Go Global VT is happy to announce the pilot of a four-part Global Partners Seminar Series for high school and middle school students.
What is the Purpose? The Global Partner Series is designed to support flexible learning opportunities for Vermont students who wish to develop a year-long project around one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in collaboration with an international partner. A series of seminars will offer a framework and support for students wishing to develop a project but who need a structure and skills to make it successful. GO GLOBAL VT will also help students identify international partners, and will begin in Kenya and Ghana where students have had an introduction to the SDGs and the logistics of using technology to become a global partner.
What projects are students doing? Students are using the concept of Think Globally, Act Locally. Students have chosen projects important to them and to their own community to address one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Some are working on climate issues, others on food scarcity by developing community gardens, still others are working on recycling. One group is focusing on health and well-being with a mental health project. They have worked with their international partners to identify which of the SDG’s are of high priority to each team. The teams located on different sides of the globe, then identified projects focused on a similar goal, and they agree to compare notes with international partners working on their own project throughout the year. They agree to be partners and to help each other along the way. The overarching goal of the project is to support students in developing the skills, attitudes and content knowledge to become global citizens.
Student projects will span from October 2018 to May 2019. Students may continue working after the Global Partner Seminar Series ends and perhaps continue their projects into next year. They will use this independent work to focus on proficiencies important to them: environmental science, sustainability, global citizenship, a foreign language or their transferable skills.
How do student work together with virtual partners? Typically a student team is made up of 2-4 students interested in working together, and they have identified an adult to support their flexible learning project and attend the seminar series with them. Students are expected to connect with their virtual partners bi-weekly to compare notes and offer project support. They will report back on their progress to others in the Global Partners Seminar Series through email updates and blog postings. They have international partners and local partners to support their work.
What technology is needed? Schools are expected to provide access to Zoom video-conferencing and a snowball mic to enhance sound. Students can use a laptop computer or an iPad to video-conference. Once launched, students can schedule and conduct virtual meetings independently using a school Zoom account.
How are local partners involved? This Seminar Series is partially supported by Bay and Paul Foundation who is committed to Vermont students working for a more just and sustainable world. The University of Vermont Community Development and Applied Economics Program is hosting two seminar sessions where faculty members and students will introduce to students the principles of community development and the tools to discover and analyze data. The Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP) will provide a session on systems mapping to aid students in understanding the interdependence of many environmental and social factors in a community change process.
How are schools involved? School staff agree to support their student teams, advise Go Global VT on the seminar format, and provide feedback for future seminar design. High school faculty will be asked to include and support this platform as one of their flexible learning options leading to student demonstration of proficiency. UM College of Agriculture CDAE students will participate as mentors and share projects they will have completed in Kenya in January 2019.
During the Global Partner Seminar Series, students will learn:
How to use the UN SDGs as a platform for inquiry and action as global citizens
How to establish and maintain an international partnership using ZOOM video conferencing tools
How to employ basic principles of community development to inform a project
How to developing a strategic map to guide long-term planning
How to develop simple ways of reporting on their project, specifically by publishing 2-3 blogs updating their community and their Global Partners cohort
How to demonstrate proficiency to others in their home school and community
Are you interested in participating in a GLOBAL PARTNERS SEMINAR NEXT YEAR?
Do you have potential student team in some of your classes, in your after school program, or in your flexible learning program who might be interested in collaborating with an international partner on a sustainability project that they think is important to their community, perhaps food security, climate change, water quality, equal opportunity, Farm to School programs?
Are they willing to use the SDGs as a platform for that investigation? Are they willing to gather evidence of competency in global citizenship, transferable skills, or a content area such as environmental science to present to your school to demonstrate proficiency?
Is there an adult who is willing to support them, attend a 4-part seminar series, and help them prepare to present evidence of proficiency?
Go Global VT is willing to connect schools with international partners if you do not have one that you are already connected with. We have the potential of partnering with student teams in East Africa, Bhutan and Nepal, Puerto Rico or China if you wish. You may already have an international contact that you would like to work with. We will help to facilitate that.
The outcomes would be that your students will develop intercultural communication skills, skills in independent inquiry, and a working understanding of one or more global issues outlined in the SDGs. They will have the opportunity to share their growing knowledge and understanding with a Vermont cohort of high school students as well as UVM CDAE students.They have the potential of demonstrating proficiencies in their local schools.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BECOMING INVOLVED?
Please contact Executive Director Mary Lynn Riggs as we are planning for a Fall 2019 start of a second GLOBAL PARTNERS SEMINAR SERIES. Reserve your school’s slot now! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org