Ed-Tech Policy

N.J. Seeks a Worldview Through Online Projects

By Rhea R. Borja — July 11, 2006 1 min read

New Jersey’s education department is going global.

The department announced a partnership last month with the International Education and Resource Network, or IEARN, a New York City-based nonprofit group, to help students and teachers learn about the different histories and cultures of the world through collaborative online projects with students in other countries. The network includes more than 20,000 schools in more than 115 countries. (“Network Sponsors Worldwide Sharing of Curricula,” Feb. 8, 2006.)

The Silver Spring, Md.-based Longview Foundation provided a $13,000 grant for the partnership, which plans to train 42 New Jersey teachers in how to use online global projects.

“Through the Internet, students and teachers have the opportunity to go beyond international simulations and engage directly with students in other countries,” Edwin Gragert, the director of IEARN-USA, said in a statement.

For instance, in one IEARN project, 5th graders in Bellevue, Wash., spoke to Israeli and Arab students via online video to learn how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict affects them, and the Washington state students studied Middle Eastern history, geography, and culture.

In another project, 12 secondary schools in eight countries—Argentina, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, India, Lebanon, Senegal, and the United States—put together a photo-essay exhibit illustrating their various cultures.

A version of this article appeared in the July 12, 2006 edition of Education Week

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