By Armand Doucet, #TeachSDGs & ADE Ambassador
Collaborative efforts across the spectrum of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and students in K-12 schools is necessary for the goals to be reached by 2030. This article highlights an interdisciplinary, cross partnership (government, non-profit and private sector) collaboration from secondary school that began in a World Issues classroom. The teacher, Armand Doucet, invites students to delve into areas about which they are passionate and create a Startup company with colleagues that tries to find solutions to one of the SDGs. Ethan and Leif are two students that are separately passionate about health sciences and the environment. Armand’s writing (in italics below) will introduce the context and the background with regards to Passion Projects Start-ups. In what follows, Ethan and Leif share on their experiences.
My goal as a teacher in the classroom is to develop skills intertwined with curriculum content. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and 21st century skills need to be developed not haphazardly, but purposefully. For this to happen, the culture and design of my classroom and how I approach curriculum outcomes and standards and skills development must combine with a growth mindset (Carol Dweck) and design thinking process (IDEO-Tim Brown). I try to foster and develop divergent thinking (Sir Ken Robinson) in students who will embrace the problems of the world instead of fearing them because in reality: “The world doesn’t care what you know. What the world cares about is what do you do with it" (Tony Wagner). So, I believe that connecting the curriculum to what the students are passionate about is a great way to develop my classroom. With Passion Projects Start-ups students realize the joys of learning again by following their own path and trying to solve real world issues. As you can see in Ethan and Leif’s statements below, when allowed to pursue their own goals in education, students struggle at first. I try to let them explore, discover, and create their own networks. I become an advisor they meet once a week to help them continue to develop their ideas and pitch. As they embrace the core problem of their Passion Projects, resiliency precedes enthusiasm and then enthusiasm leads to pride as students create and subsequently work to bring solutions to the SDGs. They play an important part in the future sustainability of our communities and get the opportunity to start in my classroom. The experience is unique to each student and they build a network with people from around the world, solidifying ties to possible relationships that will impact our world for years to come. Tony Wagner (Creating Innovators) states “the most important thing is allowing students to ask questions and then give them the space to find the answers.”
I believe my job as a teacher is to facilitate the development of skills for each student--personalizing the learning so they can each succeed in the future. You can visit my template for this type of classroom at www.lifelessonlearning.com. Please send any questions about the Passion Project Start-up for my World Issues class and how SDGs play a large part to my direct email at email@example.com.
My name is Ethan Fogarty and walking into Armand Doucet’s World Issues 120 class was not what I expected. It was like entering a parallel universe, where instead of the students asking the teacher the questions, the teacher asked the students the questions. It was a very cool experience, where Mr. D. acted as a mentor and guide to our learning, and our learning was in our own hands.
My name is Leif Henrichs, and I realized in my World Issues class that the greatest global challenge was set upon us in 2015, with the hopes to build a better plan of sustainable action for citizens and the planet. Seventeen goals, ranging from abolishing worldwide hunger to gender equality, were given to us by the United Nations. These goals strive to be an indispensable requirement for sustainable development by the year 2030.
A large part of Mr. D’s class revolved around the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, more specifically a giant semester long Passion Project. A group of us decided to tackle malaria. My personal decision to follow this path was due to my overwhelming fascination with medicine. Medicine is my passion and my future career, and it was an amazing experience for my passion and future to coincide hand in hand with my current education. All the classes I take now are about sciences or English, and it is sad to think I have gone through 12 years of education without learning about my passion directly, and still have a few more before my passion becomes what I actually learn about. Mr. D.’s class was a different experience, where I learned both about the problems in our world as well as a fair deal about myself. The key is I now believe that I play an integral part in finding solution, and know I can change my community, country, and world.
Early in the first semester of 2017, I walked into my French immersion World Issues class. My teacher set down a list of problems brought upon by the United Nations and told us as a class, to choose three different goals we would be interested in solving. I personally thought the problem of Life on Land was the most problematic for the development of humanity. The next day we were grouped by interest and were given the opportunity to identify what was the issue and the mandate to help find a solution. Real world learning by addressing a real world problem in class. As a group, we had the liberty to use anything and everything to work on this problem throughout the semester, and we were encouraged to think outside the box. Mr. Doucet enforced that the problem we found associated with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals were not just a class project, but a life project that we could work on in other classes and in everyday life. As a group we decide to focus on the problem of deforestation and I can tell you now that I have never worked harder at anything in my life. This project almost consumed me 24/7 because Mr. D made us believe that we could truly be the change.
One of the sustainable goals created by the UN is to end the endemic of malaria. We were introduced to these goals very early in the course and told to choose one. Naturally, I instantly narrowed the choice to the health and well-being goal. From there, malaria stood out to me, and luckily to a few others as well. Now, we had a team, but what next. Another way World Issues class was different was because a lot of class time was used to collaborate as a group to use the design process to prototype our solution. We were encouraged to reach out to experts from around the world and partner up with non-profits and people that were living in the conditions we were trying to help. Research for the project was largely done outside of class, but done willingly and without complaint. I remember thinking that this project felt more like a business or organization set out to help others than simply a project, which made it more real. I realized that we were creating a business and that this could be a lifetime project. It changed the atmosphere and attitude towards learning, where a regular project’s final destination is the trash can or a land fill, this project was potentially saving countless lives, which means keeping on top of work and taking initiative was both more important than another project and easier to be engaged in because we were empowered.
We looked at every angle of the deforestation issue because it is important to have a complete perspective. Our group worked hard on researching the effects of clear cutting and tried to find the root cause of why we did this as people. We realized that is was mostly done to be able to do agriculture and mass produce coffee or something more lucrative. We believed that we wouldn’t be able to impact this one at a level that was acceptable to our group. So, we took up the second reason for deforestation which is forest fires. As our group hustled away, I was able to create an idea to speed up the succession rate of post forest fires accompanying the halt of erosion of post forest fires, and that’s just covering the two main solutions my idea entails. This project followed me through three different classes the rest of my grad year as well as two separate entrepreneurship events. I need to create an awareness campaign via a 3:00min commercial, a pitch and marketing campaign for venture capital, become an expert in my chosen field and prototype a solution.
