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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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Day of Play: Mechanical Bulls, Time Machines, Dancing and Mustaches

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Anastasis Academy, Apply, Create, education reform, inspiration, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary | Posted on 08-10-2012

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Maybe you have heard of Caine’s Arcade?  It is a little movement, started by an 8 year old.  This video will restore your faith in humanity and inspire you big time!  It inspired us at Anastasis Academy, so much so that when the second video came out, inviting us to a Day of Play, we were all in.

On Friday, Anastasis held our own Day of Play.  We collected boxes (lots and lots of boxes), tape, markers, pipe cleaners, glue, aluminum foil, rubber bands, tubes, scissors and paper.  Then, we let the kids at it.  There were no parameters, no specific rules or directions.  The goal for our students was to dream as big as they could. It is amazing what happens when you invite kids to dream and build apart from any rules or expectations of what the end goal is.  Our students (k-8) gathered in our big “all in” room and built to their hearts content.  The amazing part: no two ideas were the same.  We had plink-o, a fortune teller, a minecraft adventure, a time machine (complete with crystal), ski ball, tilt the ball, an old-school computer made of new parts, a hotdog/snow cone stand, dance dance revolution, ferris wheel, tanks, and a mechanical bull.  You read correctly, a mechanical bull.

The students spent about 3 hours dreaming and building.  Some had plans they created the day before, others came in with a blank slate.  After all of the building (and a break for lunch) we gathered to play each others games.  It was SO much fun!  Students even created their own prizes that could be won (mustaches and uni-brows anyone?).

The casual observer might have watched this all go down and seen chaos or a waste of time.  A closer look would have revealed the rich learning taking place.  The problem solving, critical thinking, discovery, planning, rich conversations, kids working together, designing, creativity.  Have you ever seen those words describe a worksheet? A lecture?  This was such a RICH learning experience in so many ways.  Best of all: it built and fostered a culture of working together, learning from each other and enjoying each other.  That is no small feat.

I saw genius today. I am SO proud of these kids, they truly are geniuses.  Two of our students (different classes and ages) built a tank together.  The tank shot rubber bands and launched a “cannon” water bottle.  These boys decided that the rubber band shooter and cannon should have a “safety” just in case something slipped so that they wouldn’t accidentally shoot anything.  The way they worked this out was truly brilliant.  The cannon water bottle was held in place by a popsicle stick safety.  The rubber band shooter was attached to pipe cleaner that kept the rubber band from releasing unless the safety was off.

Our youngest kids built and manned a hotdog/snow cone stand.  My favorite part of the stand was the signs that they created for it.  One of the signs read “Snow cones choose a color: limeade, raspberry, blueberry, grape.”  I love that it said choose a color, not choose a flavor.  SO stinking cute!

A dance-loving student created the cardboard version of dance, dance revolution.  She created a dance mat with different colors on it.  Then, she climbed behind her box and flashed construction paper colors. When the color showed up, the player had to step on the matching color on the mat.  Periodically, she would hold up signs that said things like, “you are on fire” or “fail”.  Brilliant!

Check out our Day of Play below:

Personalized learning should be available to EVERY child, every day. The Learning Genome Project makes that possible.  Please help me spread the word and contribute!

Comments (1)

[…] to create iPad styluses out of sponge and wire for less than 10 cents.  Last year we held an all-school day of play (highly recommend that!) and marshmallow/spaghetti tower challenge.  This year we have some fun […]

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