Global Nomads Group (GNG), founded in 1998, is committed to improving students’ international knowledge and understanding through the use of interactive technologies like videoconferencing, remote broadcasting and webcasting. By facilitating “face-to-face” meetings between American students and their counterparts across the globe, GNG seeks to increase young people’s knowledge of the world, increase collaboration among students of different cultures and provide a framework in which students are both “the learners and the teachers.” Past projects have focused on critical world issues, including HIV-AIDS, climate change and genocide, and have sought to provide youth with tools to take direct, collaborative and sustainable action through fundraising and advocacy following program completion.
To date, GNG has connected thousands of students for dialogue, in over 30 countries in one of several ways: the primary audience that participates directly in every broadcast, asking each other questions and preparing with their teachers ahead of time; a secondary audience of classrooms watching the broadcasts live online; a tertiary audience using the archived broadcast as part of later classroom discussions on the issue; and the broadcast audience that view parts of the dialogue aired on national television programs like ABC’s Good Morning America or PBS’s In the Mix. Past programs have included: “Crisis in Sudan: Never Again, Again?” which provided a live broadcast from a Sudanese refugee camp to 50 schools in the U.S., and involved 20 classrooms participating in the dialogue from New York, and “Rwanda Alive” which was a six-week program produced by GNG connecting high school students in the U.S. and Rwanda during the ten-year anniversary of the genocide there.
GNG is committed to empowering students to act in service to society and to become more engaged in addressing its greatest needs. Through its interactive programs, students gain critical communication skills and a broader perspective on their world.
Since 1985 Global SchoolNet Foundation has supported an international group of educators and learners to communicate directly with each other in a variety of creative ways to enhance their knowledge of the world. With a growing membership of over 70,000 teachers connected via the Internet and other telecommunications technologies, Global SchoolNet offers several flagship programs to engage students in learning about peers in other countries. International Schools CyberFair is one of Global SchoolNet’s online learning programs in which students conduct research about their own local communities and publish their findings on the Web. For example, students in Uzbekistan documented the humanitarian work of Doctors Without Borders in their community, and a middle school from Singapore demonstrated how despite being an urban city filled with skyscrapers, Singapore still manages to maintain a balanced ecosystem. These online projects become part of a unique peer review system in which students evaluate other websites from around the world, asking questions and sending comments directly to the classroom that created the site.
Other programs include: “Doors to Diplomacy,” an international competition for the U.S. Department of State, in which middle and high school student are awarded scholarships for producing web projects that best teach others about the importance of international affairs and diplomacy; “Classroom Conferencing,” an international registry, discussion lists and HelpDesk for educators who want to use live videoconferencing to connect communities, cultures and classrooms; “International NewsDay” for which students create their own newspaper with international coverage, based on global student correspondents; and “Online Expeditions,” a partnership with real explorers as they travel to exotic locations, like climbing Mount Everest, rowing solo across the Indian Ocean or trekking on camel through Australia, and engage students in related projects via the Web.