Authorities who have helped support the British Council Connecting Classrooms programme through actively engaging with schools at meetings and training events and ensuring schools are able to participate through visiting the schools and listening to their needs. This can not be better exemplified than in Thailand where the Education Service Areas of the 6 provinces involved have embraced the challenges that exist such as lack of resources - staff time, infrastructure, staff time, computers, teachers with knowledge of ICT and student-centered learning by playing an active role and becoming ambassadors for the project. We know that local authority people have many tasks and many projects that are delegated from the minitistries for implementation in their area's schools yet we are proud that the British Council Connecting Classrooms programme is one that they believe in in terms of the impact it has on the whole school, the leaders, the teacher sand the learners. 20. Successes and challenges - Local businesses When we look to the community to extend our learning, schools, teachers and classes are often faced with the challenge of how to resource their project and how to learn more about the community. Many schools have taken the entrepreneurial step of involving local businesses and asking for their support for their projects. Businesses see the value of the work the young people are doing and the benefits it brings to whole communities and are keen to be associated with the good feeling it brings to all. - Schools We hear about the challenges of not having enough computers or slow internet connections in schools. This is a challenge all over the world yet we are fortunate in this region to have the provision we have. If we look at developing countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and countries in Africa, we realise that this is a challenge that may take many years to resolve. However, we have seen great innovation and creativity from teachers and students with linited resources. The challenge, therefore, is not how do we get more computers and a better internet connection, but how do we do the best we can with the resources we already have? We seemed to cope admirably 5-7 years ago when there was no broadband internet, no Smartphones, no Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and far fewer multimedia devices such as digital cameras so we need to try not to get lost in the technology at the expense of the pedagogy and classroom interaction. ICT is after all what it says it is - information communication technology. It is a tool for communicating and facilitating the learning not the learning itself. 21. Successes and challenges - School leaders Without the school leader we are lost. The school leader provides us with the vision and guidance we need to change the way in which we teach and learn and interact with each other. He or she provides the freedom for teachers to try new things and support them in both success and failure. Where we have seen success with Connecting Classrooms it has been related directly with strong leadership in the school and a strong advocacy from the leader for the development of an international school policy. These leaders have not ben afraid to implement change as they are passionate about their learners and are not detached from the everyday teaching and learning in their school. They are a community leader as well as a school leader and place importance in the community and community development. The British Council has supported school leadership professional development through its Connecting Classrooms programmes in conjuction with the International Leadership Award that we are running as an online self-evaluation tool through this online community. In East Asia we have supported development of school leadership in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand with programmes tailored to the needs of each countries' policies in school leadership in partnership with the NCSL in England and other agencies. We will be supporting school leaders from 6 East Asian countries, including Thailand, through our leadership programme for 2011-12 which will commence in June 2011 at a training event at the NCSL headquarters in Nottingham, UK followed by the National Leadership Conference in Birmingham. 22. Successes and challenges - Teachers We have seen hundreds of teachers benefit professionally as a result of our face-to-face training programmes through Connecting Classrooms as well as online interaction between peers and classes overseas. The knock-on benefits to the students has been remarkable and it is a result of the dedication, commitment, prfoessionalism and enthusiasm the teachers have shown. Challenges remain, though, none less than time constraints for teachers and a lack of support from other teachers and the school leader. Where teachers have been able to integrate an international dimension into teaching and learning by adapting the way they deliver the currciulum, we have seen the most success. This has been down to the amount of freedom and flexibility allowed by the school. However, learning does not only take place within the four walls of the classroom and teachers have been very adaptable and creative in creating ways their learners can get involved in Connecting Classrooms, particularly the web-based communications, through extra-curricula activities and clubs. Teachers need training, though, in order to be introduced to new teaching methodologies and the use of ICT and the Connecting Classrooms Online Community so the challenge is persuading ministries to invest in such professional development in order to reach more schools and sustain the programme. 23. Successes and challenges Students It is not so much the challenges students face, as they forever invent ingenious ways in which to overcome them, especialy when it comes to using the technology with which they have been almost born using outside the classroom. The challenge teachers face is keeping up with the changes in the world and the changes in which we learn as a result of it and keeping education relevant, stimulating and motivating. I believe the best motto here is, ' if you can't beat them, join them'. Learning has become much more of a collaborative process between teacher and learner and sometimes we can switch roles where students can teach teachers how to use technology. What is then impirtant is that the teacher is the guide and mentor on how best to use these tools to failitate the learning. Teachers are becoming managers of learning rather than suppliers of information. After all, we can obtain all the information that used to come to use in print form that we used to have to learn in rote form from the internet with a few words typed into a Google search. It is what we do with that information that is important. 24. Successes and challenges - ParentsSadly, we are still living in an educational era that remains obsessed with tests that no longer test the skills we are teaching in the classroom today. This is a challenge for the teacher as he or she must ensure the learners pass their tests but how do we assess all of the creativity that has gone on in between? Parents may well justifiably ask why their son or daughter is getting involved with a Connecting Classrooms project when they should be focussing on passing their exams. The key here is to show how this kind of learning and engagement has a greater impact on their child and extends their knowledge and skills beyond those of the two-dimensional textbook. Thinking skills, teamwork, leadership skills, problem solving, ICT, authentic English language communicative practice and so on, combined with the core curriculum learning outcomes leads to a greater and more holistic learning experience. 25. Leading the learning 26. Innovators of change 27. Our learners our future leaders 28.