By the end of the semester, we knew more about the subject of our choice than Mr. Doucet did, which I think is pretty special. Every other class I have ever taken, I have come out knowing less than the teacher; knowing bomb calorimetric, but unable to do it as quick as my chemistry teacher, knowing about the biology of plants while unable to go into as much depth on photosynthesis as my biology teacher. Mr. Doucet’s class was different. By the end of the semester, I had created a prototype of what I felt was a way to lower malaria rates in Africa, while having a more extensive knowledge on malaria and the specific problem than even my teacher. I was able to reach out and partner with experts from around the world, getting really good at asking the right questions to broaden my group’s knowledge base and understanding. However, in class, I was not the one asking the questions on my topics to Mr. D., but answering them; which I feel is a very beautiful moment in education.
While my idea progressed throughout the year, I made different contacts and showcased my learning throughout my school, such as to my teachers and my peers. Also, I connected with my community by attending different events and competitions to spread awareness of the deforestation issue and present my 3D printed solution. I was able to secure some venture capital with this high school project making me now a true entrepreneur. I don’t believe this is end of the journey for the UN Sustainable Development Goals for me, and I as I graduate in a few weeks, I plan to keep working away on the problem of deforestation next year at Acadia University and keep engineering a solution. Hoping one day I will be able to make a difference in the world, as well as carrying out my true passion of life on land.
After my semester in Mr.Doucet’s World Issues class, I was too enthralled with the SDGs to simply move on, so I chose to continue working with them in my second semester of school. What goal I was going to choose this time remained a mystery to me, until one day I saw the latest Honey Nut Cheerios commercial about the bees dying off. This linked to the SDG of halting biodiversity loss, so I decided to embrace the challenge of saving our honey making friends. I could not do it on my own, so within my Science 12 class the team was created. "The Bee Team" to be exact; that is our official name. We are a non-profit business trying to save the bees using three different branches of intervention. We work with our town, local businesses, and even beekeepers to create bylaws on nicotine based pesticides within town limits, use a pollination plan to increase the beauty of the town, and share bee nutrition for local restaurants incorporating rooftop bee hives. Through Mr. Doucet’s class and his voluntary help, in the past year I have worked towards solving not only one, but two of the SDGs created by the UN. Creating a business from the ground up while keeping on top of my required school related work has been a challenge, but a challenge I gladly accept. When I first began this idea, I expected it to remain as a small scale project, largely from an idea I would pull up a metaphorical Mount Everest, but I have found an overwhelming amount of support from everyone. As of right now, the project remains local, but we have received some funding, and I am hoping that eventually it becomes worldwide in scale.
Armand Doucet is a globally recognized award-winning educator, leader, and business professional with a unique combination of entrepreneurial, teaching and Innovative projects. A sought after inspirational-speaker, author, columnist and blogger in multiple fields, Armand has contributed to CBC, Education Partners, BrainStem Sympoisum, STEM Educators Symposium, Atlantic Education Summit, TeachSDG’s and TedX. He has led, and collaborated with, teams from around the world, an across different industries, to success in health, education, non-profit and business. Armand was the president and founder of the Ironwill Foundation and was also part of a team of teachers who brought Harry Potter to life at Riverview High School, connecting the school to over 1.8 million people worldwide. He is driven to make a difference in his students’ lives and wants every student to inspire, educate and empower others to reach their full potential. Recently, Armand founded Life Lesson Learning, which is working to change teaching worldwide by giving 21st century skills development its proper place in the classroom through his Passion projects initiative. Armand received the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence 2015, is a Meritorious Service Medal Recipient Governor General of Canada, is an Apple Distinguished Educator and has just recently been nominated in the Top 50 for the Global Teacher Prize. He currently teaches Modern History at Riverview High School, in New Brunswick, Canada and is working on a children’s Picture book series to empower girls to believe that they can do STEAM jobs and find solutions to the UN sustainable goals. As always, Armand is inspired by his incredible wife, Nicole, and his two girls. You can connect with Armand on Twitter at @DoucetArmand.
By Nam Ngo Thanh, #TeachSDGs Global Goals Educator Task Force Member, Vietnam
When I asked many teachers in Vietnam as well as around the world about teaching United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, the answer I often got was "What is it?" or "Is it important?” I realized that teaching the goals of sustainable development for students was still a new thing to many teachers.
Why did I decide to teach #SDGs to students?
As we all know, the world is facing many problems, such as poverty, pollution, war, climate change, and more. These problems directly affect the survival of mankind. Therefore, if people are not aware of the importance of the remedy and the ways to prevent problems, the quality of life will be increasingly threatened. I think that educating on these issues needs to be started in the younger generation, namely students. That is why teaching sustainable development goals has become an important part of my teaching.
For myself, to have access to the curriculum SDGs, my professional skills have been increasingly enhanced. My teaching is not only directed to knowledge in textbooks, but also social significance and meeting the needs of life.
How did I know about the goal of sustainable development of the United Nations?
Actually, I have only known these goals since 2017. Although before, my students did many projects related to issues in life, such as traffic safety, environment, religion, and food, but I did not know that these projects were related to the goals of sustainable development. It wasn't until I had a conversation with Fran Siracusa as well as taking the Teaching Sustainable Development Goals course on the Microsoft Education site that I realized these goals clearly are already in my projects. Since then, I have started to learn more and have become really fascinated by the human values that these goals bring.
How have I started?
First, I worked to develop a clear understanding about these 17 goals and then started to find out the relationship between them and my textbook lessons. It is interesting to realize that every lesson that my students learn daily is tied to at least one of the 17 goals. After that, I started introducing #SDGs to my students. Fortunately, I found a lot of resources for the introduction, including The World's Largest Lessons. I do not impose #SDGs on students, but let them naturally take to them by letting them draw their own goals after reading a story, watching a movie, etc. For example: Water is Life project: After watching the movie about water shortage in South Africa, students will analyze and find out the sixth goal in the project. I believe that by their own self-discovery, students can understand the meaning of these goals in human life.
Technology – Let’s be Friends
In teaching SDGs, I have seen that technology has impacted students' lives in such a positive way. It has taken students to new places and allowed them to use the 4Cs of 21st century learning (collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity). If technology is used properly, it will help to bring the voice of students to the world. In my teaching of SDGs, technology plays an indispensable role. Students are encouraged to use technology in learning activities that demand problem-solving, decision-making, teamwork, and innovation. By using technology, students can create products such as digital storybooks, artwork, presentations, and movies. For example, in the Water is Life project, my students use Sway to tell their water using story, Microsoft Forms to conduct a water experiment using survey of people in their community, PowerPoint to create posters to call for a sense of water savings, and Skype to chat with experts on the importance of water. Sustainable development goals are right in your classroom! Let students work with technology as a friend, learning these goals will become more enjoyable and effective.
