Easy access to multiple technologies makes this a genuinely exciting time to begin the process of going global at any school. In fact, one of the fastest and most effective ways to incorporate a global approach is through the use of digital technologies. Computers, interactive software, video conferencing, games, online courses, blogs, educational television, video sharing websites, cell phones and more devices and services than can be named connect our world like never before. They have decreased the importance of distance and increased our ability to learn from each other—to see new places, meet new people, explore other cultures, learn new languages, share ideas and collaboratively generate new ones. Bringing the world into the classroom has never been faster, easier or more motivating for teachers and learners. Below is a list of global learning activities and games as well as international news sites for elementary students.
Learning Activities and Games:
- Asia Society Kids features online games and activities with an Asian focus.
- BBC Students features learning activities and games on global topics as well as resources on current events and issues from around the globe.
- Global School Net’s Online Expeditions hosts several virtual field trips that allow young people to follow real trips online through daily updates of text, video, and photos. Their iPoPP site helps to match students around the world on global projects.
- Panwapa, is an online virtual world created just for children in the preschool and primary grades, by Sesame Workshop. Activities are designed specifically to help them build respect and empathy for others, to spark an interest in other languages and global learning, and to develop a sense of responsibility as global citizens.
- UN Cyberschoolbus provides quizzes, games, and “webquests” on global subjects ranging from health to urban development.
- WGBH’s Fin, Fur and Feather Bureau of Investigation (FFFBI) takes children 8 to 13 on virtual missions to solve international detective stories set around the world. Developed in collaboration with National Geographic.
- Whyville is a virtual city where students can participate in activities and play educational games with others from around the world.
International News and Information
- Google Earth allows students to see close-up maps of much of the world and to create their own maps as well.
- Link TV brings diverse international stories and perspectives to American viewers through its satellite television broadcasts and online streaming video.
- Media stories by youth for youth: Time for Kids, Y-Press Youth News Network, or World Youth News.
- The Newseum Interactive Museum of News displays daily newspaper front pages in their original, unedited form. Some front pages may contain material that is objectionable to some visitors. Viewer discretion is advised.
- World Almanac for Kids has resources for younger children, including basic facts about each country as well as information about how children live around the world and quizzes and games. (subscription required)
- World Bank’s YouThink! Website for students includes facts, stories, quizzes, slideshows, and multimedia resources on international development topics. A special section for kids introduces global issues to younger children.
What global learning sites have you used in your elementary classroom?