By Ana López
Colombia was my inspiration to become a teacher. I was born and raised in a beautiful country that reveals extraordinary natural diversity and social beauty, but also discloses a history marked by inequality, violence and indifference.
From my childhood, my education, and my professional background, I have had the opportunity to witness and be inspired by the examples of many courageous people willing to learn and collaborate with other's communities to meet challenges that affect our shared humanity. Their perseverance and commitment cultivated my desire to advocate for positive change by becoming a teacher.
My classroom and school provide the opportunity for me to inspire and reveal the interconnection between learning and the construction of a safer and more sustainable and equitable society for all. To do so, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals have become the framework for structuring units of inquiry in which I connect the school curriculum and the North Carolina Standards with the Global Goals. Each of these units aim to answer the question: What can we do to make the world a better place to live by 2030? These units of inquiry also serve as the basis for constant reviews of our actions and their impact, they promote reflection, informed decision-making, initiative, and creative solutions that benefit us all.
This approach has allowed my first-grade students to experience firsthand the power of education which does not just happen inside the classroom, but it goes beyond it. It has demonstrated that regardless of their young age, background, or the language of instruction, they can lead the change for a better present and more hopeful future.
For one unit of inquiry named “Building Bridges," which mainly focused on the first six global goals, students learned about the essential elements of a community; children’s rights, needs and wants, causes and consequences of poverty, and how this issue affects communities in the world. As a closure of this unit, students graphed what families needed the most and campaigned to invite close neighborhoods to donate needed items to our local woman’s center.
Next, students learned about the layers of the Earth, rocks and natural resources and they explored the world-wide use of plastics. They represented in fractions the amount of resources needed to make t-shirts, toys and paper among other objects.
My class joined the movement: “No Plastic Straws” and created an herb garden using plastic recycled milk containers from school.
To learn about the role we play in the construction of a more equitable and inclusive society, students worked on the unit: “We are all Equal because We are all Different” which main focus was on goals 10, 16, and 17. Students started by identifying the differences and similarities among each other. Then, through a virtual exchange with a class in Colombia, students were able to appreciate what they have in common as well as value cultural differences.
Based on their knowledge about human rights, students identified the difference between equality and equity through a photograph analysis activity and by reading pieces of news concerning this problem.
From these learning experiences, students recognized the importance of adopting an attitude of kindness and service to others especially towards those who need it the most. To conclude this unit, students participated in a race with children with disabilities and held a Food Diversity Fair to highlight the cultural backgrounds within the class.
The benefits of implementing the global goals in the classroom has been very rewarding. This has been reflected by my own students taking initiative to create projects which have had a positive impact in the community.
Liliana carried out her own summer project of growing tomato plants and selling them for donations at their moving garage sale. She grew 36 tomato plants and pumpkins and 4 pots of flowers. She gave all proceeds to the World Food Program.
Alana, for her part, after learning about the water crisis in Flint, visited the city to learn more about this issue and to find a way to help. During their visit, they learned about the Whaley Children Center and the lack of water for the kids who reside there. Alana’s family invited the community to donate money or water. They raised $130 and 48 cases of water were donated.
For further information, visit the Web: https://nc02213593.schoolwires.net/Domain/942
or contact me by email: email@example.com or on Twitter: @Analopez849
Ana López is from Bogotá, Colombia. Ana came to the United States with the Participate teaching exchange program. She has been working at Carolina Forest International Elementary in Jacksonville, NC as a self-contained teacher in a first-grade Spanish full immersion program. She strongly believes education is not covering a wide range of isolated content expected to be recited by heart; it is an instrument of social, economic, scientific and political change especially today, given the monumental global social and environmental challenges that the world is facing and confront each and every one of us.
By Monica Joshi
Use of technology has revolutionized the teaching learning process. From a teacher centered approach, it has become more child centric now. Teachers are now able to speak the language of technology that the children understand easily. As a new age teacher, it is my duty to make my students equipped for the future and inculcate the skill of enquiry and knowledge building in my students. It is also my duty to create an environment of blended learning where the students are using tools to create and learn about various situations.
