By Barbara Anna Zielonka, Norway
The idea of the project was born in Norway in April 2017 when I officially ended my previous project entitled “ The Universe is Made of Tiny Stories” together with 35 schools from all over the world. In May 2017, I invited the most engaged teachers from my previous project to join Loomio which is a decision-making software in order to discuss all the objectives of this year’s project called “Be the Change, Take the Challenge”. After several weeks of active discussions, we decided to launch a brand new project that would focus on the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) and global collaboration.
Why the SDGs?
For the past six years, I have been responsible for a subject called “International English” which is an elective course run throughout the school year. In this course, I have been teaching my students about social, environmental and political issues concerning our planet. Among the most popular ones selected by my students were poverty, water crisis, climate change, and inequality. It struck me that issues of the greatest importance were only covered during that course, and I had to take some action in order to change it. It is my strong belief that students regardless of their age or the type of course they are taking should be taught about the SDGs. If we want to develop the 21st century skills in our students, we need to concentrate on matters that concern everyone. Teaching about the SDGs should be our main priority as we will not be able to tackle world problems if we do not start acting together.
Why global collaboration?
It is not surprising that the Global Sustainable Goals are built on the idea of partnership. Without cooperation and collaboration, we will not be able to achieve these goals. That is why Be the Change, Take the Challenge project emphasizes the power of global collaboration. Students and teachers who have already joined our project have one common goal and are going to work toward it- they want to be the change and take that challenge. Throughout the eight months, 80 schools from all over the world will participate in a number of tasks and assignments that will help students become acquainted with the SDGs and develop their problem solving skills. Being exposed to so many different thoughts, attitudes, opinions, and solutions will be an eye opener to many students who have never worked in international teams before. What is more, students will be invited to numerous Skype sessions so they could improve their speaking and presentation skills in real-time setting.
Why should you join us?
Joining our project, you will be able to reinforce global competencies in your students. These competencies are vital for the creation of global learners who need to understand the importance of the SDGs and be able to deal with them. It is a complex goal, but if we act together we will be able to help our students create opportunities for all the people living on Earth. We need to focus on knowledge, skills and attitudes by collaborating and cooperating together. As a teacher, you will be able to meet other teachers from all over the world, build your professional learning network and improve your ICT skills.
Are you READY to jump into the amazing project and become our project partner? Take a look at our website and let us know your interest: https://bethechangetakethechallenge.wordpress.com
Barbara Anna Zielonka is an English teacher and a teacher trainer at Nannestad High School, Norway. She is a Certified Microsoft Innovative Educator, co-author of Skills coursebook, winner of the " Gullepleprisen" 2017, the Great Global Project Challenge Grantee, and project coordinator of several multinational digitally-based projects. Barbara believes in the power of global project-based learning and continuous professional development. She loves collaborating and connecting with other educators from across the globe. You can learn more about Barbara and her work by following her on Twitter at @bar_zie or visiting her website https://barbaraannaprojects.wordpress.com/.