Day 3 was a unique day at the Microsoft Global Forum. Educators from around the world were put into international teams of 4-6 people to work together. Our goal was to create a learning activity that we could do with our classes after the forum. I was thrilled to work with some excellent educators, including Jennifer Bevill of the United States, Gerard Duffy from Ireland and Mohammad BaniYounes of Jordan. After many hours, we had created an exciting learning activity Challenge to Change.
I’m so proud of our collaborative work and I’m really looking forward to launching the activity in the future. Our plan is:
Using ICT, students from four countries will work together to address sustainability issues.
· What are the environmental sustainability issues in your area?
· What can you do to make a difference?
· How can you encourage others to take action on sustainability issues?
Phase 1: Acting Locally, Collaborating Globally
- Making Connections: Students will meet each other via video conference
- Knowledge Construction: Students in each classroom will research to identify sustainability issues in their community. Working in collaborative teams, students will create a presentation to share their findings with the other 3 classrooms
- Sustainability Conferences: Classrooms connect a second time to conduct presentations to share the sustainability issues they have identified in their communities.
- Creating Action Plans: Teams of students will work together to develop an action plan that address their sustainability problem. Final action plans will be shared with all four classrooms.
- Taking Action: Students will collaborate to implement their action plans to make a difference in their community. Actions, progress, results with international team members to ensure accountability.
- Follow up: Each classroom will share their results with all classrooms. This may include successes, difficulties and the impact that their local action plan had.
Phase 2: Scaling Up the Impact
Once students have taken action locally, they will shift to a global focus. For this phase, students will be grouped in cross-classroom, international teams.
- International Team Meetings: Students will work in international teams to identify a global environmental sustainability issue to address.
- Challenge to Change: Each international team will identify one action that people could take to impact the global environment. This will become part of the “Challenge to Change” – a global challenge to encourage others to take action. Students will design the challenge and promote it publicly to empower others to take action. Our hope is that the challenge will involve our wider communities, state/province or even our whole countries making a contribution to environmental sustainability!
After another busy day, we had our Team Canada dinner last night. We went out for supper and a Flamenco performance. It was a great outing, but I was so exhausted that I almost couldn’t stay awake! It was straight to bed for me after the show!