Using virtual classroom concept, I am able to connect my students globally. It has changed my classroom like no other tool. My students know that in a click of a button we can learn more about a topic or more about people from around the world. So, let me tell you first that a virtual classroom is an online classroom that allows participants to communicate with one another, view presentations or videos, interact with other participants, and engage with resources in work groups. Let’s take a step back, and I’ll explain.
Being a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, I had an opportunity to attend the Microsoft Education Exchange held in Singapore, where I got connected with educators around the globe. I got a clear picture that when using technology and a virtual classroom, I can:-
· Know more about the world outside my classroom
· Communicate, collaborate, and connect
· Learn, practice, and enhance our skills multifold using real life relevance.
Being inspired from this visit, I decided to provide global experiences to my students and teachers. Being an IT head, I have virtually connected through Skype, Zoom, Flipgrid, and Padlet on almost all the topics and participated in almost 100 sessions with around 30 countries in just the last two months on the following subjects:
o Science – On topic food and health and climate change
o Art – Creating posters on Earth Day
o Climate Action –To create awareness on advocating complete Ban on the usage of plastic
o STEAM –Worked on a lesson on Topics Data Handling, Gears, Concept of Torque. The Lesson plans can be viewed HERE and HERE.
o Emotional and Spiritual Well Being – I have conducted a guest lecture online to apprise the audience about the importance of Yoga and Meditation. HERE is the link of my Lesson.
o Minecraft – Being a Minecraft Global Mentor, my students and I are equipped to teach Minecraft to peers and locally and globally. Here are the links of some of my Minecraft lessons that are uploaded on Minecraft community and can be used by anyone:
o Mathematics – On the topic quadratic equation and Number system.
o Social Science – On the topic for #DIY4Earth, where my children have made sustainable products from the old rags and discarded products
o Augmented and Virtual Reality – Collaboration with Finland.
o Sustainable Development Goals
o English – Teaching prepositions, nouns, and articles to children of support staff of SRDAV Public School New Delhi.
o ICT– I am conducting webinars and training sessions conducted for my teachers and educators across India and in other countries on every second and fourth Saturday of the month. I am training them about the latest technology tools to be used in the pedagogy. I have my YouTube Channel where I am posting all these recorded talks after conducting the live sessions. The name of my Channel is TECHTALKWITHMJ. Here are the links of few of my talks.
I believe that hard work is contagious. I spread more when you share it with others. Let me apprise you with the procedure:
The first step is, I find an educator and send him/her a request for collaboration on the same topic. Sometimes schools in the same country often share a similar curriculum, teachers can easily find joint projects, like reading the same book and hosting student conversations over Skype, that can help them construct lessons that map to academic standards. Sharing projects with others around the world really motivates students. Once they have a real audience to whom they are responsible, they tend to feel more accountable. My children have collaborated with different countries on the following topics:
· Holidays –With Dondi Gyöngyi Tóthné Bán, Primary School teacher in Balatonboglár, Hungary Using Scratch, Minecraft and Skype.
· Traditions –With Roshan Kumar, Srilanka Using Sway and Skype
· Food –With Maria Josè Giavedoni from Argentina using SWAY, Paint 3D, Minecraft and Skype
· Art works –With Dieu Duong from Vietnam using Minecraft, Scratch
· Good Health –With Meenakshi Uberoi Gurgaon Using Sway, YouTube and Skype
· School life –With Soheir Zaki from Egypt Using Skype and Zoom
· Our town/city –With Ashoka Global Academy Nasik Using Skype
· Empathy and Value Education –With Nam Ngo Thanh from Vietnam using Buncee, YouTube, and Padlet (https://namngovas.wixsite.com/everydaykindness https://namngovas.wixsite.com/everydaykindness/the-wonder-called-kindness)
· Innovation –With Miriam Lucrecia Higueros Aldana from Guatemala using YouTube, Minecraft, Renderforest, Sway and Minecraft. (http://www.teachsdgs.org/blog/creating-innovative-minds-inline-with-sustainable-developmental-goals)
· Women –With Pedersen Terje from Norway using Flipgrid.
