By Monica Joshi, India
We tend to think of a global learning experience as something acquired through global visits. In my school at Sat Paul Mittal School, every moment can be a global learning experience. With its ever evolving management and enthusiastic principal, my school believes in extending the horizon of everyone who comes in contact with it be it the teachers, the students, or the parents. Adhering to the school's vision of producing leaders of tomorrow who are technologically proficient, socially aware, and sensitive to environmental and social issues, I, as the IT Head, have undertaken six global projects that not only teach Satyans empathy, but also lets students explore technical skills and gain awareness of the world beyond. All these projects are interdisciplinary with focus on the Sustainable Development Goals.
One such project is The Innovation Project. This project is owned by Koen Timmers, National Geographic Educator, Varkey Foundation Ambassador, and founder of Zelfstudie.be. Five hundred and ten schools and 85 countries across the globe have participated in this project.
The five week extensive project on Innovation focused on enhancing 21st century skill sets in students by concentrating on creativity and imagination, collaboration with International Schools, and communication through using ICT. Next up for me after signing up was introducing it to my kids.
“Innovation is change that unlocks new value” - Jamie Notterbelt. Believing in this, the Satyan Team consisting of 50 students from Age Group 11-15 and four facilitators including me as the mentor, had interactive sessions to arrive at Definitions, Product Innovation, and Use of ICT Tools in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
During Week 1, students researched the question What is Innovation?
Elon Musk The Boring Company Tunnels https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5V_VzRrSBI, What is the Internet of Things? And why should you care?, Benson Hougland TEDxTemecula were shown to spark students to think, create, and innovate. The SDG Generation brainstormed, debated, and arrived on a concise notion that: Innovation is not about ideas; it is about making ideas happen. SLIDES
So, after a great discussion, my students decided that they would focus on SDG Goals 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 16, and 17. Here is the video where they are talking about their plan: https://youtu.be/BAGzxU8DYew.
Week 2 :
Students were supposed to think on which innovations were making the world more innovative. Students focused on one specific SDG and tried to find an innovation that could be related to the SDG. They had to invent something to make the world better and then create a prototype. This was then matched to a global challenge.
Innovation is a change that unlocks new value. In light of this statement, my students by this time knew innovation now as creativity, adding value to an existing idea, and exploring a commercial and viable application of a new idea. Students appreciated the UN Sustainable Goals and tried to innovate a product in line with them. So, they narrowed down to Goal number 3, 9, and 11
My team brainstormed about different innovations to help the society. We prepared a chart in which we wrote about various ideas to innovate a product.
More discussions were conducted by our team to understand what to innovate in a product with focus on the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.
The team finally decided on our product: REM SWAPAN, which is a sleep inducing mask made of herbs.
We started making a presentation on our product to help in explaining and marketing the product.
We finished our presentation and started to work on the script of the video we were going to make to explain the specifications of our product and how it is different from other similar/existing products on the market.
We made our final video and the members of our team pledged to take various actions to reduce the amount of Carbon Footprint from the Earth.
Creation of REM SWAPAN was indeed an amazing learning experience. Students made a prototype and explained their prototype by a tutorial. They were extremely happy after their submission. They had realised the value and importance of each goal and through discussions they were mapping each context with particular Goals.
I was feeling happy inside that my purpose of involving them in this Vision was successful. The Youth of today have the Power to change the traditional thoughts.
How are my students using ICT tools in an innovative way? My students made tutorials on usage of Sway, Renderforest, Minecraft, presentationgo and helped students in learning through experience. Sway is an easy-to-use digital storytelling app for creating interactive reports, presentations, and personal stories. Renderforest is an online video production platform that allows individuals and businesses to create “broadcast quality” videos for private or business use. Minecraft as a gaming tool could be used as teaching and learning aid.
Collaboration with International Schools through Skype sessions have helped students appreciate that through use of ICT tools we have been able to take learning to a global outlook and reach. Innovation is indeed a vision for learning and growth; it is the promise of a mindset for a bright future.
It is not the end of the of the initiatives taken by the school on Global Learning, but the beginning of the 21st century out-of-the-box learning skills and collaboration which will help Satyans to become Global Learners.
I am Monica Joshi, IT Head, Sat Paul Mittal School, Ludhiana, Punjab, India. I am an SDG enthusiast as are my students, and it inspires me to take this as a challenge. Currently, I work to promote SDGs through projects for my students, teachers, and support staff. I am an MIEE [Microsoft Innovative Expert], MIE Master Trainer, Minecraft Global Mentor, and 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 the 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 instill the skills of inquiry and knowledge building in my students. Besides this, I am an avid traveler and love to convince others to travel. Connect with me on Twitter at @klnamya.
By Sharon Davison, TeachSDGs Ambassador
Why explore the global goals?
