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Lynn Thomas

Planning is well under way for Single Voices, Global Choices having begun a few months ago. The project, already boasting 107 teachers from 95 schools in 46 countries, plans on centering social emotional learning and connections-based learning by focusing on international events created by the United Nations and other organizations and by analyzing current events.

International days are an excellent way to educate our students on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources, to address global problems and to celebrate and reinforce the achievements of humanity. Given their international nature, they naturally lend themselves to global and collaborative learning and address concerns and current events in a way that encourages learning and action. This makes them a powerful advocacy tool that may help us empower our students and create global citizens who are aware of the wider world, have a sense of their role as world citizens, respect and value diversity, want to tackle social justice, and believe that all children and young people have a right to an education. 

The project is slated to launch in September 2020 for middle and high school students and their teachers and continue through to April 2021. The overall design is such that it can be easily adapted to mesh with any curriculum or delivery method – an important consideration given our worldwide experience with COVID19. The worldwide pandemic has underscored how rapidly working conditions and social structures can change and shows the necessity for students to actively shape their role in society. Schools form future leaders for positions in society that require a high degree of social emotional skills and global mindedness. That is why the project has been designed to provide specific collaborative assignments and strategic threads based on three interdisciplinary topics, democracy and citizenship, health and life skills, and sustainable development.

Within these broad topics, the themes of international days will always link to

  • the maintenance of international peace and security;
  • the promotion of sustainable development and global mindedness;
  • the protection of human rights, and the guarantee of international law and humanitarian action. 

The Timeline provides an overall view of events that can be explored every single month. While the number of events that can be focused on and celebrated every single month is really mind-blowing and hard to count, a priority is to ensure that the project is flexible for everyone so that it best fits with everyone’s individual learning scenario while also promoting diversity and inclusion. It is up to each teacher and their students to select the events that are of interest to them. This flexibility also allows for participation in the project regardless of whether classes are held in a face to face scenario or a remote learning/distance learning environment.

Every month suggested resources, practical tips, assignments, roleplays, and digital tools you may use in your classroom will be provided so no teacher needs to feel alone or like that have to do a tremendous amount of work in order to participate in the project. The Events Calendar contains a listing of events and the resources already curated to support teachers in delivering a variety of activities. All these materials will be shared via the Microsoft Team created for the project.

The project offers a venue to teach numerous skills and provide various learning opportunities including:

  • infusing curriculums with more project-based learning and exposure to real-world examples; 
  • empowering students by giving them the opportunity to co-create knowledge and learn through mistakes in a safe environment;
  • supporting students in becoming familiar with professional environments and behaviours such as clear and timely communication, thinking critically, problem-solving and time management;
  • helping students to see how their achievements are based upon more than just the grades they earn in class, but also the experiences they develop during their lessons. define real world problems and find solutions;

Upon completion, students will be able to

  • meet international students and become a part of a global community;
  • participate in thought-provoking conversations and self–reflection activities that challenge them to investigate global problems;
  • gain factual knowledge of human rights and environmental issues;
  • learn and expand their digital citizenship skills;
  • be challenged to share the information they learn; 
  • develop their global competency.

Additionally, you may recognize that many of the goals of the project also support ISTE’s Standards for Students.

​​While providing students with a wide array of learning experiences, the project also has the capacity to be a rich and supportive networking and learning environment for teachers. Curating resources for everyone to utilize is just one of the ways this project promises to be a fruitful professional community. Also having support for new methods and educational tools and technology and hands on opportunities to use them is a powerful combination. The project founder Barbara Anna Zielonka and project administrators Lesley Fearn and Lynn Thomas, along with having an Ambassador programme means the community[GU6]  already contains a great deal of experience and knowledge to aid others and support this new learning. The Ambassador programme is an opportunity for educators to enhance their resume, make new friends, learn about new cultures and education worldwide, explore new approaches to education, and strengthen intercultural communication, leadership and presentation skills. Interested educators can apply to the Ambassador Programme and, in addition to the above-mentioned benefits, can look forward to hearing about new developments and opportunities first, being invited to special Ambassador development events, and being featured on our website. Microsoft Teams will be the project’s hub and will allow for networking and sharing of knowledge and experiences, as well as a supportive, safe and secure environment for questions and growth.