Secondly, now is the time to take it a step forward. I registered for an ambitious project of service through global collaboration, the Project Kakuma founded by Koen Timmers, a top-ten finalist of the Global Teach Prize. Project Kakuma involves collaboration by teachers across six continents to offer free education to African refugees in Kenya via Skype. I deem it as an honour to be a part of this noble venture, wherein I am teaching refugees virtually. I have also got an opportunity to teach the girl child of support staff of SRDAV Public School New Delhi using Skype.
Third, virtualization was connected for empathy education. Encouraging a sense of empathy in children at a young age helps them develop lifelong skills that will serve to help them understand other cultures and respond positively to them. I joined hands with 17 Global Goals wherein I took a pledge to sensitize the youth about the UN Sustainable Goals. Charity begins at home. So, I involved my students in global projects. Today’s children understand things better if they are involved at the grass root level. To do so, in the summer break children were given time to prepare a project using MS Paint, MS PowerPoint, MS Word, Movie Maker, Scratch, HTML, and Google Slides on Sustainable Development Goals. Children were to use the application grade respective and they have to weave a story using any three Sustainable Development Goals. Before giving this homework, I was quite apprehensive. But, to my surprise children came with great and thought provoking ideas. Using these projects my children connected with other educators and students in Africa, Vietnam, Canada, Argentina, Seattle, Nepal, India, Denmark, Poland, Finland, Hungry, Thailand, Srilanka, Egypt, England, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia via Skype. This allowed them to be sensitive of the Sustainable Development Goals and their importance.
Fourth, I have used various tools for virtual classroom as: Skype, Minecraft, Sway, Flipgrid, Onenote, Forms, Quizlet, and Padlet. I have used these tools for taking the assessment of the children virtually. A link of assessment was shared with the student on their login and Email ID. It was the choice of children to do the assessment at home or in school. In fact in many projects, I had students of other countries also participated and they presented their views on many sensitive topics.
The tools used for Assessment are as follows:
Real Life relevance: Skype
Problem Solving: Kodu and Minecraft
Collaboration: OneNote, Padlet, Flipgrid, Tondoo
Reflection: Sway, Prezi
Assessment: Google Forms, Microsoft Forms, Kahoot, Quizlet
Use of Minecraft has made the Quadratic equation concepts easier and understandable that even the quietest child starts responding in the class.
Digital inclusiveness and technology has become the need of the hour for the schools to create individuals adept with 21st Century skills. The roles of teachers and schools have become very challenging, complex, and multifaceted, which requires preparation on the part of the schools and teachers. There is a need for a paradigm shift from traditional practices to practices which are knowledge driven and ICT empowered in this present era of globalization.
The virtual classroom concept has broken the barriers and has made the world accessible at the click of the button. Soon, it will not be surprising if a virtual learning dominates every other aspect in the years to come. So, I feel it is very important to stay abreast with the changing environment by evolving every minute as an educator in order to facilitate the youth of the 21st century who have inherited technology right from the birth.
I am Monica Joshi, IT Head, Sat Paul Mittal School, Ludhiana, Punjab, India. I am an SDG enthusiast and so do are my students, and it inspire me to take this as a challenge and currently I work to promote SDG’s through projects for my students, teachers and support staff.I am anMIEE [Microsoft Innovative Expert], MIE Master Trainer, Minecraft Global Mentor, MEC Guest Speaker. Recently, I was selected for E2 – Microsoft Education Exchange, held at Singapore. I had presented a #Teachtalk at Edutech Asia-2017. My case studies has been published in Teaching and Technology case studies from India by British council in collaboration with Central Square Foundation. As a new age teacher it is my duty to make my students equipped for the future and inculcate the skill of enquiry and knowledge building in my students. Besides this I am an avid traveler and love to convince others to travel. Connect with Monica Joshi on Twitter at @klnamya
By Nam Ngo Thanh
I was born in a rural area of Vietnam. I spent five years of my childhood in that peaceful countryside. However, when I was eight years old, my parents decided to immigrate to the city. Since then, I have encountered many difficulties in this new environment. One of the difficulties occurred in my school. Based my own experiences as a child, I am interested in educating immigrant children. I believe that every child deserves a good education. For the education of a well-to-do country, we need to pay attention to all class of people in that country.
