Global Education is no longer an option – it is essential!

From Boston, USA to Hawkesdale, Australia

My son Jonathan is a structural engineer. Last year he worked on a multi – storied building project being built in an Italian city. The builder was from Italy, the architect from France and Jonathan was working in a London office. Three different languages/cultures all working on one project. They had to work as a virtual team, working around the issue of several languages.

Welcome to a global world that is connecting at an increasing rate. As educationalists we must prepare our students for such a world and as such, I am passionate about global education. When the Global education 2010  conference was first  brought to my attention, I was keen to be actively involved.

Why should  global education and projects be part of our classrooms? Here are some reasons:-

  • Enables project based learning – ensuring  effective and engaging learning.
  • Opportunity to share cultures, religions, ideas, passions, issues across the globe
  • Prepare for life, work and play in a’ flat world’ as Tom Friedman describes it
  • Learn digital citizenship skills;lk
  • Learnt netiquette, online responsible learning, plagiarism
  • Digital literacy
  • Increase knowledge of geography and history
  • Enable self directed learning
  • Skills for life long learning
  • Awareness of global issues
  • Parental involvement


Teaching in the State of Victoria, in Australia, teachers follow the VELS (Victorian Essential Learning Standards) set up by DEECD (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development) . As such globalisation fits in as follows:-

  • Years 9/10 students work at 6.75 of Community Engagement dimension (VELS) – investigate responses to issues such as global warming, world poverty etc,  examine the extent to which the international community is cohesive and able to manage conflict.
  • From the Global Citizenship strategy, introduced by DEECD “students are equipped with skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to prosper and thrive in a world characterised by global mobility and cultural, political and economic connectivity.”
  • Learning connects strongly with communities and practise beyond the classroom.” (PoLTS, Policies of Learning and Teaching)

How do we help students come to terms with globalisation

  • Involve and immerse them in collaborative, interactive global projects.
  • Empower them to establish personal learning networks that extend across the globe
  • Teach good verbal communication tools, use of translators, use of digital media, digital music, alternatives to text, coping strategies etc
  • Work with other countries in synchronous and non-synchronous time
  • Practice with and a wide variety of tools that can be used to connect, communicate and create together.
  • Compile codes of online conduct in various situations
  • Follow appropriate netiquette
  • Establish good digital footprints
  • Provide opportunities for travelling to other countries, whilst still at school
  • Involve parents and other community members as much as possible

Examples of asynchronous connections

  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Nings or alternative social networking sites
  • Google applications
  • Wall wisher
  • an online image sharing site
  • screencasting

Examples of tools to enable sychronous connections

The greatest challenges

  • Time zones can be most confusing – days, times etc
  • Time management – requires extra time commitment and high order organisational skills
  • Languages – different languages, different terms used, slang, accents, different cultures are offended by different phrases/words
  • Cultural differences and expectations
  • Religious differences
  • Infrastructure – poor infrastructure in the developing countries/county areas etc
  • Access to mobile technology
  • Leadership within schools
  • Differing holiday periods – especially the long summer breaks
  • Testing and Examination times
  • Age restrictions on online interactive networking software (if working with younger children)

Personal characteristics required of the teacher or facilitator

  • Risk taking
  • Passion
  • Patience
  • Enthusiasm
  • Sense of humour
  • High organisational skills
  • A passion for learning
  • Willingness to admit mistakes and move on
  • Ability to work in a team

One response to “Global Education is no longer an option – it is essential!

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Global Education is no longer an option – it is essential! | On an e-journey with generation Y --

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