Global Partnerships-Bring Together the Best and Brightest

24 August 2020

The Single Voices, Global Choices project is primed to begin the first of September and we are grateful for the many international companies who are supporting us as well as the many talented educators whose expertise and creativity inspire and teach us transformational ways to use educational technology and powerful pedagogical strategies that can both be used to improve student learning.

We are excited to use Microsoft Teams as our digital hub and one of our Ambassadors, Dr. Michael Harvey, has created this video to introduce everyone to the Microsoft Teams hub of our project.

Michael is a New Zealand science educator based in Malaysia. He is a MIEExpert, Flipgrid Global ambassador, Wakelet Ambassador, Apple Teacher, and Level 2 Google Educator. He is also the ISTE global PLN event chair and is involved in the Kakuma refugee project and Roots and Shoots program Tanzania. His educational research interests are developing global collaborations and the use of digital animations to enhance student understanding of complex abstract scientific concepts and linking this to cognitive psychology.

Dr. Michael Harvey
Some of the other supporters who have joined us are listed here in alphabetical order and we look forward to sharing innovative ways our teachers are using these these tools in future blogs.

Adobe for Education – equips educators with tools that help students build essential digital literacy and problem-solving skills, preparing them to communicate their ideas in the classroom and beyond.

Global EdTech – offers global news, views & reviews from across the EdTech world.The Global EdTech website features daily articles covering a range of EdTech topics including industry news, virtual reality, online safety and STEM education. Their free monthly digital newsletter and quarterly magazine also digest and present all the key trends in a high quality, easy to read format.

GoBubble – offers safe social communication for younger kids (under age 13), both within the classroom and globally using a moderated platform. Students and teachers can post conversations as “bubbles” where they can upload text, photos, video, or links or create polls. Some classroom uses include asking students to lead a discussion around content learned in class, describe their digital footprint, or explain how they would spread kindness in their lives. Teachers can also use the program to conduct competitions[BZ1] [BZ2]  or have students collaborate on projects.

Microsoft– probably does not need so much of an introduction as almost everybody knows their products and services. However, it is important to know that their mission and values are to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential. Since 2018 we have used Microsoft Teams as our digital hub so that teachers could discuss teaching ideas, share resources, connect with each other and curate lists of interesting pedagogical tools and resources.

Palms – Pedagogic Active Learning Mobile Solutions support conceiving, designing and creating active teaching methods and their corresponding mobile solutions in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related education. They are creators of educational apps such as YoTeach! https://yoteachapp.com/, Cell Game: https://the-cell-game.com/ and Badaboom! http://badaboom.hkhttps://c0.pubmine.com/sf/0.0.3/html/safeframe.htmlREPORT THIS AD

Testmoz – is a simple site that allows you to create a test that is accessible on the Internet. By using this tool, you can create an automatically graded test easily and for free! You can even include audio and video if you have an HTML embed code.

Wakelet– an amazing curation tool that allows you to save, organize, tell stories, and share multi-media resources’ for both the teacher and student. Some people call is a more powerful version of Pintrest and Instagram.

If you believe that we could partner up, feel free to contact us.

Learning About Ourselves and the World

The participants of the global collaborative project, Single Voices, Global Choices, have been immersed in a multitude of learning experiences focused on the many international days of recognition. October and November have offered rich experiences to learn about ourselves and others ranging from investigating our own mental health and wellness to understanding the issues faced by others around the world to celebrating the positive contributions of science to the transformative effects of kindness.

WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY

October included World Mental Health Day and saw a variety of engaging activities including a guest speaker – Mike Armiger – who talked about mental health, stress, and self-care with Barbara Anna Zielonka’s class.