Do Not Teach #SDGs Alone
My experience suggests that teaching #SDGs is most effective if these goals are repeated over place and time. One way to do this is to connect with your school and the parents to share that comprehensive SDG teaching is an important choice. For example, when learning about the the sixth goal, we did the "I am a drop" campaign by creating slogans calling for water savings in many places in the school. At home, parents also reminded students to save water. From there, students realized that saving water was their responsibility.
Mr. Nam Thanh (@mrnamvas) is a primary school teacher in Vinschool in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He has authored multiple articles, and he has been nationally and internationally recognized for the implementation of creativity and the integration of technology into his teaching. In 2015, he was presented with the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Award, and in the same year he represented Vietnam at the Microsoft Global Forum. He is Microsoft Master Trainer, Skype Master Teacher, and Microsoft Teacher Ambassador. Mr. Nam works passionately to develop creative approaches to delivering quality education to his students in ways that inspire them to learn. Twitter: @mrnamvas Website: https://mrnamvas.wixsite.com/fivesafefingers
By Karol Alejandra Arámbula Carrillo, National Operations Director & Founder of MY World México
Everytime I get the opportunity to talk about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), I like to look back at the story behind these 17 promises made in September 2015: The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs were humanity’s first global agreement to reduce poverty and human deprivation at historically unprecedented rates through collaborative action. Unlike previous efforts, the MDGs were a unique global promise of a comprehensive nature and systematic efforts to finance, implement and monitor them. This was certainly what David Hulme from the University of Manchester called in his 2009 paper on the MDGs: the world’s biggest promise.
Despite the MDGs’ greatest achievements worldwide and at the national levels, the world’s biggest promise failed to fulfill many of its purposes as a result of different circumstances. Our world changed. Humanitarian crises arrived, technological changes emerged, our environment had been significantly altered, and our world was interconnected in ways like never before. The MDGs was an agenda in need of revisions and mechanisms that would help leaders to make better decisions. They were also in great need of opening up a wider discussion that could integrate the voices of everyone, everywhere.
This is why in 2012 the international community came together to review the world’s biggest promise and reiterate its commitment towards the achievement of a fairer, healthier, and more prosperous world. The journey began everywhere--or almost everywhere--and asked everyone to participate. I found out about this process while finishing my undergraduate studies in International Relations in Jalisco, Mexico. By then I knew the world was coming together to adopt new goals that would not only cover what was left behind by the MDGs, but that would also integrate our world’s most urgent issues, such as climate change, inequality, and insecurity. From my degree, I learned that the world had been through so much in the last two centuries and that development global agreements were necessary to not only secure our place as humanity in the planet, but to live in peace for the rest of our journey here. Like no other international agreement, the MDGs and the Post-2015 process brought hope to the United Nations and the international community.
This is where my personal journey with the SDGs started. And to be honest, if I have a look at it now, I never thought I would get so involved in the SDGs and the world’s efforts to achieve them. My first encounter with the Post-2015 process was when I was still studying and participating in Model United Nations in 2006. Six years later, I got the chance to participate in the United Nations Youth Assembly that aimed to discuss the global revisions of the MDGs. In 2013, while working at the United Nations Migration Agency in New York City, I participated in the High-Level Dialogue on International Migration in Development, where I was able to realize that development is not only accompanied by economic, social, or environmental issues, but also ethical and cultural perspectives. I also realized that development should be a bottom-up effort and that without the voices of all, we would not have been able to achieve a real and reachable agreement. A year later, I decided to come back and work in the field in Mexico when I got to know a practical and open instrument to encourage people’s participation in the Post-2015 process. This instrument was the United Nations Global Survey For A Better World MY World 2015 developed by the then United Nations Millennium Campaign.
In 2014-2015, I was directly in charge of implementing MY World 2015 in my hometown Jalisco, Mexico –my country’s second largest state. At the end of the day, we were able to reach over 400,000 people from 72 different regions in Western Mexico. We were also able to reach other 28 states in Mexico and position our country as the second most active country in MY World 2015. Jalisco was able to stay as the fifth most participative entity in the world and our work received the People’s Voices Award for Best Multistakeholder Collaboration during the General Assembly’s Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda in September 2015. While being at this summit, I knew my commitment towards the implementation of the SDGs was quite unique and a needed responsibility. This was not only based on the numbers we were able to integrate in the discussion thanks to MY World 2015, but in people’s interest in being part of the solution and actions.
A few months later, after the adoption, I had the chance to replicate what happened in Jalisco at the national level. In partnership with the United Nations SDG Action Campaign and United Nations Volunteers, MY World México was created as an initiative aimed at activating people throughout the country to achieve the SDGs. One year later, MY World México has now the participation of 150 volunteers and 60 organizations from across sectors working in at least 25 states in my country, as well as numerous partnerships worldwide.
One of the main activities while leading this project in the last nearly four years, has been teaching. Teaching people about the world’s biggest promise, the greatest promise ever made. In this journey, I have come to realize the power education has upon individuals. Education is the most important tool for appropriation of The Global Goals and without this, I certainly believe our promise to build a better world by 2030 will hardly be achieved. This is the most powerful tool I have come to get as a result of all this policy, advocacy, and mobilization efforts in the last years of my life. It is through education we will be able to lead change. A change for a world capable of achieving the 2030 Agenda and The Global Goals.
Karol is originally from Mexico. Karol serves as National Operations Director at MY World México, as Civil Society Represenative to the United Nations and as expert consultant for intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations in Mexico and overseas focusing on partnerships for Sustainable Development, Financing for Development, Development Education, Human Rights, Peace, Governance and Democratic Processes, and International Organizations and International Cooperation. She has worked in numerous projects and programs led by the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the European Union in Brasil, Uganda, Peru, South Korea, Canada, Australia and the United States. On Twitter, you can connect with Karol at @KarolArambula and MY World México at @MYWorldMexico.
By Lisa Mauro, Former DC Senior Strategist, #TeachSDGs Advocate
“It is necessary and urgent that teachers prepare students to understand the world in which they live, in all its complexity, to recognize the way in which global and local affairs are intertwined, to understand globalization and its consequences, including global risks, and to have the skills and the desire to contribute to improving the world.”