The world is an amazing place with endless opportunities to enrich, inspire, and challenge our thinking. When I think about the world, I immediately think about what I enjoy most and how these personal experiences energize me and provide me comfort and enjoyment. So, why not stretch my thinking to ways to help keep the world healthy and flourishing so that others in the future will be able to enjoy what I do? I am committed to finding opportunities to explore the goals in ways that empower me, others globally, and my students. Together, we can all help take care of the world just by opening up our minds to the possibilities that the goals can offer. The goals are like a blanket, they keep the world healthy.
As an educator of young children, I am frequently asked about how I explore the goals and if five- and six-year-old children really understand what they are. I answer, YES! I believe that kindergarten is the perfect place to explore the goals because young children are natural observers and genuinely care about helping to solve problems.
I ask my students in the very beginning days of school about what they would like to do to help the world. We make a list. Then after we create a list, we begin planning and deciding how we can explore all of our ideas. I am always amazed each year at what my students want to do.
Our list this year…
Just from this list, I instantly could see ways we can connect service-learning, the Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, Vermont Early Learning Standards and the Global Goals. Through this content, it is possible to connect what you are learning.
For example, we explored the NGSS standard on Earth and Human Activity. This standard covers waste, what we do with it, how our behaviors can impact the world, and sustainability. The CCSS in literacy offer endless connections through writing, speaking, and listening which includes reflection. The other piece is to think about who in your local community you can connect with and invite in to speak about your quest around advocating for people to create less waste and recycle and reuse whenever possible. This type of experience allows children to become proactive, problem solvers for the world. Their passion is authentic, and they share their learning using social media, online journals, oral language through conversations, and the list goes on.
I created a book for my students to reflect in after we had explored many of the goals. Through reflecting on what we experienced, my students are invited to think inwardly about what they learned and why it was important. After thy create their booklet, they can share outwardly with others. This offers another opportunity to think and reflect on what others notice and learn from their ideas. Remember to celebrate what you are doing and how. Through celebration, you highlight learning and invite people to come and see and listen to your students’ voices about their experiences and what they have learned. The booklet is a great way for children to read and have a conversation about the goals and why they matter.
Books are a wonderful way to connect what you are doing and involve many different skills. Even young children through this type of experience develop positive attitudes about their learning. This is where the heart of our work is, through our student's eyes.
I am reflecting and thinking about this past year. I am proud and grateful for the support and opportunities that have been available to me, my students, and their families. Together we have built an awareness of why we need the global goals. Inside kindergarten, we Tweet and blog about what we are learning so others can participate. My students, through a variety of service-learning projects, have been able to be advocates about promoting positive change inside and outside of our school. I have included my students' voices in presentations; I have done so so others can hear their voices and the impact the global goals have had on their learning. Parents are involved and aware and are connecting the goals to their lives at home. I used the booklet as v1 way for my students to reflect and to have an artifact of their thinking.
So, positive change is happening one idea at a time.
Thinking about next year, I look forward to exploring the goals again alongside my students, their families, and others globally, who like me, want to make the world a better place. The goals offer a lens where I can connect and weave in the content I “have to” explore as well as create authentic learning opportunities through my students' ideas. I believe in people and their ability to collaborate around a common need to make positive change for the world. How can you involve your students, their families, and your local community? This is the question I continue to ask myself because it offers me authentic ways to create opportunities to engage my students in real, solution-based problem solving that creates caring, empathic, and kind stewards of the world.
Link to booklet
Pictures below of some student work:
Sharon teaches Kindergarten in a public school. She is a passionate teacher who explores how to connect her students and their families globally. Through the use of technology, Sharon creates a rich, interactive, and collaborative learning culture where kindness and empathy are ever-present. She is a#TeachSDGsAmbassador. You can connect with Sharon on Twitter at @kkidsinvt.
By Tobias Simonsen
When I write this blog post, I first want to state how proud I am of the young people whom contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals through development projects. Secondly, I want to say thank you, because I have been raised and empowered through a development system, where impact and possibilities are not distributed by rank – but, by desire for change and respect with young people and the civil society in a leading role.
I believe that investment in development projects are of immensely high value for societies and the young people involved, whom through their experiences will be active citizens - ready to take care of themselves and their surroundings.
My scout organisation KFUM-Spejderne I Danmark, is forming future leaders in Denmark and Tunisia, along with our close friends from Tunisia, Les Scouts Tunisiens. The two organizations have worked together since 2007, through a youth driven development corporation supported by various Danish and international donors, including the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Danish Arabic Partnership Program.
It all started as an ordinary cultural exchange program between two youth organizations, but developed because of the Arabic Spring, into a society development project, with focus on democracy, youth empowerment, and gender equality in Tunisia and Denmark. In Tunisia, through initiatives with direct and proven impact to the society, and in Denmark through knowledge sharing, reflections upon own practices and capacity building of young people in leading intercultural project roles was achieved.
