Practical Internet Curriculum for International Schools
By Frank Odasz, email@example.com
The issue of just how Internet access can benefit International schools, as well as international rural economic development efforts, may appear complex, but is at its heart simply combining caring and connectivity with common sense.
Three historical firsts the Internet brings to our fingertips:
; the ability to find specific information within seconds from worldwide sources. This allows self-empowerment through self-directed, just-in-time, inquiry-based learning.
1. Fingertip access to the worlds knowledge base
2. Inexpensive global self-publishingfor both individuals and communities; sharing creative works and resources with an authentic peer audience through the ability to self-publish globally using multimedia on a shoestring budget on equal par with the worlds largest universities, corporations, and governments. This allows for every story to be told and dramatically facilitates the sharing of information.
3. The ability to collaboratewith individuals without restraint due to distance or time, either privately one-to-one or publicly involving whole communities, bringing people together around purposeful causes to take organized action. The Internet increases the quantity and quality of human relationships.
The best Internet education involves building collaborative skills using the many Internet collaborative tools to teach knowledge worker skills that will apply to all areas of activity throughout our students lifetimes.
Basic Knowledge Worker Skill Set:
In addition, character education, within the context of embracing global citizenship, is being recognized as essential education. We all need to understand that treasuring ones own traditional culture can, and should, exist in harmony with appreciating the diversity of other cultures. http://www.charactercounts.org http://lone-eagles.com/chared.htm
Project-based learning models embrace real world problem-solving using Internet searching and collaborative tools and make perfect sense if we are to create knowledge workers skilled in dealing with future challenges.
Free web tools allow educators to create their own web-based curriculum quickly and easily without technical skills, web-authoring software, or their own web hosting account. Free customizable web sites for teachers, and for schools, are available, allowing teachers to share their curriculum with other teachers. See http://lone-eagles.com/webdev.htm
For example, heres Ms. Elliotts Award Winning Web site with resources for K2, which 3,000 teachers a week visit for ideas. http://myschoolonline.com/ME/Mrs_Elliott
A rapidly increasing number of web sites offer educators the opportunity to simply fill in the blanks to create an online quiz, where student input will be automatically emailed to the teacher. Or, Webquest activities, where the teacher can simply edit an existing template to create a project-based unit, or build upon hundreds of existing Webquest units. See http://lone-eagles.com/capacity.htm
School web sites allow parents and the community to appreciate student work and keep up to date on school activity calendars and much more. Internet access makes it possible to access the very best resources from any location. Brokerage services can help teachers save time finding these best resources will evolve rapidly. Teachers today need to know how to access the curriculum libraries that will allow them to make best use of their precious time and talents. See http://lone-eagles.com/curric.htm
Online courses can be created, and taught, using free online services such as www.blackboard.com, which offers a self-guided tour of its many class creation and class management tools and features.
The stage is set for teachers at International schools to easily create and share web-based curriculum and potentially market their curriculum and project-based learning units to schools all over the world.
Teachers roles are changing in light of these new opportunities. Teachers are becoming information brokers, powerful facilitators of student learning, helping individualize students instruction with the most appropriate resources. Students are viewed as producers, learning to build their own knowledge as Information Age Constructivists.
As we become overwhelmed by the volume of information on the Internet, and the increasing pace of change of the modern day, informational dependencies on online peer communities, and friendly sharing, will increase in order to allow us to find a balance.
If we all share what we know, well all have access to all our shared knowledge. There are a growing number of online professional communities where teachers share with peers the best of what they both find on the Internet, and create themselves, in specific topic areas and for specific grade levels.
A few resources for International educators you wont want to miss:
International Education Daily
Teachers' Guide to International Collaboration on the Internet
International K12 Internet Resources (Handout from AAIE presentation
Lone Eagle Consulting