For a long time, migration has not been a new topic. Migration affects many factors of a city or country. One of them is education. It is easy to see how migration will affect education in both positive and negative aspects.
What is the causes of immigration?
In any country, we always have immigration status. There are two main types of immigration: immigration within the country, which can be families moving from countryside to city and migrating from one country to another.
There are many reasons for immigration, such as adults want to find a better job--better than no job or low income job. For some households, migration is to achieve higher levels of education and better education environments. However, regardless of the cause, adults only think about the good things they wish to have, but they sometimes do not anticipate the negative effects that can occur, especially with their children.
“Learning is not important by making money”
It is a locality of immigrants in the leading category in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City that also faces shortcomings in the access to education of children of migrant families. This makes migrant children more vulnerable to the right to care and play because parents have to work many shifts for overtime and still have low income. The majority of respondents said that migrant children have limited participation in local activities because their parents do not have information or spend time working so they do not have time to pick up their children.
In addition, most of the children of migrant workers are dominated by family-run businesses. Therefore, children have difficulties in learning and playing. Some parents think that learning is not as important as earning money, so they often let their children trade and make a living. This can create learning disruptions and can cause negative effects on the children.
Public schools are also cautious about accepting immigrant children in their educational settings. High fees at private schools are also a major obstacle for immigrant families, although they are welcome in these places. Education policies are primarily targeted at children in the local area, with little consideration to migrant children.
Sometimes, obstacles encountered by immigrant children come from the teachers who receive them. Teachers can be uncomfortable teaching students with many learning limits. They may think they will make their work harder.
Cultural differences are also a challenge that children often encounter. In some cases, although they have access to a new learning environment, differences in lifestyles, religions, the gap between the rich and the poor, and communication skills make it difficult for them to integrate. Others are easily bullied without the proper attention of the teacher and the school. When migrating to another country, language barriers are the biggest problem they face. We can easily visualize the obstacles they face when they have to study in an environment where it is hard to communicate in a common language.
What solutions are there for immigrant children?
Children are always innocent of their family's immigration. Therefore, localities, schools, and teachers need to be empathetic when it comes to accepting and giving them opportunities to learn in a new environment. We need to realize that learning is the right thing for every child to enjoy. Therefore, there is no reason for them to be pushed out of a school. Local authorities should also have a mandatory requirement for parents of immigrant children to bring their children to school. Parents have no right to deprive children of the right to education.
Knowledge of integrating the child as well as individual instruction with students who have learning limit should be provided to the teacher in a sufficient way.
We do not know for sure whether a child will have to move in the future, however, every school and teacher needs to be ready to adapt if that happens. All children in the 21st century need to learn as well as orient themselves to cross cultural boundaries, regardless of ethnic, race, age, geography, or other boundaries. The skills of self-protection when at risk of harm; sharing the thoughts or difficulties encountered should also be the school’s interest in the process of educating the children. Children also need to be taught sympathy, love of human kind so that they are ready to welcome immigrant friends to their class and community.
Addressing the issue of education for immigrant children has never been simple for us. However, if it comes from love for children, I’m sure we will find a solution to this problem. Every child has the need to be educated so that he or she can act as an independent economic actor in the future and ensure his or her life.
Nam Ngo Thanh is now a manager of technology academy department 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. He is the founder of many global projects Five Safe Fingers, Kindness Everyday, Stem, SGDs in actions,.... Nam is now Microsoft Master Trainer, Skype Master Teacher, and Microsoft Learning Consultant. He works passionately to develop creative approaches to delivering quality education to his students in ways that inspire them to learn. He has selected in top 50 Global Teacher Prize Finalist and he is also the winner of Asia Educator of the year 2017, 2018 Global Innovation Collaboration Award and Digital Citizenship Champion.