--Dr. Fernando Reimers, Harvard Graduate School of Education
We are Global Citizens. The world in which we live is both interconnected and interdependent. As Educators, we must prepare our students for future success by collaborating with citizens from across the world through a commitment to a wide-range of initiatives. These initiatives should aim to foster habits of mind that embrace cultural empathy, a commitment to cooperation, an appreciation of our common humanity, and a sense of global responsibility.
The United Nations Division of Sustainable Development (UN-DESA), in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN-DPI) have partnered with schools across the world to educate our school communities and the wider local community about the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Proposed in September 2015 by the UN, the SDGs have been approved unanimously by the Member States, who pledged a concrete engagement in the realization of the goals. The goals aim to ensure a life of dignity for everyone worldwide and protection of our common home, the Earth.
Many schools have begun offering “Cultural Competency and Global Engagement” leadership courses, which center around what it means to be a global citizen. Courses are thematically organized to follow the UN model of presentation and debate - meaning it uses technologies best suited to reach a global audience. These experiential and elective courses aim to provide students with the knowledge, tools, and skills to address the challenges of a global community. Highlights of such elective courses include:
In 2015, Ranney School (Tinton Falls, NJ) partnered with Monmouth University faculty members to use project-based learning to develop global citizenship skills, focused on one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. This year, students focused on Peace and Justice (SDG #16) as well as Quality Education (SDG #4).
Global Citizens Program students and Art students installed original artwork in the campus buildings as part of the Peace & Justice Project. Students collaborated on this cross-disciplinary project to raise awareness of UN SDG #16, Global Peace and Justice. The primary focus of the project was to understand the discrepancies in access to education faced by girls throughout the world. Students worked together to research, craft, and present to the school community a variety of projects that raise awareness of this key global challenge. The project was divided into two phases to allow a broader thought process to inspire their art creations. Phase I of the project included brainstorming and Phase II involved photography students who created images that express their visions of peace.
Teens and adolescents are an important catalyst for change, as they possess innovative ideas and a large influence in our small spheres. Students found the collaborative phases of the Peace & Justice project to be inspiring! The art installations allowed them to creatively participate as members of a global discussion and provided them with a better understanding and background of the SDGs discussed in class. They could see first-hand how many of the SDGs are interconnected, specifically regarding the importance of educating individuals to bring them out of poverty. I find that this type of experiential learning is crucial in developing a more well-rounded education and understanding the abstract ideas within our Global Citizens community. Ultimately, the ability to contribute ideas beyond the classroom is truly beneficial and allows students to develop their skills in incredible ways.
Looking to do something similar in your school? Art installations are a creative way to speak of the need for Quality Education for People and Planet; the education obstacles that specific groups around the world face, specifically minorities in underdeveloped countries. Students can review the UNESCO GEM Report (Global Education Monitoring), taking special note of what has been achieved and what still must be done. The report outlines significant disparities continue to exist between gender in receiving education. Students can brainstorm ideas that would create sustainable futures for all, and develop achievable action plans for local communities centered around addressing work deficits and labor market inequalities among global youth. Focused on youth employment, students will embrace the fundamental social policies for an inclusive and sustainable society. They will learn that education, the SDGs, are interconnected with poverty in many ways, and proper schooling and training would ultimately help unemployed youth penetrate the labor market and join the workforce. As Educators, we must employ a design thinking process. Schools should group together to assess resources and the actions needed to promote change in our global education community.
We must be committed to offering a wide-range of initiatives to enable our students to become globally proficient, so they may successfully fulfill their roles as Global Citizens with an appreciation of our common humanity. We must aim to foster habits of mind, and a sense of global responsibility. This includes stepping out of traditional learning zones and comfort zones, to build skills necessary for cultural empathy, interaction, and future cross collaboration.
Lisa Mauro is a former DC Senior Strategist who spent the majority of her successful career working in the Nation’s public interest to make a positive difference. She is Ivy League educated, holding a dual Bachelor of Arts in International Studies/International Business, with minor in English, History, and Economics from Notre Dame; multiple Harvard Graduate Degrees in Strategy, Negotiation, and Communications, and a Master of Education-General Education from Liberty University. Mauro is an active Member of Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) International Honor Society in Education, founded to foster excellence in education and promote fellowship among those dedicated to teaching. KDP is affiliated with the United Nations as a non-governmental organization (NGO), with dedicated focus on Education including children, youth, women, families, conflict resolution, social development, poverty, and human rights. She is an Activist, a UNICEF USA Congressional Team Member, UN Messenger of Humanity and #TeachSDGs Member. You can connect with Lisa on Twitter at @CasperMomNJ.
On 28 June, a High-Level Event on Education will be convened in partnership with key SDG 4 stakeholders to drive a new push for inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. Sustainable Development Goal 4, education, is at the heart of the UN’s 2030 Agenda and essential for the success of all Sustainable Development Goals."
By Fran Siracusa
As we examine Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education, the first target is access to any form of both primary and secondary education, including books, classrooms and teachers. Second, quality education must be stressed, as well as eliminating gender disparities and equal access for vulnerable peoples. UN Ambassador Dessima Williams from Grenada expressed that in global education, “there is inequality remaining still,” and be it through a foundation, a global project, or 21st century innovations, students ought to understand “the concept of solidarity and connectedness with each other.” To bring this message to students and educators is imperative; students and other global education stakeholders need to see the relevance of connection, and be enabled to work with others, while promoting and experiencing intercultural understanding. All students worldwide ought to be asked to impact the world through social good by means of campaigns or innovations, in their educational spheres. As Unicef articulates, in order to realize the Global Goals by the year 2030, “everyone, however young they are, needs to take part. So join our movement, teach young people about the Goals and encourage them to become the generation that changed the world.”
For those of you educators who would like to help champion the Global Goals, a great place to start is a simple introduction of the SDGs to the students in your classroom. Ask the students to draw a connection between the Global Goals and their personal lives. Invite the students to create a personal campaign to help meet at least one of the Global Goals through digital artifact creation.
In collaboration between myself, Nic Clayton and Amy Rosenstein, a project and lesson plan concept was created to easily introduce the Global Goals, and also to model the digital campaign. See our lesson and “Model Sways” for project instructions as well as student examples. We hope they can serve the global educator community as starting points, prompts, guides, models and more. Our lesson is published here in the Microsoft Educator Community lesson plans collection: https://education.microsoft.com/Story/Lesson?token=vrlb4 Amy also created another similar lesson, which includes a Skype Collaboration: https://education.microsoft.com/Story/SkypeCollaboration?token=Yxkm9 Please view both lessons and share with colleagues! Don’t forget to share on social media using our hashtag: #TeachSDGs
Finally, to learn more about the Global Goals within Microsoft materials, please refer to: https://education.microsoft.com/courses-and-resources/courses/sdg
Again, please join us in our initiative to #TeachSDGs!