And, there is a need for such corporations. According to the “International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS, 2016)” internationally conducted by “International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA)”, engagement in activities to help people in less developed countries is not a high priority for any of the 13-15-year-old participants from the 24 participating countries. The participants simply can’t relate to how international projects are helping their societies.
The report clearly states that we need youth driven development projects, where young people directly can get in touch with citizenship and participatory democracy, so they can grow up and lead societies with the values they have gained.
Through KFUM-Spejderne and Les Scouts Tunisiens’ corporation, more than 800 scouts and non-scouts have been trained in entrepreneurship to enable them to create their own jobs and to face unemployment head-on. We have made young voice forums, where young people from all over the society in Tunisia have been brought together to get a mutual understand of each other and to receive training within public speaking and appreciative inquiry. We have presented a high number of young people for new cultures and stressed the importance of gender equality, resulting in a more diverse and young board of the Tunisian Scout Association – just to mention a few of our achievements.
Youth empowerment and focus on international solidarity is essential to achieve our Sustainable Development Goals. We need development systems which allow young people to advance their skills and knowledge regarding active citizenship, and where mistakes are not seen as a disaster, but as important learning opportunities. We need societies who are investing in their youth and who know that development funds are highly valuable both locally and globally.
Thank you for empowering me in the Danish-Tunisian Scout Corporation; let’s achieve the SDGs by giving more young people the chance to participate in development projects as well.
KFUM-Spejderne i Danmark and Les Scouts Tunisiens are both members of World Organization of the Scouting Movement, with more than 40 million members, is considered the biggest youth driven peace movement in the world. The partnership has recently been extended until 2021. Follow the partnership on #tunisiadenmark and watch the video with Amal below.
Tobias Simonsen is heading the communication in Denmark for the Danish-Tunisian Scout Corporation. He has been active in the Scouting Movement since he was five years old and were by the age of 20 elected as the youngest District Commissioner in his scout association. Tobias is this summer achieving his Master’s Degree in Organisation and Strategy from Aalborg University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Economics from the same university. Tobias is currently working at the Royal Danish Embassy in India and has previously worked with business models for scout centres in Tunisia and assisted a PhD project about Danish and German minorities during his time at Hamburg University. You can connect with Tobias on Twitter at @SimonseTobias.
By Tammy Dunbar, #TeachSDGs Ambassador
Carlos was a puzzle. He usually had a bright, engaging smile, loved to read, and was very well spoken. However, when it came to writing assignments, he froze. Two years before he came to me in fifth grade, he had qualified for resource help with writing skills. Goals were set, but it was painfully obvious that Carlos just could not get words down on paper.
Halfway through the year, we were reading Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary, which Carlos very much enjoyed. But when I asked the class to write about their favorite part of the book, Carlos could not, or would not, do the assignment. I made him stay in at recess to work on it with me.
As Carlos sullenly settled in, I reached for my laptop, without Carlos seeing me, and asked him just to talk about his favorite part of the book. Relaxing a little, he began to discuss what he most enjoyed about the book. When he was done talking, I tapped my screen a couple of times, and then asked him to read what was on it. He started reading aloud, then said, “That’s what I just said!” I urged him to finish reading it out loud. When he was done, I told him that’s all I wanted him to do: write like he talks. That’s when I saw the look of understanding on his face along with a growing smile; he was making the connection between what he had said and what was showing on the screen.
My “aha moment” was that there must be even more ways that technology could help students overcome obstacles and find success.
Having co-authored the successful Human Differences project, I knew the power of collaborating on global projects. This Skype project paved the pathway for students from 50 schools, in 37 countries on six continents, to use the Sustainable Development Goals to talk about invisible and tactile walls between people and the need to build bridges of understanding in their place. I was really energized by the incredibly positive teacher and student responses from these global and life-changing, collaborative connections.
Then I ran into my dear friend and super librarian Julie Hembree at a Microsoft Hack the Classroom event.
For six years, Julie and the students at the school where she taught as a teacher-librarian had raised funds and sent more than 7,000 books to teachers in the Microsoft Educator network in Lesotho, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia. Julie knew that the 126 million illiterate youth in the world today are looking at an almost certain life of poverty.
Teaching in a school with a high percentage of low-income families, I also understood the challenges of cultivating literacy in our classroom. As we spoke, we knew our efforts needed to be bigger, bolder and powered by empowered students and teachers.
Using the fourth Sustainable Development Goal (Quality Education) as our guide, we developed the Cultivate World Literacy global Literacy project.
Using the tools students have freely at their disposal, like Learning Tools, OneDrive, OneNote, Skype, and Sway, students of all ages and abilities would both celebrate literacy and research the issues of illiteracy. Using Skype in the Classroom, they would connect with others around the globe to share their knowledge.
One hundred thirty classrooms across 34 countries and six continents joined in our initial project. We were honored to have Dr. Ada Okika, Executive Director of UNESCO Center for Global Education, as one of our many celebrity supporters (authors, journalists & dignitaries).
