Fostering Intercultural Connections Through Digital Learning: The EveryWorld Initiative (@knowmyworld_org)

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“The new understanding I came to about the world was that everything isn’t the same as their world.”

– Yu’pik student in Alaska/Mexico Digital Exchange

This kind of critical thought transforms a student’s world when sourced from a global interactive experience with other students from all over the globe.  Imagine two classrooms, one in the Tundra and one in the Desert, working together through email, video chat and the latest apps to expose and understand their similarities and differences through environmental, social and cultural questions. The possibilities are endless. This is what a Know My World facilitated digital exchange provides for teachers and students: the skill and knowledge necessary to explore and transform attitudes and awareness through project-based learning.

The EveryWorld Initiative was born of a desire to bring the exchange experience to a wider base of schools around the world. In a Know My World exchange, trained staff pair classrooms in two different countries and then work closely with them throughout the entire process. In collaboration with the paired teachers, our facilitators create an opportunity not only for dialogue between the two groups of students, but ultimately, a collaborative project that teaches academic content at the same time as building social, emotional, and cultural competency. These projects have ranged from creating a virtual museum showcasing the local environment to evaluating the impact of pollution to researching and reflecting on poverty.

After completing an exchange, a student from the Philippines wrote:

“This exchange created a global classroom. It is awesome to discover that we can actually create a digital platform where students from different parts of the world can learn together in a friendly manner.”

At its core, that is what Know My World is about: fostering mutually respectful and collaborative relationships between students in different parts of the world that allow them to grow personally as well as academically.

With the EveryWorld Initiative, we are excited to be bringing intercultural education to a wider audience. The EveryWorld Initiative is a scholarship program, allowing schools around the world to engage in fully facilitated Know My World exchanges. Scholarship winners will be matched with another school to develop a collaborative project that interweaves academic content with social emotional learning and cultural competency. The scholarship is open to students between 5th and 12th grade, and it can be done in any content area (even math!).

Know My World has partnered with two organizations to make the EveryWorld Initiative possible. Our Ed Tech partner is Wizer.me, a dynamic app that allows teachers and students to design collaborative worksheets that include elements such as graphs, videos, charts, and surveys. We also have a Social Impact partner, The Concordia Project, whose mission focuses on the empowerment of women through workshops, advocacy, and micro-accelerators for female entrepreneurs in developing regions.

With the help of our partners, we are thrilled to be opening the door to more intercultural collaboration, social emotional learning, and meaningful conversations in classrooms around the world. We hope you will join us! We encourage teachers from all countries to apply, so please help us by sharing this unique opportunity. The application for the EveryWorld Initiative is open until December 14, 2015. Go to our website for more information, including the link to the short application form.

 

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