iEARN Civics

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Information about iEARN Civics

Published on February 4, 2014

Author: daniMD



iEARN Civics

It takes many classrooms to make a global community

Why Online Communities? "Children develop language through interaction...they learn to talk by talking to someone who responds…

they must therefore learn to write by writing to someone who responds.

It will perhaps be possible for us to create classroom communities within school which writing matters because…

it's done for real reasons by real writers who ache with caring for real response.” (Reflections by Mem Fox, 1993)

iEARN Goals •To facilitate teacher-directed, student collaborative on-line project work •To create global, national, and local support structures to sustain project work •To demonstrate that on-line education can enhance learning and improve the quality of life on the planet

iEARN Experience 12 years linking schools for project work in both northern and southern hemispheres (started in 1988) Structures and projects in over 80 countries Collaboration with governments, NGO’s, foundations, educational agencies, companies, etc.

iEARN Provides a safe and structured environment for children to communicate a known audience for writing and reading for a purpose an opportunity to apply knowledge in service-learning projects an inclusive and culturally diverse community of supportive educators

Keys to Interactive On-line Project Success •teacher and student driven •interactivity, not passivity •honor local teaching & learning styles •adaptability to new technologies •teacher training and support •collaboration with others

Collaborative Project Work Curriculum areas: • Science, environment, math • Social studies, economics • Literature, creative writing • Language skills acquisition

Civic Education in iEARN The interdisciplinary nature of on-line collaborative project work empowers students to be pro-active in their communities in issues of gender, human rights, ethnic differences, conflict resolution and environmental preservation. By creating the habit of getting involved in issues that are relevant to them, youth will hopefully be better equipped for future civic participation.

Civic Education and Language "Literacy is about empowering write and read about their use literacy to be shapers of their world with a sense of hope." (Paulo Freire, 1994)

The Foreign Language Teaching area is without doubt one that gets more benefits using the Internet in the classroom. Let’s explore some reasons why this happens:

The current approach to Foreign Language (FL) teaching Since the 1970’s psychologists and linguists have placed emphasis on interpersonal relationships, the nature of communication and the interactive process of language. As a result, the language teaching profession has responded with methods that emphasize communicative competence, and that stress group work, interaction and cooperative learning.

Language for Communication In the past two decades interest in FL teaching has been in communicative language teaching (CLT). This focus has centered on speaking and listening skills in real life situations, on writing for specific communicative purposes, and on reading “authentic” texts.

Why use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) in my FL classroom? There are three main reasons: • To create a richer environment for learners. • To give my students the chance to interact in real communication. • To provide my class with real audiences instead of simulated situations.

What does iEARN add to my EFL class? Working with iEARN, teachers and students join an inclusive and culturally diverse community of teachers and students around the world. iEARN provides a safe environment where kids can interact iEARN provides a known audience for reading, writing and talking.

How can I work with iEARN in my EFL class to enhance communication? The model iEARN uses is themebased, project based collaboration. The students get involved in specific collaborative projects that include at least two classes anywhere in the world.

Model Projects using iEARN in different levels Level 1 (elementary) – The Teddy Bear Project Project Level 2 (pre-intermediate) – Descriptive writing in publications – Producing and describing artwork Level 3 (intermediate to advanced) – Reading and contributing to publications (Laws of Life, Lewin, Child Labour)

The Teddy Bear and Cleft Buddy Project (elementary level) Schools around the world are given partners to send a Teddy Bear to. When the bear arrives students send weekly e-mail diary messages to the bears home describing its adventures. The Cleft Buddy Teddy Bear Project gives students an opportunity to exchange stuffed animals that symbolically represent a child born with a cleft lip and palate. Using information posted on the web, teachers develop activities with their classes encouraging awareness and sensitivity to children born with cleft lips and palates.

Descriptive writing and generating artwork and describing pictures (pre-intermediate level) Me and my Pet The First People’s Project (Global Art) Local Birds Beauty of the Beasts Side by Side Folk Tales

Reading & contributing to publications (intermediate and advanced levels) Reading task example: Writing task example: – Students read articles from projects and report to the rest of the class about it. – Students write and use peer editing techniques to review and proof essays before posting. – Respond with written comments to other students’ essays.

Sample Projects (intermediate and advanced levels) – Laws of Life Essay: Students write about their personal values in life. laws.html – Lewin: A global anthology of creative writing. – Fight Against Child Labour Project: Youth collaborating and researching and awareness raising on the issues of child labour and exploitation.

Two final benefits when working with I*EARN projects Interdisciplinary nature of projects: – The FL teacher works closely in collaboration with teachers from other areas. The input of students who have advanced knowledge of the FL: – Club of Translators: team of students who help with the translation of I*EARN projects to facilitate other teachers’ participation. (First People’s web page)

I*EARN E-mail: 475 Riverside Drive, #540, New York, NY 10115, USA Tel: 212/870-2693 Fax: 212/870-2672

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