Cultivate World Literacy takes students and teachers through a journey, of focusing first on themselves and the issues of literacy at their local level, then moving beyond themselves in order to gain a perspective on the importance of literacy worldwide. Finally, they arrive at the ultimate challenge of becoming agents of change.
We hope Cultivate World Literacy project will be a catalyst for change. We have already seen hundreds of students share favorite authors never heard of before in other countries, read books out loud to each other via Skype, raise money to fund Read-a-Thons and Books to Africa, write DonorsChoose projects to purchase emergent readers for Kindergarteners and truly cultivate a love of reading with each other and the world.
We are honored and humbled that Cultivate World Literacy has won the 2018 ISTE Literacy PLN Award.
We dream of this grassroots movement continue to empower students who don’t want to see another generation of children living in poverty, and emboldening students and teachers to step up and make a difference. They will rally for children, regardless of their circumstances, to have the opportunity to read, write, and have a quality education.
The memory of the smile on Carlos’ face inspires me to believe that by cultivating world literacy, and empowering students in the process, we can help our students rewrite their future.
Resources for Cultivate World Literacy
Website for Cultivate World Literacy
Microsoft in Education Collaborative Skype Lesson Plan
Tammy Brecht Dunbar, M.Ed., S.T.E.M. Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Fellow, Certified Educator & Master Trainer; 2016 California Woman of the Year, Assembly District 12; #TeachSDGs Ambassador; CV: bit.ly/TammyBrechtDunbar
This blogpost was originally posted on EdWeek on April 24, 2018: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/global_learning/2018/04/using_partnerships_to_build_a_better_world_through_education.html?preview=
By Dr. Jennifer Williams
"Your efforts to work collaboratively as educators are a good start. Though if we are going to reach these global goals, we must find ways to move beyond working in collaboration alone and instead join together in solidarity." These powerful words spoken by then-United Nations Ambassador of Grenada, Ambassador Dessima Williams, have stayed with me for well over a year. Said with hands together, fingers interlaced and firmly locked, I believe this word "solidarity" continues to echo for all of us that were in that meeting that day.
Standing outside on the steps that had earlier led us into the United Nations building, with flags of the world now moving in unison as the cold New York City January wind blew past, and after tasked in our meeting by Ambassador Williams and a team of UN delegates to find ways to use education to help realize the Sustainable Development Goals, I remember looking at my colleagues—fellow teachers who also knew we needed to do something, anything, we just were not sure what—and, saying "Well, how about we start with a hashtag?" And, at that moment, #TeachSDGs began.
Charged with advancing the work of the UN in relation to education through advocacy and outreach, we quickly recognized that our group of four educators all from North America, though steadfast and determined, was far from representative of a world that knew many definitions of teacher, school, and system. To meet a universal call to action that ensured no one would be left behind, we needed more voices. So, with no more than a hashtag and a little determination, we set out to find others who were ready to mobilize and get to work in our grassroots efforts to help reach these 17 goals that hold a promise of transforming our world.
Sustainable Development Goal 17: Partnership for the Goals, though last in line numerically in a sequence of goals that we as a world are committed to reaching by the year 2030, is one that is viewed by many as a connector goal binding the 16 before it. SDG17, represented in dark navy blue with five white circles that overlap and converge at many points, prioritizes coordination, cooperation, and global partnership. Though many outside of education are quick to associate only SDG4: Quality Education with teachers, educators today are faced with the need to engage with all the goals as our classrooms of students know poverty and hunger, inequality and injustice. As teachers, we take action for the climate and for clean water, and we seek well-being and peace for our students and for all citizens of our world. We, by design as a profession, are focused on all the goals. As I see it, Global Goal 17, much like the job of a teacher that looks out for all students in a classroom, is the essential caretaker.
Connecting Points: Strengthening Worldwide Partnership
The complexity of the global goals requires sound infrastructure and unified vision. Inspired by SDG17, we as the cofounders of #TeachSDGs developed a plan to prioritize process and coherence in our efforts to bring global educators together in conversation and cooperation to transform the world. Too, as we believed it was critical to be aware of our privilege and perspective, we worked to move beyond our networks and empower the voices of others. Four soon grew to 17, which then, through a process of pledge-taking, expanded to over 1,200 global educators. Lines on a symbolic map that connected #TeachSDGs would now cross oceans, continents, and borders and pass through beautiful lands with names such as Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica, Romania, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Paris, Akungba Akoko, Ghana, Iran, San Diego, Islamabad, Sri Lanka, Buenos Aires, Brussels, and many, many, many other world locations.
