Saturday, October 17, 2015

Going Global

It was five or so years ago when our principal asked me to give a presentation about technology and 21st Century Skills at our staff’s first meeting of the school year. 

At the time, one of my sons was exploring Youtube videos at the tender age of four. My other son was building Minecraft worlds with new friends from across America and even Europe.

As a staff we talked about how our society had gone from an Agricultural Age to an Industrial Age to the Information Age. The current time period could now be called the Connected Age or the Global Age. I still see it as part of the Information Age, but we truly are becoming a global community.

“Technology provides today’s students with unprecedented access to information about people, places, cultures and events around the world. Young people have grown to expect that their everyday tools will allow them to go to the Internet for information, make phone calls to and from almost anywhere in the world, and communicate with people in other countries with ease via e-mail and instant messaging.”

Where will you see global mentioned in education?
  • 21st Century Content includes global awareness.
  • Our Standard Course of Study includes it multiple times across all grade levels.
  • It’s mentioned several times in North Carolina’s educator evaluations.
  • Global is included in our school system’s mission statement and goals. Surry County Schools’ motto is “Lighting Pathways to Global Success”!
Becoming global is not just geography and culture. It’s also about language. (Our school system’s students begin learning a second language in the third grade.) It’s about being able to work with people who are different than us. It’s about our children growing up and helping to solve global problems. How can we work together to build a better future?

Last year our principal took the staff to Renfro Corporation one afternoon. It is a leading global manufacturer, designer, distributor and marketer of legwear products. With 5500 employees around the world and sales offices in six countries, it is truly a global corporation. And it is headquartered in our little town.

Being an Imagination Chapter leader has already brought changes to my teaching and my students’ learning.  We are going global this year.  It’s not just a little, it’s a lot! The Global Cardboard Challenge has been so much fun.  We’ve learned geography, compared similarities and differences, and connected with others via Skype and Google Hangouts. It is a natural fit.
My son and I just watched TomorrowLand last night. In it the main character asks, “What are we doing to fix it (the world)?” Our school’s first step is going global.

Further Reading

From the University of North Carolina’s Center for International Understanding

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