By Dr. Joanne Jordan, @JoanneCJordan
Since my first trip to Bangladesh in 2008, I have lost count of the number of times I have been asked the same question by those I interview as part of my research: "Will you tell our story so people know how we live?" The Lived Experience of Climate Change Project emerged from an attempt to do just that, to engage the "voices of low-income people" to ensure that diverse publics are better informed of their needs and priorities.
For my research looking at urban climate resilience and how land tenure affects adaptation to climate change, I spent months in the Duaripara informal settlement in North-west Dhaka talking to over 600 people in their homes, workplaces, and local teashops and on street corners to understand how climate change affects their everyday lives and what solutions they employ.
By turning their testimonies into interactive theatre performances, documentary film, educational programmes, and public events aimed at a wide range of people, we were able to fully engage affected communities in the research findings and build awareness and action on the everyday realities and impacts of climate change on low-income people in Dhaka.
The use of accessible and entertaining engagement activities helped animate and make the needs and priorities of low-income people much clearer, and it meant that I was able to reach a very diverse range of people nationally and internationally with varying levels of knowledge on climate change, education, literacy, and language skills.
Free Teaching and Learning Resources
Enhancing people’s awareness and knowledge about the global effects of climate change is essential for catalysing a response. Education equips young people with the information and skills required to make informed decisions and take responsible actions.
Climate change education formalised within the Action for Climate Change Empowerment agenda of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change urges countries to enhance learning on climate change through public awareness and curricula.
The Lived Experience of Climate Change centered on the involvement of students as part of a broader teaching and learning strategy. The project worked with the University of Dhaka to integrate the performance theatre project into their MA programme. I also used video outputs from the project as teaching resources for MSc programmes at the University of Manchester, and we worked with Year 13 BTEC Performing Arts students from Regents High School in London to re-enact key scenes from the theatre performance at public events in the UK.
The project has recently developed teaching resources to give secondary school geography teachers in the UK and Ireland support to teach pupils about climate change and help young people develop the knowledge and skills to think critically about climate change in an urbanising world.
Climate Change in Urban Areas: Bangladesh Case study has been designed to achieve impacts on learning outcomes, attitudinal shifts, and behaviour change. The resources translate research into classroom sessions around the everyday realities and impact of climate change on the lives of low-income people in Dhaka.
Using videos, powerful images and comprehensive background information, students can explore the impact of climate change on low-income people and understand the different social, economic and environmental factors involved.
To accompany the teaching resources, a mini film series funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Research in Film Awards was recently launched, where three residents from Duaripara, Rohima, Nasrul and Sufia, directly convey their own stories and experiences in the series "Living on the Frontlines of Climate Change."
Upon completion of the sessions, students are expected to gain an understanding of both the effects of climate change in Bangladesh and how the effects of climate change impact the lives of low-income people in Bangladesh. Students are actively encouraged to reflect on their own attitudes and behaviours in a range of individual and group activities.
The teaching resources have been approved by a range of organisations that enhance and support young people’s geographical and global learning development, including the Royal Geographical Society, Geographical Association, Global Dimension, Geographical Society of Ireland, and Association of Geography Teachers of Ireland.
For further information on the project:
Dr Joanne Jordan is an environmental social scientist with over 10 years of experience as a researcher on climate change adaptation. Much of this work is based on intensive empirical research at the local level, mostly in Bangladesh and more recently, India. She specialises in climate change resilience and vulnerability, risk perception and culture, and climate change communication and knowledge exchange for impact.
Dr. Jordan is an Independent Research Consultant, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, and a Visiting Researcher at the International Centre for Climate Change and Development. Prior to this she was a Lecturer at the University of Manchester, a Post-doctorate Research Fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations at Sciences Po in Paris, a Research Assistant at Queen’s University Belfast, and has worked at a range of not-for-profit organisations in Cambodia, Peru and Belize.You can connect with Dr. Jordan on Twitter at @JoanneCJordan.
TeachSDGs Team & Contributors