Distributed Leadership: Removing Hierarchy to Prioritize Solidarity
Sustainable Development Goal 17 calls on us to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnerships for sustainable development. For us, when formulating our efforts and our processes, we could not envision that a system built on a hierarchy of power could effectively allow for transmission of ideas or sharing of knowledge and expertise. Just as the global goals belong to each and every citizen of the world, we believed that #TeachSDGs belonged to all educators. For facilitation of any type of progress, the approach needed to be integrated, equitable, and accessible. To flatten leadership, we knew we wanted to move to a model of leadership by committee, and we were set to keep #TeachSDGs a movement that was for and always by teachers.
Onward: Seeking Out New Ways of Communicating & Innovating
Today, we are organized by committee with a focus on responding to the call to action to meet the Sustainable Development Goals through (1) global projects, (2) resources and publications, (3) world events, (4) advocacy and outreach, (5) communications, and (6) partnership. With 104 ambassadors leading the way, we recognize that for our world to succeed in hitting the targets by 2030, we must have sufficient means to access and implement the goals. The goals invite and encourage us to reconsider the ways we communicate and share information. For us, use of collaborative forms of technology has been the accelerator to scale out messages, ideas, and announcements. We have engaged in technologies with free tools such as Twitter, Skype, Voxer, WhatsApp, Empatico, and Flipgrid. We've brought global educators together in Twitter chats, in global games with Kahoot!, and in global student learning experiences with World's Largest Lesson. Technologies connect us and allow us to make data-driven decisions based on people-centered strategies.
Each day, educators take the pledge to teach the SDGs at www.teachSDGs.org, and we are working to provide the needed resources to our ambassadors and others that aim to get the message out to those that may not have access to technology or reliable information. Bit by bit, it is through partnership and in solidarity that we move forward. We invite you to join us as a partner in the movement to #TeachSDGs by trying one or more of these ideas framed according to direction provided by Sustainable Development Goal 17:
By Khushboo Dubey, Mumbai
I am a traveler and an avid reader both my passions led me to where I am a passionate educator.
I am currently associated with a school as Resource person for Educational initiatives and Global Partnerships. I also take care of Language development through reading.
I am a SDG enthusiast, and it inspired me to take this as a challenge and currently I work to promote SDG’s through reading for my students, teachers and support staff.
To show how schools can adopt reading for spreading awareness about SDG’s.
Why it’s important:
United Nations has chartered the Sustainable Development Goals, officially known as “Transforming our world: 2030 Agenda for sustainable Development. It is a set of 17 Global Goals to be talked about and achieved."
For me these goals are important to have a better world for the future generations to live peacefully. Peace is an important word, maintaining peace, when you don’t have adequate resources to live or when you suffer inequality or when the environment around is falling apart is not only difficult, it’s impossible. Hence, I want my students to create a world in which they have peace with themselves and within the world.
Reading about SDGs shows them that this is a dream of millions of SDG ambassadors across the world who are working diligently on the global goals. I am trying to do my bit for the same. Reading should free the mind, taking a person from known to unknown; hence I connect reading with SDG.
I have 1,500 students in my school and teaching all of them is quite a task. So, I have decided to take it one step at a time. I am now introducing them to the global goals through stories, newspapers, and magazines; there is no better way to gain knowledge than reading a book.
Students will grow up to be our leaders in the future and should be aware of cultural diversity, differences, and interconnections of the world. Introduction to SDGs has nurtured in them an appreciation for people and culture. It expanded the horizons of their minds and enabled them to look at problems and brainstorm solutions from a broader, more global perspective.
This is how I do it:
4. We have discussions about the books and the related goals.
5. Poster creation about the goals to spread awareness.
6. I also make everyone read every book so my students read fairy tales and STEM books together.
I use social media like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn articles to start a discussion or make them aware about what other students are doing around the world. This has helped them to be thankful for what they have and work towards providing others who deserve.
My school it is a 50 year old school, but a large number of the student population is first generation learners. Over the years, we have built a Library that has Smart Board, projector, and wireless routers for internet.
Khushboo is an educator in Mumbai, India, and she has a Master’s degree in human resource and a Bachelor's degree in microbiology. She also holds many certificates in storytelling, global education, and sustainable development initiatives. She works as Resource person for Educational Initiatives and Global Partnership in public and private schools. Khushboo is the coordinator for International School Award for she school, and they have received ISA for the year 2015-2018. She also works with street children for storytelling, basic math, and language, and she is loves travel, photography, and reading. Connect with Khushboo on Twitter at @Kdantre.
REPORT ON THE TRAINING OF TEACH FOR NIGERIA FELLOWS ON “INCORPORATING SDGs IN LEARNING IN THE CLASSROOM”
By Oluwaseun Kayode, TeachSDGs Ambassador
Teach for Nigeria is an organization that expands educational opportunities for less privileged students in underserved schools in low income communities in Nigeria. They do this by recruiting promising leaders and placing them in classrooms to teach on a two year full time fellowship program. After these two years, these leaders called Fellows would become Alumni of the fellowship and would also be lifelong advocate of quality education for all. Teach For Nigeria is a partner of the Teach For All global network with presence in over 45 countries.