  • In order toachieve good results from the projects, Ministry of Education & training (MOET)Departments of Education & training(DOET) cooperated with BC of Vietnam have made long term plans and have been carrying out many effective activities at schools.

29. 30. Student camp activities 31. Students actively took part in the contest: Better Community Better Life 32. Some images of the students entries for the Better Community Better life competition. Project activities at schools 33. Selecting & giving remarks on better community, better life competitionin Ha Noi, Vietnam Nearly 1.000 productsfrom 32 schools in the CC and CCO projects inHa Noi (Picture paintings; Video clips; Power points; Poems; Songs ) 34.

  • From the leaders: The objectives of the projects are achieved.
  • Many schools actively took part in the CC and CCO projects with useful activities.
  • The project is really a good play-ground for students:
  • + Help studentswiden their knowledge
  • + Help students develop cultural understanding and build personality of themselves and develop students global citizens.
  • + Help students be aware of their responsibilities before their families, societies and global issues.
  • The project also involved many teachers, educators, leaders...
  • The project enhances good sustainable partnership among nations in the world.

Reflections 35. 2. From parents: Happy+ The projects brought many benefits to their children + Inspire and motivate children to study English. + Change their ways of thinking about the things around them. + Help students become more confident, more creative, more knowledgeable. Reflections 36. 3. From students: confident, eager to attend + Thanks to all the BC members, the Educators, teachers for giving effective and interesting projects. + Have an opportunity to enrich the knowledge, to exchange culture and learn experiences. + Have more friends from all over the world. + Know better about Vietnam and other nations in the world. + Be aware of the global issues and find it important to protect the Earth. + Gain more things, improve English speaking, widen knowledge, get more international communication 37.

  • Introduction of Korean Culture
  • International Communication through
  • British Council Website
  • South Africa World Cup Project
  • The Climate change Project
  • Better Community, Better Life Competition
  • English Camp during the Vacation

Shinsong Middle School, Korea 38. Introduction of Korean CultureShinsong Middle School, Korea 39. Introduction of Korean CultureShinsong Middle School, Korea 40. South Africa World Cup ProjectShinsong Middle School, Korea 41. Shinsong Middle School, Korea 42. Interchange with Foreign Students Shinsong Middle School, Korea 43. Better Community, Better Life Competition

  • Topic: Culture & Community

Shinsong Middle School, Korea 44. Better Community, Better Life Competition

  • Topic: Culture & Community

Shinsong Middle School, Korea 45. 46. A Global Community 47. Our learners our future leaders 48.