Teachers are busy. Curriculums are full. Parents demand results. With all of the academic, extracurricular, and daily logistic challenges accompanied with teaching, the idea of organizing social entrepreneurs to speak to students can seem not only impossible, but also impractical and irrelevant to academic requirements.
However, social entrepreneurs are critical to help students learn about local problems and begin to identify local solutions. Most importantly social innovators, particularly local social innovators, add a depth of knowledge and first-hand experience which allow students to reframe problems that they previously thought were unsolvable and inspire students to draw from their strengths to develop solutions.
Finding social innovators willing to work with students might require stepping outside your comfort zone, away from the classroom and into unfamiliar territory, but is enriching and a rewarding experience.
The Global Goals empower students by giving them permission to believe in a better world and as one Year 5 student taught me, “Our purpose is to care about the earth and each other.” But, taking this idea and helping students translate these new sentiments into action felt like a vague and uncertain journey. While there is much work to do towards achieving the SDGs, as teachers, we are often unaware of the successful innovations that occur in our own community.
I stumbled upon an answer after attending a Young Digital Entrepreneurs (YDE) conference where local youth running SDG initiatives presented their ideas. I learned from these passionate social entrepreneurs determined to bring a more inclusive and sustainable future, one project at a time. I met the founder of Project Be, an incubator for youth to bring ideas and develop projects. I also met the founders of Born to Smile, an initiative helping to educate children living in slums that was created after the founders saw street children treated poorly at a football game.
Our students identified clean water as a key area of need in our community, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Some students wanted to find ways to provide water to rickshaw drivers and another group to disadvantaged families, but finding sustainable solutions proved tricky and complicated as they experimented with the idea of leaving bottles of water outside our school and tried to build water filters from found materials. Limited by time and resources they felt demotivated from this process.
Palash Ranyal, project manager for Pedal Pure, shared an initiative that helps rickshaw pushers, or the individuals who pedal bicycles attached to passenger carriages, access clean water by attaching a device to the rickshaw that filters water as they pedal. Hearing this success story sparked hope and encouraged them to keep trying. Palash also shared contacts for other local innovators, including a professor who distributes plans for a scalable filter at an affordable cost. His story also prepared young innovators to understand the importance of having a close relationship with those you are designing for and he explained how many did not see the benefit in drinking purified water.
Hearing stories from social innovators and how they identified a problem familiar to everyone and developed a solution helps students learn how real-world problems are interdisciplinary in nature and more importantly, solvable. Connecting students with experts can be a mind shift for students. One student, who I saw had incredible potential, but did not always show his capability in the classroom, had an attitude shift after meeting Suranga Nanayakkara, an inventor and MIT alumni, whose team created the Finger Reader, a device that empowers the blind. Suranga was a speaker at our TEDxYouth event and along with his colleague, Roger Boldu, they held a design workshop for local youth where they brainstormed alternative uses for the Finger Reader. Meeting folks from MIT shocked students and following this workshop they adopted IDEO’s core values and created posters for the values that Suranga and Roger shared with them.
Unexpectedly, social innovators were also inspired as they learned about the projects youth were leading at our school, such as Habitat for Humanity (in Bangladesh H4H does not give you machinery; you get a bucket of concrete, a stick, and a ton of bricks), our afterschool art program reaching out to disadvantaged youth and upcycling projects. Many loved learning how we were embedding sustainable education in our curriculum at International School Dhaka and wanted to support our efforts.
Connecting with social entrepreneurs seemed daunting at first, but after stepping outside the classroom and attending events in the community, I was able to tap into a refreshing stream of knowledge and to my surprise, welcomed into the innovation ecosystem. My conviction in a sustainable world grew as I learned from social innovations in our community and alongside fellow inspiring educators.
How to connect with Social Innovators:
1. Reach out to your school community
Many staff at our school have close connections with social innovators, but may not have thought about inviting them to school in order to work with students. Encourage teachers to invite friends, former colleagues, or family to speak to students or lead mini-workshops. Alumni in the community are a wealth of information and support. Sending out a call for experts and identifying potential times for them to come in can help with logistics and make the process simple and fun. Thank you to our alumni, Zuhayr Reaz, who volunteers as a mentor and speaker coach.
2. Step out
Get on Eventbrite or FB events; sign up for community events that center around social innovation, sustainability, or enterprise. In some cases, these experiences can count towards professional development and you can submit the conference overviews to your Director, Principal, or HR.
Put your teacher skills to use in a new environment. I know nothing about marketing, graphic design, or coding, but I know how to write a lesson. I put this to use in developing activities for a TEDx workshop and learned so much about organizing teams and more importantly what areas I need to develop to be a better leader. I also volunteer for Fab Lab Dhaka as their Youth Engagement Coordinator and help connect youth in our community with capacity building workshops we hold at the lab.
Take a Challenge!
It takes time to build a network and find like-minded folks in the ecosystem, but once you do, these relationships and partnerships can set the stage for transformative learning experiences for students and everyone in your school. To take a first step, try a challenge below.
Contact your local TEDx organizer or TED Ed Leader and ask them if they can connect you with social entrepreneurs interested in working with local youth. Hop on Youtube and search for TEDx ____ (yourcityname) for idea sharers who can compliment your school curriculum. I found Shams Jaber, the founder of The Tech Academy, this way, his students spoke at TEDxDhaka. For extra credit, attend your local TEDx event/Salon/Workshop.
Sign up for a Start Up Weekend near you. After attending a SW, you’re qualified to organize your own startup weekend and there is a youth version for students. I attended Start-up Weekend Dhaka and became part of a close-knit startup family. In three days, I saw a group of 116 people form into teams around the best ideas and total strangers collaborate through shared passions and collaborations.
Check out IEEE events. I attended an event for young professionals and connected with many engineers committed to a sustainable future. Here, I met engineers who also are part of a Hip Hop troupe committed to peace and unity. They also are performing for us at our TEDxYouth event in June.