Maria Rita Pepe (@mrp_EFLteacher) created this great presentation, We All Have Mental Health.https://view.genial.ly/5f8072531ac09f0cff857094

Barbara Anna Zielonka’s students also learned about reframing as a tool to add to their life and health skills: “Today we have learnt about reframing-it helps us to use whatever life hands us as opportunities to be taken advantage of, rather than problems to be avoided. Breakdowns are transformed into challenges! #lifeskills #healthskills #reframing

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on October 12, 2020.

Using Kahoot, students from Norway and Italy met for the first time for a fun game challenge:

“Playing Kahoot across national borders! Today Italian and Norwegian students have met for the first time! #wellnesswheel #globalprojects

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on October 12, 2020.

And Branka Ranisavljevic’s student, Anja Sandic, created this presentation: Mental Health of Youth, using emaze.

Originally tweeted by Branka Ranisavljevic🍀🐘🐼 Climate Action Project (@ranisavljevicb) on October 22, 2020.

Understanding our mental health is an important part of maintaining our well-being. Looking outward to understanding the issues faced by others is equally important in our globally connected world and students spent lots of time doing just that.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL

The world is home to more than 1.1 billion girls under age 18, who are poised to become the largest generation of female leaders, entrepreneurs and change-makers the world has ever seen.

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on October 11, 2020.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S DAY

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday that celebrates and honors Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures. It is celebrated across the United States on the second Monday in October.

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on October 12, 2020.

SPIRIT DAY

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on October 15, 2020.

Participants of the project learned that LGBTQ youth disproportionately face bullying and harassment because of their identities. Each year, millions go purple for Spirit Day to support LGBTQ youth in a united stand against bullying. #singlevoicesglobalchoices #GoPurpleOriginally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on October 15, 2020.

We wrapped up the month of October with World Food Day and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Both days highlight sustainable development goals #1 and #2: End poverty in all its forms and End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Along with the highlighted activities below, interested educators who want to address these two goals in their classrooms might consider using Dollar Street at https://www.gapminder.org/dollar-street/. Dollar Street allows people to see how others really live around the world. The creators visited 264 families in 50 countries and collected 30,000 photos. They sorted the homes by income looking at the things we all have in common – we all need to eat, sleep and pee – to show how we all have the same needs, but we can afford different solutions. Dollar Street really emphasizes how surprisingly similar everyday life is across cultures and countries for people on the same income level and is an eye-opener for everyone. Anna Rosling Rönnlund is a co-founder of Gapminder — the foundation which runs Dollar Street a foundation that she co-founded with Hans and Ola Rosling and her mission is to promote a fact-based Worldview that everyone can understand by providing the world with useful and meaningful data about the world. Learn more about Dollar Street with Anna Rosling Rönnlund in her TED Talk:https://embed.ted.com/talks/anna_rosling_ronnlund_see_how_the_rest_of_the_world_lives_organized_by_income

WORLD FOOD DAY

World Food Day is celebrated every year on 16 October in over 150 countries to create awareness and action for SDG2: end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. #singlevoicesglobalchoices #WorldFoodDay 2020 #WorldFoodDay

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on October 16, 2020.

Tatiana Popa’s class celebrated World Food Day in their eTwinning club. One of Tatiana’s students, Adam, also wrote a newspaper article for the Heritage Globe newspaper in Moldova. Well done, Adam!

“How’s your Friday, everyone? We are celebrating #WorldFoodDay today! My students at the #etwinning club discussed #SDGs &decided that the day refers to #SDG2 #nohunger@UNDPMoldova @Worldfoodday_ #singlevoicesglobalchoices

Originally tweeted by Tatiana Popa (@Tatianapopab) on October 16, 2020.

“We celebrate #WorldFoodDay2020 in a variety of ways: my student Adam wrote an article for the Heritage Globe newspaper: https://sites.google.com/heritage.md/heritage-globe/food?authuser=0 &and I proudly gave an interview for this! @HIS_Moldova @EducationHis #SlovakEmbassy #singlevoicesglobalchoices

ORIGINALLY TWEETED BY TATIANA POPA (@TATIANAPOPAB) ON OCTOBER 16, 2020.

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY.

17 October presents an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty, a chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty. #singlevoicesglobalchoices

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on October 17, 2020.

