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Review of Global Education Networks Essay

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I am writing in response to our previous conversation about the possible international education networks that we can use for our second-grade students. From the discussions I realized that global education network can be of great benefit to our institution because our students will be in touch with other learners from the faculty allover the world. More so, in today’s world, I have noted that technology helps improve the learning processes and also enhance academic performances among students (The global education collaborative, 2010, para. 1-2).

Global education projects also promote collaboration and teamwork among teachers and students. This in turn enhances production and prepares the youths into becoming responsible citizens. This is because global education concentrates on enlightening global students to improve their worlds (Global education network, n.d, para. 1-3). In this regard, I have compiled comprehensive information about the possible three networks that we could settle in for the students and have discussed their strengths and weaknesses.

Firstly, I recommend we use International Education and Resource Network (iEARN), www.iearn.org , for our second-grade students. iEARN is an international organization with more than 30,000 schools and other organizations for the youth. iEARN has been in operation for the past 22 years and has seen major success in collaborative project works. The technology enables students in and out of the country to successfully carry out projects via internet in collaboration with their peers beyond their home countries. iEARN provides safe environments that positively transform education processes.

More so, this network has more than 150 projects from which students and educators select and participate based on their curriculum (International Education and Resource Network, n.d, para. 1-2). After selecting the online project, teachers and students use their existing technological skills and knowledge to provide solutions for the problem. They are also able to share with other students’ allover the worlds that are doing an equivalent project. The learning takes place via internet in an online class; therefore, the network will allow us to search for an appropriate project through the use of the subject, level of age, and by key words of the project. This minimizes chances of missing a possible project for our second-grade students.

iEARN network demands that teachers must create projects that are in line with the global purpose of iEARN which aims at improving the students’ worlds (iEARN- Canada, n.d, and para.2-3). With such a network, our second-grade students will be encouraged to be responsible and productive citizens as demanded in today’s global economy. I also recommend the network because it also has such projects such as ‘One day in Life’ that aims at joining students from different parts of the world.

In this occasion students will be asked to describe a day in their lives through images and written texts. This will therefore help our students improve their understanding of social and cultural standards as well as accepted international writing standards. Through such events our students understanding of diverse cultures will be enhanced. Therefore, iEARN is one form of international network that really fits my Culture and Community course.

However, the challenge of applying iEARN network is that although they are an established system, they do not mention whether the projects are open for anyone aspiring to join and does not also give specific dates in which the projects run. More so, the available projects for iEARN Networks are fewer as compared to other networks like Global School Net. However, our proposed project for the network is on- going and we can be sure it is operational. The standards for this project are:

  1. Creativity and innovation
  2. Communication and Collaboration
  3. Research and information fluency

Secondly I recommend we use Global School Net, www.globalschoolnet.org, for second grade learners. I have found out that this is an established international education network with more than 3000 projects form which we can choose an appropriate project for our students. The projects are searchable by commencement dates, subject are, the age group, technology use and the desired collaboration. The network is a non profit organization hence we will not be required to have to pay any amount of money for the selected project (Global SchoolNet, 2007, para 1-3).

Adapting the project from Global School Net will help our students to understand human, societal and cultural matters that relate to technology and ethical conducts. This is because global network students must use technology and information safely, legally and responsibly. With such practices, our students will acquire positive attitudes towards the use technology in order to achieve collaboration, learning and increased out put among the learners and educators. This will further foster leadership skills necessary for citizenship in the digital world. More so, the project will promote personal responsibility among our students.

In the Global School Net, our second-grade students will take part in the ‘Progressive Story Project’. In this project, classes from allover the world are are sub devided into groups of five classes. To kick off the story, one class is given the task to handle the task for a period of one week, and then passes it to the next class. The second class handles the story as much as they are required and then pases it to the next class. The system continues until each of the five classes works on the story. After the five weeks, the story is completed and published using a VoiceThread that enables all the learners to read it.

One weakness of Global School Net is that the set dates for some projects may differ from our country’s curriculum. More so, some projects only require a limited number of learners to participate in the class projects. However, this is a temporal problem that can be resolved by making slight changes in the school’s timetable in order to work with the scheduled dates for the projects that we will choose. The standards for this project are:

  1. Creativity and innovation
  2. Communication and Collaboration
  3. Research and information fluency
  4. Promotion of Critical thinking while solving problems and making decisions.
  5. Effective digital citizenship
  6. Students must demonstrate understanding of technology, concept and operations in use

Thirdly I recommend we adapt to ePALs network, www.epals.com. ePals is a virtual workspace that utilizes collaborative project works. EPals provides safe and secure online environments for the learners, educators and parents. The collaboration platform improves educational communities and also supports provision of quality digital contents needful in today’s learning world. ePals Global Community has over 600, 000 teachers and accommodates over 25 million students.

The network extends to 200 countries. Through ePal, our students will be able to share project information and practices by linking the learners in the online classrooms around the world and then providing the content and lessons plans in the networked environment. The standard based information provided by ePal is very significant in the learning system for students in real world. More so, our students will gain digital literacy skills (ePals, n.d, para. 1-5). The network will also cultivate critical thinking among the students as well as dynamic view points of the project.

ePALs network observes various standards that foster understanding of global education standards. Firstly, the network will foster creativity and innovation among our second-grade level students. Through ePal network, all participating students in the online project are made to demonstrate creative thinking, use constructive knowledge and come up with innovative products and processes while using the internet (ePals, 2010, para. 1-4). Our students will use their technological knowledge and other existing skills to generate the new ideas and processes, identify criteria and forecast possibilities when brainstorming on the project.

In ePal network, our students will participate in ‘Maps’ activity. The students will pair with others from diverse geographical parts of the world and then brainstorm about those regions so as to provide better understanding of different geographical maps in the world. By applying Social Studies’ standards, our students will be familiar with cross-curricular standards.

The problem with ePal network is that the network has limited number of projects as compare to Global School Net. From my studies I have found out that there are only eight projects mentioned. This would limit us in the choices we make concerning what project to undertake. The standards for this project are:

  1. Creativity and innovation
  2. Communication and Collaboration
  3. Promotion of Critical thinking while solving problems and making decisions.
  4. Effective digital citizenship.

Conclusion

Collaborative project works allows students to use digital tools for research hence comprehensive and thoroughly evaluated information. International education networks allow students establish information source, gather, analyse, compile and ethically apply the content into their project. Later our students will be able to process and write the project’s report to us, the educator. The system therefore simplifies the dynamic tasks that teachers have in guiding their students on how to successfully handle a project’s title (International society for technology in education, 2007, para.4)

With this information, I hope you will find the proposed networks resourceful in providing excellent skills to its students hence achieving the school’s goals.

Reference List

ePals, Inc. (2010). ePals where learners connect. Web.

ePals. (n.d). Inside the world’s largest K-12 learning network. Web.

Global education network. (n.d). Global education network. Web.

Global SchoolNet. (2007). GlobalSchoolNet.org: Linking kids around the world! Web.

iEARN- Canada. (n.d).The international education and resource network. Web.

International Education and Resource Network. (n.d.). iEARN. Web.

International society for technology in education. (2007). National educational technology standards for students: The next generation. Web.

The global education collaborative. (2010). Helping teachers and students reach the world. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Review of Global Education Networks." March 24, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/review-of-global-education-networks/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Review of Global Education Networks'. 24 March.

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