A team for HS 560 CITY AS SCHOOL
High School students in Europe and New York City will collaborate to create a documentary examining global awareness of their peers.
Global Exchange Program at City-As-School
In 2012, the World Savvy Organization designed and administered its Global Competency Survey to 502 high school students between the ages of 18-24 who had attended high school in the United States and had graduated from high school or obtained a GED. Amongst the many interesting findings of the survey, one, in particular, stood out to us as a High School. They found that 63% of the students indicated that they did not discuss world events in their high school classes. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that students could not accurately answer questions related to important global issues of today, such as:
What is the most commonly spoken language in the world? Correct Answer: Mandarin. (Only 22% answered correctly)
Which country is the US’ largest trading partner? Correct Answer: Canada (Only 23% answered correctly)
As made evident by the World Savvy survey, the need for a more globally focused education is widespread and is certainly inclusive of our students at City-As-School. With the relationships our school has developed being a part of the International Network of Experiential and Project-Based Schools (INEPS), there are ample opportunities for us to now meet this student need. Our hope is to establish an ongoing international exchange program that would allow students and staff to not only learn about, but to also experience global cultures, ideologies, issues, and economies. Our first project will be to identify a partner classroom in Europe with whom we will co-create a documentary film examining Global Awareness Issues both in the United States and Abroad.
Phase 1: Building the Relationship
The most essential parts of a project are the personal relationships that hold it together. Phase 1 of the Global Awareness Documentary Project sets out to cover this base first. In the summer of 2013, Ryan Glass, a current CAS internship coordinator, will travel to a variety of potential partner schools in Helsinki, Amsterdam, Paris, and Berlin in order to evaluate each school’s desire and ability to parter with City As School. Phase 1 will be complete once the European school’s Principal has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with City-As-School Principal, Alan Cheng, and a lead teacher to run the European section in the school has been identified.
Phase 2: The Global Classroom
As the world continues to “shrink” with the majority of international communities now having access to internet enabled computers and web-cameras, it is essential that we, as a global education community, use such technology as a teaching tool to bridge geographical divides. City-As-School stands at the forefront of technological school-based innovation. Over the past two years, CAS has participated in the NYC Innovation Zone grant that has provided us with additional laptops, network access, and advanced training for teachers and students. Through a separate grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Fund, we recently purchased 260 Google Chromebooks that will be given out as loaner computers to any student without an internet enabled device at home. System-wide, our students use Google Apps for Education that allow them to store files on their “drive”, collaborate on documents and projects together, and share information seamlessly with their teachers.
Phase 2 of the GEP will require both the CAS lead teacher and international school lead teacher to build together a cross-cultural global awareness documentary class. By examining global awareness of the students in their native countries, students will share their understandings and findings with their partner classroom across the Atlantic. Students will edit their colleagues work and engage in collaborative feedback sessions using the Google “hangout” video-chat feature. This class will test the limits of teacher collaboration, student communication, and the program’s ability to raise awareness amongst the larger community of the need for international exchanges.
Phase 3: The Exchange
The payoff for the first year’s work will be the actual exchange that will start in March of 2014. Students will prepare for the exchange by enrolling in a Globalization and Cultural Awareness class. Once again co-facilitated by the two lead teachers, the course will examine the economy, demographics, current events, and cultural traditions of their partner school’s country and local community. Students successful in the class will be able to participate in the international exchange.
Education is key and educating in a creative way has always been a passion for me!