Go to your local coworking space, innovation hub, or makerspace. Find out when their next event is, and be sure you’re there! I went to a talent show organized at Moar and met creative technologists who later ran an inclusive design workshop at our school. At BRAC Social Innovation Lab, I met Anusha Witt, a community development expert who facilitates workshops to help youth express themselves through art. I also was connected with Sharmin, founder of Wreetu. After arranging a meeting with Sharmin and our Year 6 Coordinator, Ian Pietras, they collaborated on a World Menstrual Health Day Workshop and developed a solid partnership between our organizations. My friend Linda Lagunzad, a high school teacher, works with MakerBay in Hong Kong and Makerspaces are great places for teachers and students to learn how to use equipment, software, and get involved in community initiatives.
Make friends with the folks who coordinate accelerator programs in your local community. I attended an event on designing a pitch deck at our local Accelerator Program, Grameen Phone Accelerator Program. Here, I connected with Anup Dutta who later volunteered to mentor students on design and creating slides for a pitch to share an idea.
Learn at Google Development Fest or Google Educator Conferences. Google offers free Certification for Google Educators and Google Development Fest gathers an interesting group of tech pioneers. Also, students can get involved in Google initiatives, like Tensor Flow.
Go online! +Acumen has online courses on Human Centered Design, Social Enterprise, and other entrepreneurial skills. After finishing two courses, you are eligible to participate in a live online challenge in which you will qualify to be a +Acumen Catalyst and organize training sessions online or in your community.
Make a cake! If you feel nervous about attending an event because you’re not sure what you can offer, tell the organizers you’ll bring a cake. Cake is always appreciated.
Go on a coffee date! Reach out to a local innovator and arrange a coffee date over the weekend. Let the conversation flow and see if there are any potential areas for collaboration.
These are just a few of the ways that an educator can connect with social innovators. Teachers can’t transform education alone and no one can reform education without teachers (and shame on those who believe they can). I spent the past nine months attending every conference/workshop/event. I attended any event who would let me in. At first, I felt that others would judge me for being a teacher and wonder why I was at a workshop with them. Most warmly welcomed me and the few that did question my reasons for attending changed their tune after I shared that I was hoping to learn more about innovation to help me better prepare students for the future. I’m grateful for the connections and partnerships our school has developed with scientists, public health professionals, and artists. Together as a community, we can collaborate across organizations and create learning experiences that prepare students to believe a better tomorrow by letting them see beyond the classroom walls and learn about the amazing stuff happening around them.
By Nam Ngo Thanh, 5th Grade Teacher, MIE Fellow, Skype Master Teacher, Microsoft Teacher Ambassador
With more than 11 years of teaching experience, my teaching concept has changed a lot over time. In the beginning of my career, I felt my main responsibility as a teacher was to provide knowledge to students from textbooks. Over the years, I began to follow in the educational purpose proposed by UNESCO: learn to know, learn to do, learn to live, learn to assert yourself. To achieve this, cooperation is one of the skills I always prioritize to help students develop. In efforts to accomplish this, I have started to participate in many projects with other teachers around the globe, including We are Little Volunteers, Wai Water, Human Differences (Koen is founder), Women in History on Tour (Angels is founder). Recently, I have dedicated efforts to creating and developing the Five Safe Fingers Project to help stop child abuse.
How did the idea for the Five Safe Fingers Project originate?
In recent years, child sexual abuse has been raised as a global problem in general and in Vietnam in particular. Through discussions with teachers in many countries, I learned that children often do not have the skills needed to protect themselves in situations where they are at risk of harm. They do not understand the limits of love. This continued to trouble me, so in April 2017 I decided to call on teachers around the globe to work together on the Five Safe Fingers project. For the project, our mission is to provide children with the skills they need to protect themselves from sexual abuse and to work to support Goal 3 and Goal 16 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. I am fortunate to have received the participation of more than 30 schools from 37 countries and to have had more than 100 teachers registered to become ambassadors for the project.
From 20 students to 2500 students
At the beginning of the project, I had no idea that our work could impact so many schools around the globe. I was thrilled to receive e-mails from teachers and schools from around the globe asking how they could get involved. Some schools started with only a group of 20 students, but then whole schools with up to 2,500 students would join in. Working with this project has become an important part of my daily work, and I continue to be inspired by messages I hear from teachers on the impact of the project. "Feels truly great to be a part and touch the lives of so many children" - Nerru Mittal, India.
How has technology helped this project be more successful?
Technology plays a large part in helping 100 global teachers to work together effectively, and we continue to see great impact from using Microsoft tools.
OneNote: This great tool has helped create a unique space where participating teachers can work together anytime, anywhere. OneNote allows us to store, set up, and share a variety of information in one location. During the time using OneNote in collaboration with teachers from other countries, I also created many sessions. Some are mutually occupied, and some are designed for particular individuals. Subsequently, I assigned tasks and shared this digital notebook. We easily track progress and use the platform to plan for next steps. Students also have their own sessions for mutual communication, such as for sharing videos, presentations, and brochures or for asking questions.
PowerPoint, Office Mix, Sway: These Microsoft tools have been used by students to create many interesting projects related to the program. Tammy's students used Office Mix to create Safe Tips for kids to prevent child sexual abuse. With the combination of sound, image, and automatic run mode, this guide has become more vivid. With the advantage of ease of use, many students have used Sway, including first graders using Sway to create animated presentations with pictures, videos, and more. They can update at any time and no need to send it back to the recipient as it automatically updates. Teachers also use these tool to create presentations to share with others.
Minecraft: With the participation of Francisco Brazil, Minecraft Global Mentor, Minecraft has been included in the project. “I was scared when I received the invitation to be an ambassador of the Safe Fingers project, it is not an area that I dominate, but as an educator and citizen it is a duty to be able to contribute as I can.The north of my compass was: how can technology have a real paradigm shift that helps improve children's lives, their defense processes? Well, I came to a conclusion, technology is a factor that increases our human capacity, that makes us think, reflect, change reality.” - Francisco says. In this project, Minecraft is used as a tool for free thinking. Each country has been charged with creating an image, a construction that refers to the theme. And then, the others will try to understand what the other wanted to do. We use Minecraft as a simulator of solutions, dialogue, and humanization. Students also can create a slogan with Minecraft. The constructions are shared in OneNote and others can add comments. To conclude, the participants make personal reports describing these experiences, and all the information serves as a metric for assessing activity and impact and provides research materials to improve the activity and use of technology in the classroom. In this way we can create an activity that uses the skills and competences of the 21st century and that exercises the pillars of UNESCO. At the same time, we have created an innovative activity that can really push the barriers and create the future.