I was privileged to facilitate a one hour session on the topic “Incorporating SDGs in Learning in Classrooms” for fellows in one of their continuous professional development sessions.
The session objectives were as follows:
We had a very engaging session and everyone participated in defining what Sustainable Development Goals are to them through a simple 10 minute activity. With this, we all had a shared understanding of the global goals and why it’s important that we achieve them by 2030.
There was a common understanding that it’s possible that these goals would be achieved and it would happen through a mass action – everyone everywhere doing something to achieve them. It was indeed a session of commitment as fellows took pledges on the TeachSDGs website to teach the goals in their classroom.
I was able to share the work that we do at TeachSDGs and also about the Global Projects Subcommittee which I am privileged to co-chair with Sandra Rodriguez. Fellows also got to know about ‘The World Largest Lesson’ during this presentation and some of them have started downloading lesson plans and taking courses on the SDGs which they would use in the next school term. It is needless to say that the one hour session wasn’t enough, as fellows wanted to learn more and continue the discussion.
To this end, there was a suggestion that a WhatsApp group chat be created for interested fellows to continue the discussion on how we can use education to achieve the global goals. We had a great time together, and I can’t wait to have other opportunities to talk about TeachSDGs.
TeachSDGs Ambassador – Nigeria
By Nam Ngo Thanh, TeachSDGs Founding Ambassador, Vietnam
Why did I decide to do this project?
As a teacher or parent, what do you care about when your child goes to school? When asked this question, 90% of the time I received the answer: "I want kids to have good academic results." This is a perfectly reasonable expectation. However, the school, the family, and the society teaches many other things. Sometimes a child's success in the future is not determined by the knowledge they have.
At present, in Vietnam and in many countries in general, school violence is happening more and more severely. We are anxious, but there is not much action to take root to end this situation. Personally, I think that once people treat each other kindly, society will be better.
Scientific studies show that kindness brings a lot of physical and mental benefits, and children need a healthy dose of warmth to be able to grow into healthy individuals--fun and perfect. Children as well as teens cannot learn kindness just by thinking or talking about it. Kindness is learned through perception and then is distributed. That feeling is when they are doing the right thing. So, who will teach children kindness?
It's me, you, and this society. The Everyday Kindness Project aims to bring children the value of goodness in life. Throughout the project, I also realized that kindness is the root of what we can achieve with the Global Goals. Since its inception, the project has received the attention and support of many teachers around the globe, especially the support of the Varkey Teacher Ambassadors.
What are the objectives of the project?
5 WEEKS: 1 MISSION
*Week 1: Building knowledge
- Students watch videos of kindness
- Discussion together
+ What is kindness?
+ What actions are considered kind? (Some kind actions you can suggest to your students if they need your help: caring for themselves, helping their parents, helping their friends, scavenging, etc.)
*Week 2, 3, 4: Kind action
- Students will perform kind works everywhere, such as at home, at school, in public, etc. These actions need to be recorded in photos, videos, kind stories, etc. Therefore, you should work with parents on a weekly basis by sending parents a weekly action sheet. This form will be sent to parents at the beginning of the week and will be sent back to the teacher on weekends. Parents can send for you photos, videos, their kids' story via email, message.
- At the end of each week, teachers will review and commend students for doing a lot of good work. I suggested that teachers print their pictures and paste the corner of the class as a way to advertise them.
*Week 5: Skype-a-thon about Kindness
To help students share the kind work they have done as well as listen to their friends' stories from other classes, I encourage you to participate in the Skype-a-thon week for students to have chance to connect with other classes around the globe. I think that beautiful action should be widely shared. Skype-a-thon is also an opportunity for students to learn the culture of other countries around the globe. You can also have your student connect with another teacher to share if you do not find a class that shares the same time zone.
*Bonus week: Kindness Day (optional)
In Kindness Day, you call on all students, parents, and staff in your school to raise money, clothes, food, books, etc. to help children in difficult places. This is the way students learn the way to share difficult with others.
What do students say about this project?
"I feel I am a useful person."
"I understand parents’ hard work."
"I'm happy to help everyone."
"I'm proud of myself."
That's the feeling of the students when participating in the Everyday Kindness Project. Throughout the project, the children learned about their parents' struggles, their parents' concerns, and their concern for those around them. These are the great effects that the project did during five weeks. In the lines of students’ feelings, doing kindness just to see the smile of parents, make parents happy, makes people around happy, but most important, "find themselves useful" is what makes them happiest and most proud of themselves. Join us to spread kindness to the people around you!
Complete this form if you want to be a part of this project.
Nam Ngo Thanh (@mrnamvas) works as a primary school teacher in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. He is also a Microsoft Learning Consultant and Varkey Teacher Ambassdor. He has authored multiple articles, and he been nationally and internationally recognized for the implementation of creativity and the integration of technology into his teaching. As well as being a Top 40 Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize 2018, he was also named Educator of the Year Asia 2017 and the winner of the 2018 Global Collaboration PLN Award.