The day was highlighted with an assembly and informative presentation in Tatania Popa’s school:

“Weekly gymnasium assembly on #SDG1 #nopoverty,thus marking the #WorldEradicationofPovertyDay @UNDPMoldova Oct 17. Many thanks to director Rob Ford for this important informative presentation! #singlevoicesglobalchoices #globaleducation #internationalschool @HIS_Moldova @UNMoldova

Originally tweeted by Tatiana Popa (@Tatianapopab) on October 22, 2020.

November ushered in further focus on building our awareness with the whole month dedicated to Transgender Awareness.

TRANSGENDER AWARENESS MONTH

Transgender Awareness Month—celebrated annually in November—is a crucial time to uplift the voices and experiences of the transgender and gender non-conforming (transgender/GNC) community through education and action. Visit Out and Equal who have curated a list of excellent resources and stories to support greater visibility and awareness of the transgender and gender non-conforming community this month and year-round. The message is clear: You belong here.

Logo of Out and Equal

Mental health and well-being resurfaced with National Stress Awareness Day, a timely topic that should be revisited often throughout this strange and trying year.

NATIONAL STRESS AWARENESS DAY

National Stress Awareness Day provides people with an opportunity to think about our wellbeing and find advice or support on managing stress. To maintain our wellbeing, we need to be able to recognise what’s making us stressed to help us learn how to deal with it.

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on November 4, 2020.

Branka Ranisavljevic’s students created Public Service Announcement posters to spread the word about stress.

Public Service Announcement Posters from Branka Ranisavljevic’s students, Serbia

WORLD SCIENCE DAY FOR PEACE & DEVELOPMENT

World Science Day for Peace and Development highlights the significant role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues. #singlevoicesglobalchoices #WorldScienceDay2020

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on November 10, 2020.

We all can probably agree that everyone needs a little more kindness in their life and World Kindness Day promoted kindness in abundance among our participants.

WORLD KINDNESS DAY

World Kindness Day is a global day that promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself, and to the world. This day, celebrated on November 13 of each year, has the purpose is to help everyone understand that compassion for others is what binds us all together. This understanding has the power to bridge the gap between nations.

Maria Rita Pepe kicked kindness off with a “live #eTwinning event on @MicrosoftTeams with our great partners from Poland. In spite of a few tech difficulties, we managed to share our posters and brainstorm ideas for #WorldKindnessDay #singlevoicesglobalchoices

Originally tweeted by Mαriα Rita Pepe (@mrp_EFLteacher) on November 13, 2020.

Tatiana Popa’s class had a videoconference “between @HIS_Moldova students & Mankaa School in Espoo, Finland to discuss #kindness & activities we do as a school to improve community, but also our students life in #COVID19 times! #singlevoicesglobalchoices @eTwinningEurope @EducationHis #globaleducation

Originally tweeted by Tatiana Popa (@Tatianapopab) on November 13, 2020.

WORLD TOILET DAY

World Toilet Day celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. It is about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6! #singlevoicesglobalchoices

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on November 19, 2020.

World Toilet Day afforded my students the opportunity to dig into some data from ArcGIS StoryMaps. We explored Indigenous Water Rights using this storymap and came to a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding clean water and sanitation in First Nations communities across Canada.

WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY

World Children’s Day was first established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day and is celebrated on 20 November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare. #singlevoicesglobalchoices #worldchildrensday

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on November 20, 2020.

Children’s Rights were the topic of the day in Tatiana Popa’s class:

“Happy #ChildrensDay2020! We discussed #ChildrensRights in #Moldova & #Finland with our partner school in Finland today! Interesting findings! #singlevoicesglobalchoices #chattingfriends @eTwinningEurope @EtwinningM @HIS_Moldova @EducationHis #AnttiPiiroinen Thank You! @UNICEF

Originally tweeted by Tatiana Popa (@Tatianapopab) on November 20, 2020.

It’s been a busy couple of months with a lot of connections and learning by all – it’s great to think that there is so much more in store with the Single Voices, Global Voices project ongoing until April 2021.

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