Skype: Skype acts as a key tool in the project to connect teachers to teachers, teachers to students, and students to students. Skype helps break the limits of the four walls in the traditional classroom. Just click on the connection icon in the project website and participants will be moved to the MEC site to send a Skype connection request. During the exploration knowledge, students use Skype to connect with project ambassadors who do work in preventing child sexual abuse. After completing the products, students use Skype to connect with other classes to share what they have done in the previous weeks. Through sharing, they will have an overview of the problem of sexual assault in many other countries.
What will be next?
Although "Five Weeks: One Life" is used as a slogan for the project, we do not want to limit this project to just five weeks. This project has been posted as a lesson on the MEC site, so any teachers can access and sign up for Skype collaboration to work on the project. We hope the project will continue until the problem of sexual assault is over.
Do you love global learning? Do you love contributing to share your knowledge with the world? If you are over the age of 18, apply here
By Mark Reid, Arts Educator & 2013 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year, @mmgreid
How often do we pass up on opportunities for professional growth because it “probably doesn’t apply” to what we do? It seems as though we pass up these opportunities because we’re looking for a ‘professional supplement’, a quick how-to or lesson we can take to school the next day. Don’t get me wrong, these can be helpful in many cases. Professional development, however, is about growing capacity for creative practice, innovative instruction, and emerging opportunities to connect learning to today’s world.
Thinking about Arts Education, it can be uncomfortably common for arts learning to be left out of the conversation on high-profile trends in education. It’s time for that to change. Arts learning is an opportunity for students to explore ideas and arts-based solutions to problems in our world. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) need a rich diversity of supporters and activists to facilitate their reach -- and Arts Educators are well-equipped to take action.
Thinking globally, the ideas below come from some leading arts educators around the world. Each was tasked with providing examples from their teaching area that link with the SDGs. These are topics to be woven into instruction that introduce the SDGs to your students and empower their use of the arts to change the future of our world. I also hope you’ll see these examples not as absolutes, but as possibilities that contribute to your professional development and growth!
It is important to note that ‘art’ is intended to refer to any artwork created or imagined in the context of dance, drama, music, or visual arts.
To connect with these and other colleagues, reach out on Twitter using #TeachSDGs!
●Dance - Mike Wamaya, Kenya (@mikewamaya)
●Drama/Theatre - Estella Owoimaha-Church, United States (@eochurch)
●Music - Mark Reid, Canada (@mmgreid)
●Visual Art/Design - Merit Karise, Estonia
● Discuss nutrition for dancers, with a connection to service-learning that fights youth hunger
● Engage in scriptwriting that addresses malnourishment as an issue of global equity
● Participating in the creation of music, dance, drama, and visual art has a therapeutic impact on daily life
● Physical activity in dance or drama
● Practicing body positivity in casting and piece selection
● Employ mental wellness techniques in training for dance, drama, and music (e.g., meditation, breathing exercises, etc.)
● A comprehensive education includes learning in the arts
● Investment in facilities, equipment, and resources that make learning easier and accessible for all
● How can more students access rigorous arts education opportunities?
● Current topics about equality in music - why are there so few women conducting major orchestras around the world?
● Maternal health and sustainable careers for women in dance
● Alternative casting, script adaptation, and creating roles for students of any gender
● Where does the paint go when you wash it down the drain?
● Make use of eco-friendly paint, dye, and other artmaking materials
● Equip facilities or spaces with renewable energy sources; energy efficient equipment
● Design kinetic artwork that runs on clean energy sources (e.g., wind)
● Mapping skills, interests, and career opportunities
● Combining arts learning with entrepreneurial skill development
● Maintain a collection of student work, performance, and progress
● Make connections with local creative industries for work experience and service-learning
● Habits of professionals in various arts disciplines
● Innovative artists, designers, and those who use art to respond to social issues
● Discuss public policy that support arts, policymakers who champion
● Prepare students to be arts advocates and ambassadors in the community
● Explore and exchange composer music from underrepresented regions, languages, and cultures
● Inclusive design that is mindful of accessibility challenges for students or an audience
● Create roles for all individuals and create inclusive spaces
● Employ alternative casting for classic and contemporary shows
● Incorporate leadership, community performance, and local service-learning activities into rehearsal, performance, and student travel experiences
● Pro-active maintenance to extend the lifespan of instruments and equipment
● Diverting waste materials away from the landfill by inventing instruments, props, or costumes
● Giving objects more than one purpose to reduce waste (e.g., edible cutlery design)
● Site-specific or outdoor theatre that doesn’t require energy-hungry lighting systems
● Kinetic or solar panel art/design
● Younger students can envision a healthy living environment for Raffi’s Baby Beluga
● Seek design opportunities influenced by aquatic environments
● Folk songs and folk music traditions often describe life on land
● Incorporate organic and natural materials into scenic design
● Studying and performing anthems of various nations, the Olympic Hymn, and songs of international peace
● Explore and reflect on dynamics of power, structures, systems, and the pursuit of peace and justice
● Study, produce, or write plays that prioritize notions of peace
● Create art that captures messages of social justice, peace, and a better world
● Power of music and musicians to inform their audience about changing the world
● Power of theatre, actors, and playwrights to inform audiences on global issues, opportunities for change, and participation in efforts to change the world
Mark Reid is Arts Education Coordinator at the British Columbia Ministry of Education. He is the former Director of Bands & Choirs at Vancouver Technical Secondary School, 2013 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year, and a Finalist for the 2015 Global Teacher Prize. Mark holds degrees from VanderCook College of Music (MMEd) and the University of Victoria (BMus). In 2016, Mark is pleased to be the Guest Conductor for Vancouver’s Cor Flammae, while teaching a graduate course at VanderCook College of Music. He is a global advocate of #TeachSDGs.
By Sean Robinson, #TeachSDGs Task Force Member, @sr_tutor
Connections change lives.
I am convinced of it. A simple, meaningful contact can lead to immeasurable change. It not only raises awareness, but it makes our response personal, purposeful. We don’t simply learn of a need; we feel the need.
As we use the framework of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals to guide us in meaningful work, we are inspired with the kinds of connections we can make. No poverty, zero hunger, good health, quality education. Even simply stating these goals with the lens of connection awakens action. Without a connection, our empathy has nowhere to go. With a connection, the possibilities are endless.