By Thuy Tran Thi, @TdGreenhouse
To begin my writing, I would like to express my preference for being a feminist. I want to inspire the kids especially girls in my poor rural area to be more. I was born to the poorest family in my village. My brother had to stop his schooling when I started my first year at school life. My parents tried their best to support me and made my dream of being an English teacher come true. I turned back home with the big surprise of my friends at university because I wanted to make my community better (for more information: bit.ly/Ilovemyschool).
In 2009, my school did not have any projectors and now there is no internet connection in the classroom. We are in short of many facilities, and I myself bought the internet wire to bring the internet to the classroom. Currently, I am using a Wifi transmitter to connect with other teachers or help my students to use ICT in the classroom. I did all those things and did not need the money back. I just want to create the environment in which my students can learn and interact.
From my point of view, transformation with teaching with SDGs means 3 keys: transforming yourself, transforming your students, and changing other teachers around you.
I started my journey with teaching the Sustainable Development Goals when I self–studied courses on the Microsoft Educator Community about the SDGs and Teaching Gender Equality via Skype. These courses totally opened my mind about how to help my children, especially girls, to be empowered. Moreover, I try to learn about the sustainable development goals from bit.ly/UnitedNations_SDGs and planned my lesson plans and activity to inspire my children to THINK BIG with these goals.
Developing Skills of Students
Teaching with Goal 5: Gender Equality
Then, my story continues with teaching our kids, raising them up, and making them change their mindset about their strengths and how to improve all our lives. On the 8th of March 2017, I found a different way to celebrate International Women’s Day with my students. I used Skype in the classroom to invite a South African girl who overcame her difficulties to achieve her goals when living in poor conditions. At the beginning of the sharing session, my schoolboys gave her a bunch of sunflowers and thanked her for being her with us. At that moment, all the members of my class realized the meaning of empowerment, the meaning of trying hard every day to make themselves better, to make our community better, and to make our world better.
I work hard every day to prove a simple thing to my students. I am a rural girl. My parents are poor farmers. I was given chance to work with different worldwide educators via Skype, become Skype Master Teacher, and be awarded by the Minister of Education and Training twice in an academic year for being the most outstanding educator. All I want is to give back to my village--to support them, guide them, and learn with them.
I worked with another English teacher,Mr. Tam, to help our children in the rural area by giving them free English classes. On 8th of March this year in 2018, we celebrated an ICT Day for Girls. We asked the students to present about the tools that they really want to utilize in their learning process and asked them if they had a chance to improve that tool, how could they make the needed changes. We were extremely surprised at the ways they delivered the presentations and how they answered the questions. Our normal presentation celebration often lasts about one hour, but this session lasted 2.5 hours, and I know for sure that they are changing, and they are making themselves better.
At the end of the celebration, I let them watch a video about the 4th Industrial Revolution and how to cope with the changing world--where we are now and how to make it better. And, I see from the bottom of their hearts that education
is the key. Gender equality is the key. And, the sustainable development goals are their future. See more at bit.ly/TeachGoal5
Teaching with Goal 4: Quality Education
In my school, some classrooms were built in 1986 – that is older than my age and we lack facilities for learning and internet connection to my classroom. The Microsoft courses enabled me to think differently and to help my children to learn and be more. By spending $88 a month from my own money, I was able to get a Wifi transmitter, I am now able to invite Guest Speakers/Experts to my classroom and can bring the world to my students. Their knowledge, skills, mindset, and especially their visions about future are most important. We are welcoming the 4th Industrial Revolution with Internet of Thing (IoT), machine learning, and big data, and I am certain that EDUCATION is the key to change the world--to prepare for our future and make it a better place. I even created a lesson plan to bring free English tips to the children all around the world and hope to help them to learn and change their mindsets and help them. See more at bit.ly/TeachGoal4
Supporting Other Educators
I was recognized as Skype Master Teacher in 2017 among 155 worldwide educators, and I continue my journey to train other educators in my country and all around the world and use Sustainable Development Goals to help them to connect and demonstrate a sample lesson. I connected with a teacher in middle school and shared the screen to let them discovered the 17 Sustainable Developments Goals. The teachers and students there were super excited to learn and take their action plans for their own future.
My Plan for Teaching SDGs
To me, 17 Sustainable Development Goals are our future, and I, with my students, their parents, and other teachers, will make it come true from now forward. Our students have mastered Skype, Kahoot!, and Flipgrid, and of course we are going to travel all around the world via ICT tools to change our mindsets and take actions. My vision for my own future teaching job is 17 Sustainable Development Skills will be the content of our 2030 class. I am trying every day with you to make a better world, and I can be a happy teacher forever.
Tran Thi Thuy teaches English in Viet Nam. She is a MIE Expert, MIE Master Trainer, innovative educator, SMT, participant of Education Exchange 2017, and was named the Most Outstanding Teacher of the Year. You can learn more about Tran and her work at @TdGreenhouse on Twitter.
