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Project Global Inform

What it is: Project Global Inform is an incredible movement bringing together education and a mission to do something about human rights.  Project Global Inform “is an in-school project where students use media to spread awareness about human rights violations. PGI came out of the idea that we too often “teach” our students about genocide and human rights violations, but never “do” anything about it. This project’s main objective is to create awareness about current human rights violations in our schools, communities, and abroad. Through the use of media and technology students have the power to make a difference.”  This is education and learning at it’s finest, it is a call to action and an invitation for students to do something important.  The project is made up of eight steps.  First, students learn about human rights issues through media and literature.  Next students form groups based on the humans rights issue they are passionate about.  Each group learns about the history of the human rights issue they chose including the current political stance, media, etc.  Students come up with an action plan for creating awareness.  Students use the action plan as the base for their project where they will choose a media outlet to spread awareness about the issue.  At the end of the campaign, students will collect data on the effectiveness of the campaign (based on website hits, video views, “likes” on Facebook, etc.).  Each team writes up a report detailing and reflecting on the project, success, and failures. Each student creates a video or slideshow (a kind of documentary) of their project.   This is an opportunity for your students to learn about humans rights issues and to get involved in an authentic way that has the potential to directly impact those suffering from human rights issues. How to integrate Project Global Inform into your curriculum: Project Global Inform is an incredible resource and movement that get students involved in impacting their world in real and meaningful ways.  As a result of this project, your students will be more informed about humans rights issues, have a better understanding of social networking and how to virally spread a message, how to use media as a communication tool, how to track web 2.0 data and statistics, collaboration, and reflection.  This would make a great project for an ethics class, but could be used as a transdiciplinary project including literature, math, and technology (to name a few). Project Global Inform literally meets every single level of Blooms Taxonomy from knowledge and understanding to creating, apply, analyzing, and evaluating. While the project appears to be focused on the middle school or high school age group, I think that it could be tailored to the elementary classroom.  For example, I had my students use Free Rice as the basis for a similar project.  They learned about hunger, created a video slideshow that we uploaded to YouTube and played on Free Rice to earn grains of rice.  If using Project Global Inform with younger students, choose a humans rights issue to study as a class.  Make sure the information you gather is age appropriate.  Students can create posters or pictures for a local coffee shop, create slideshow videos that they upload to YouTube, or hold an information day for the local community.  These are they type of projects that will make an impact on your students and the world. If you decide to take part in Project Global Inform, make sure you let your local news organizations know about it.  They love covering stories of children impacting the world and it helps spread the message.  Here is our Free Rice story in the local paper.  I can’t tell you how this project transformed these two boys featured in the article. They became “celebrities” in the school and were so proud of their hard work.  Two average students became two of my top students after this project.  Give your students something important and meaningful to do, it makes a huge impact on them. Tips: Even if you don’t have time for the full project, make sure to take the “Plus Two Pledge”.  As your students are learning about human rights violations have them sign the pledge to tell at least two people about what they have learned.  I told my two…hopefully more are reading this…who are you going to tell? Please leave a comment and share how you are using Project Global Inform in  your classroom!

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Virtual Author Series

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive book, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 13-03-2008

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What it is: Simon and Schuster Publishing is offering a new unique experience to schools, a virtual author series. The electronic author visit brings bestselling and award-winning authors and makes them easily accessible to students and teachers. S&S creates a website specifically for each author visit that provides teachers with background information that will help prepare students for the author visit and provides interactive material that relates to the subject discussed in the author’s book. The program also includes a series of classroom activities and curriculum binders. The live web broadcast is the culmination of the virtual author experience. The 45 minute segment will include a presentation from the author, a reading from the book, and a question and answer session in which the author answers questions from the students.

How to integrate Virtual Author Series into the classroom: Bring popular author Andrew Clements (Frindle) into your classroom by signing up at the My Visit website http://www.bsu.edu/myvisit/ You need to sign up your class ASAP if you would like to participate in the first in the Virtual Author Series which takes place on March 18th. This is an outstanding opportunity for classrooms, libraries, and schools. Bring reading to life for your students with a virtual author visit. If you, like me, are on spring break during the first author in the Virtual Author Series be sure to check back for future Virtual Author events.

Tips: Check back for future Virtual Authors. The next Virtual Author will be D.J. MacHale (PENDRAGON) on April 29, 2008. This is an awesome way to bridge literacy and technology!

Please leave a comment and tell us how the Virtual Author Series went in your class. Specifically, I want to hear all about it since I won’t be able to participate!

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