When my grade 9 Science class connected with an 18-year-old NYU student from Kenya, seeds of change were planted. From Karishma Bhagani we learned not only about the state of water scarcity in the world, but her solution of a low cost water purifier. Matone de Chiwit was the name she gave to her creation: Drops of Life. She had found a way to provide clean water (SDG6) to impoverished communities back in Kenya. She was excited to get the word out. My favourite moment during a connection is to turn to the students and say: now that we know the need, what are we going to do about it. My job is to let the wellspring of ideas germinate, then allow them to grow. And grow they did.
Sure, students developed collaboration and communication skills, writing and art skills, a sense of audience, digital citizenship. But this learning was coupled with action and transformation. I share the story of one budding social entrepreneur’s transformation here: http://seanrtech.blogspot.ca/2016/05/the-precarious-and-powerful.html
Here is a video of the videoconference that started it all:
When I connected via Skype with Dr. Jeff Goldstein, director of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), the video conference became the catalyst to something amazing. I brought the idea of the SSEP to my students: competing for a spot on a Space X Rocket to take an experiment to the International Space Station. Connections breed other connections. In order to create an experiment that is worthy of a trip to the ISS, experts must be consulted. Interestingly, many of my Science 9 students thought to do medical research (SDG3).
Students began examining:
The connection was the stimulus. It brought a reaction that would not have taken place without it. But, from that catalyst was explosive action. Students were learning about the scientific method, not because I told them to, but because they needed to. They were emailing experts, growing bacteria, conducting trials. And an experiment without meaning wouldn’t fly: they needed to find a reason why their experiment needed to be carried out. Good health and well being (SDG6) became that meaning for them.
When we connected with the Community for Learning school in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, I had an idea that the students would be ignited. I had no idea, though, how far the flames would go. Hearing about the difficulty to read and learn at night (SDG4) due to the lack of electricity (SDG7), students’ empathy was lit. This time, I asked my students: what are we going to DO about this? And: what are we going to MAKE about this? The students became excited to build solar powered 3D printed lanterns to help out. We connected with Ian Fogarty and his Engineering Brightness students in New Brunswick, Canada to get help to make this happen. Once again, students were fired up:
What a wonderful experience to be able to celebrate with Eladio from the Santo Domingo school as he shared with us the experience of receiving the lantern and supplies to make more. Gathered for the Skype chat were the prototypers, the fundraisers, the 3D printers, the assemblers, and my colleague Abraham Kang who not only delivered the materials but taught the Dominican Republic students how to make the lanterns. Different classes, different schools, different countries coming together to battle light poverty. Amazing. Immersing students in the Sustainable Development Goals takes meaningful education to the next level. Marrying the Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on Connections-based Learning leads to action. The connection is the seed, the catalyst, the spark that begins exponential growth. The SDGs provide a framework of needs. The marriage of the two transform lives, schools, communities.
I encourage you to soak deeply your practice with the Sustainable Development Goals and #TeachSDGs any and every chance you get. Allow the children you teach to make meaningful connections and then stand with them as they transform the world.
Special thanks to Sean Robinson of the #TeachSDGs Global Goals Task Force and Connections-Based Learning. You can learn more about Sean's great work with Connections-Based Learning by visiting http://www.connectionsbasedlearning.com. Connect with Sean on Twitter at @sr_tutor.
By Kim Preshoff & Jennifer Hesseltine, @GlobalSpeedChat
Throughout our experience as professional educators, we believe that while it is great to teach students about global issues and encourage them to get involved, the best way for youth worldwide to really get to know each other is to give them opportunities to collaborate—do something together. Through this, students begin to understand others in a very natural and authentic way. Regardless of whether or not students are from an urban or rural region, or affluent or not—there is a need for students to be exposed to others, and there is a need for us to do much more than just talk.
Since we cannot take all of our students around the world on a tour to get to know everyone, we have introduced #GlobalSpeedChat, a curriculum that includes quick, easy digital activities that teachers/school leaders/club organizers can do with students to help students gain a better understanding of others in our world. So far during the 2016-2017 school year, we have introduced six monthly activities that any student, teacher, administrator, club leader (or others) can do with students to help youth gain a sense of otherness and perspective in our world. The first #GlobalSpeedChat task in November 2016 asked students to take a picture of their lunch and post it on the “Let’s Do Lunch” #GlobalSpeedChat Padlet.
Our hope was that students and teachers would not only post their lunch, but also take the time to scroll through and see what others were having for lunch as well. This activity led to conversations about diet, culture, and perspective. Especially important were conversations where students looked at a food item from another country/culture and decided that the item was “gross” or “weird.” These conversations became great teachable moments that led to further conversations about whether the item was weird (gross) or just different. Students then went on to point out food items that they eat that might be considered different by others who don’t normally eat that specific food. One of our favorite TED Talks to assist in having these conversations is Weird, or just different? By Derek Sivers.
So, how do activities like this lead to peace in our world? Our hope is that by engaging in activities that expose students to the perspectives and lives of others, that our global youth will grow into adults that understand the perspectives and lives of others - building a future generation that hosts a sense of “otherness.” After all, if we are going to achieve peace in our world - our first step is making sure our children understand the importance of perspective. Through engaging hands-on activities that have the potential to cross borders, our hope is to help kids (and adults) to realizes commonalities and value differences; thus, contributing to a more peaceful and understanding world.
With three tasks left during the 2016-2017 school year, our hope is for classrooms worldwide to engage in the activities - the more classrooms who participate, the better - as we will then gain more perspectives that way! We would like to invite our global audience to feel free to take part in any of the #GlobalSpeedChat activities at any time, even if the activity has already passed. Finally...stay tuned for more activities during the 2017-2018 school year. We have learned a lot in our first #GlobalSpeedChat school year and have some terrific global activities planned for the future.
Special thanks to Kim and Jennifer of #GlobalSpeedChat for sharing their incredible work following in the spirit of #TeachSDGs for this post. You can learn more about #GlobalSpeedChat by visiting www.globalspeedchat.com.
Kim Preshoff, Science Teacher, Williamsville North High School, New York, USA, TED-Ed Innovative Educator, Co-Founder #GlobalSpeedChat
Jennifer Hesseltine, Social Studies Teacher, Malone Middle School, New York, USA, TED-Ed Innovative Educator, Co-Founder #GlobalSpeedChat