By Akhilesh Reddy, @AkhileshSingi
My Project Everyone: About 671 million people lack fundamental skills like reading and math, about 470 million people lack access to primary education and so on. The numbers are huge and alarming. Since I am fortunate to have had a good education, I feel I have the responsibility to take along with me as many students as possible in the path of progress on which I am traveling leaving no one behind. So, I've shouldered the responsibility to digitize schools in rural India. I have so far digitized three schools in two years which not only fights dearth of teachers, but also make them digitally able to connect with the world audience.
Green Revolution: I have been carrying plantation drives in communities trying my bit to fight climate action day by day building self sustained communities. I call them miniature forests where a diverse variety of plantation is done to improve not just green cover, but also diversity.
Herself: Herself is a project I have initiated to advocate women empowerment. It is a platform which gives women both voice and an audience with whom they can share to and learn from. The initial project has been a tremendous success which has featured global audience. Issues, causes, and solutions was the theme.
GoalsOnWheels is an ambitious project that I have embarked on to reach one hundred thousand youth and build a massive workforce which is aware, capable, and willing to together work for the implementation of sustainable development goals. I strongly believe education is the best weapon and youth are the starting point. So, I started this campaign to educate youth and bring together forces for global goals by giving presentations, conducting deliberations and debates, and instilling in them the zeal towards global agenda.
1. It is the individuals who create societies and civilizations. It is education that moulds each individual. So, I have chosen education as the solution, a starting point for achieving the global goals. When you support quality education, you give an individual limitless possibilities and a community, future stability. Yes, education is a right and a necessity but it should not just be available and accessible but also acceptable and adaptable. 420 million could escape poverty with secondary
Education.With proper education we can equip even the most marginalised women with the knowledge they need to thrive. Alarmingly 617 million children and adolescents worldwide are not achieving a minimum level of proficiency. About 137 million adolescents though are in school are not learning the minimum. The numbers are huge and petrifying. So did I choose this goal to fight for education, to achieve my dream to see that all children and youth are in school, learning and earning a quality education. Education is progress and change is the end.
2. Of the key factors that lead towards successful implementation of SDGs, awareness is identified as the top priority. Tremendous efforts are being put towards realising SDGs but on ground the results are far from reality. So I chose to narrow this awareness gap through #GoalsOnWheels, which aims at appraising youth and children there by becoming a global goals generation.
GoalsOnWheels -- Insights:
I started this initiative as volunteer. We are the youngest generation the world has ever seen and as per stats we are only going to be younger. So I chose to tap this potential to move masses for implementation of Global Goals.
Each day I go to a school conduct presentations, debates, discussions or workshops regarding SDGs. Starting with the origination of MDGs, their success and shortcomings, raise of SDGs, the importance of their implementation for a fairer world, I would brief the students to start off with the session. Once students now have clear idea, it goes into an active dialogue. The dialogue leads to positive outputs like awareness, surfacing issues, short easy solutions and commitments.
But that is all what happens when I am there with them. What after that? So, in every school a team is built who would voluntarily choose each of the SDGs to lead it in their capacity within the school which is an assurance of continuation of the great effort.
As a result:
1. An active team engaged in SDG advocacy per school
2. Schools have promised to make their premise polythene-free zones
3. Plantation drives to improve green cover with in the school and adjacent localities
4. Students taking forward the pledges into their homes and communities
5. MUN's have been initiated to reciprocate the work
6. Pledge to move school infrastructure towards clean energies
7. Necessary action towards innovation driven education, quality education and many other localised solutions
1. The project has achieved a continuous 97 days, 97 schools milestone
2. Around 90,000 individuals have taken sustainable pledge among who are students, teachers, schools, government officials and entrepreneurs
3. The initiative has made to finalist list of UN SDG action awards
4. The initiative has been featured in a social community of 'One Million' people calling me an 'Inspiring Man'
6. The work has been featured and has been showered with praises in leading print and digital media
7. I am chosen a member of WorldWeWant2030 policy strategy group working relentlessly for ground root level implementation of SDGs
8. I am made champion of FreeBasics Glocal an impact investment platform working towards funding the sustainable development goals
The current ambitious target to reach 100,000 students is only the initial phase of the four folded impact going to be created. In the next phase, this is going to be a global phenomenon where multiple campaigns on similar lines will be launched in the countries across the world with the help of global peers.
Each of these initial phases is subdivided into two intervals, during campaign and after campaign. During the campaign apart from running the campaign to build massive work force, through a rigorous process an active team is establish in each school, which would be granular unit of the chain which ensures the continuation of the campaign through the years to come. In the after campaign phase together with all teams within the countries and across the countries large scale implementable solutions will be worked on.
For more information, visit http://singanna.com/goals-on-wheels/.