New Way for WorldVuze Teachers to Connect and Collaborate

New Way for WorldVuze Teachers to Connect and Collaborate

We have listened and heard from many educators that you would like a way to connect and collaborate together with other classrooms that are on WorldVuze.

We’ve created a WorldVuze Teacher Google Community where you can do just that! It’s a private community, which only teachers who have been validated on WorldVuze can join. Click here to join now!

already a worldvuze teacher?

If you’re a K-12 educator and not already registered to WorldVuze, you can sign up to WorldVuze and join the Google Community once you’ve been validated by us. WorldVuze will always be free for K-12 teachers and students anywhere in the world.

On the WorldVuze Teachers Google Community, you can post initiatives you would like to collaborate on with other WorldVuze classrooms or ideas for how you’d like to go beyond the discussions on WorldVuze. By signing up to WorldVuze, you are not automatically part of this Google teacher community and will need to opt-in here to participate.

We have set up three categories for your posts:

  • Elementary classrooms
  • Secondary classrooms
  • French classrooms
    *WorldVuze will be available in French starting September 2017! More updates to come…

Check back into the WorldVuze Teachers Google Community periodically for new collaboration opportunities. We will also send updates through our monthly teacher e-blasts highlighting what you are sharing!

This community is for you, so please share your ideas if there are ways we can make this community even better for you by emailing us at info@worldvuze.com

The Critical Thinking Consortium’s Webinar: 5 Powerful Learning Opportunities Using WorldVuze in YOUR Class!

This October, The Critical Thinking Consortium’s (TC2) Dr. Garfield Gini-Newman facilitated a 1-hour interactive webinar “5 Powerful Learning Opportunities using WorldVuze in YOUR class!”, highlighting critical thinking opportunities when using WorldVuze in the K-12 classroom.

You can watch the full webinar recording here:

Webinar Highlights
In this webinar, Professor Gini-Newman explores the following themes:

  • How does technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge intersect?
  • What should be the defining characteristics of the 21st century classroom?
  • When can critical thinking be integrated in the classroom?
  • How can inquiry be used as a stance to support thinking classrooms?
  • What is the difference between student engagement and student empowerment?
  • How can you help your students gauge the quality of information they are receiving?
  • How does the student learning experience change when taught from a “knowledge hierarchy” versus a “knowledge network” stance?
  • How can you and your class identify and create questions that invite critical thinking?

A Peak Inside the Webinar
Professor Gini-Newman offers strategies for fostering thinking classrooms that can be integrated while using WorldVuze with your class. Here’s some strategies you can learn in the webinar:

The Baloney Meter
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Attributes of a Critical Thinking Question

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Wheel of Qualifiers (Turning questions into “critical thinking” questions)
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We want to thank the Critical Thinking Consortium for sharing these powerful strategies with the WorldVuze community and invite educators to share ideas for future webinars by emailing us at info@worldvuze.com.

About The Critical Thinking Consortium
The Critical Thinking Consortium supports many thousands of educators through a range of face-to-face, online and print resources and services developed around a classroom-proven approach to embedding critical thinking. TC2’s aim is to help students learn to think and think to learn.

Critical Thinking Consortium Webinar: 5 Powerful Learning Opportunities Using WorldVuze in YOUR class!

Critical Thinking Consortium Webinar: 5 Powerful Learning Opportunities Using WorldVuze in YOUR class!

Join The Critical Thinking Consortium’s (TC2) Dr. Garfield Gini-Newman for a free 1-hour interactive webinar “5 Powerful Learning Opportunities Using WorldVuze in YOUR Class!” this October 18th from 7:30-8:30pm EST. Explore 5 easy to use activities you can bring to your classroom to leverage the WorldVuze platform to create powerful learning opportunities that can help cultivate critically thinking, creative, collaborative, and globally-minded students and help you achieve your curriculum goals, whether you have 15 minutes of class time or a larger unit to work with.

garfield-picFacilitator: Professor Garfield Gini- Newman
As national senior consultant with The Critical Thinking Consortium and associate professor at OISE/University of Toronto, Garfield has worked with thousands of teachers across grades and subjects. Previously he was a teacher and curriculum consultant and has led major projects exploring the use of digital technologies to enhance critical, creative and collaborative thinking. Garfield speaks across Canada and internationally, has authored eight books and several chapters in books and articles. He has also taught in the faculties of education at York University and the University of British Columbia. His most recent book, Creating Thinking Classrooms, is into its fifth printing and is being used in schools across Canada, the United States, Europe and the Middle East.

Date: October 18th

Time:  7:30-8:30pm EST

Register-Now-Button-Orange

Cost: This first “Powerful Learning” Webinar is Free of charge

Following Additional Webinars will be offered during the 2016-17 school year at a cost of $15 each/educator (times TBD)

Powerful Learning Webinar Series
The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2) and WorldVuze (www.worldvuze.com) are teaming up to bring the best of pedagogy and technology together in this webinar series. In these interactive 1-hour webinars, world-class facilitators from The Critical Thinking Consortium will provide frameworks and pedagogical strategies to help K-12 educators foster critically thinking, creative, collaborative, and globally-minded students by leveraging the WorldVuze platform.

Critical Thinking Consortium
The Critical Thinking Consortium supports many thousands of educators through a range of face-to-face, online and print resources and services developed around a classroom-proven approach to embedding critical thinking. Our aim is to help students learn to think and think to learn.

Why the World Needs Critically Thinking Global Citizens? Innovative Strategies to Prepare Your Students for a Future of Uncertainty

Why the World Needs Critically Thinking Global Citizens? Innovative Strategies to Prepare Your Students for a Future of Uncertainty

artificial intelligenceThe likelihood that today’s careers will survive in the future, alongside driverless cars and Artificial Intelligence, is slim to none (see the likelihood of different careers to survive in the BBC article Will a robot take your job?). Instead, we’re more likely to see an increase in entrepreneurship and careers that are more technologically-driven and global in nature.

In their lifetimes, our students will also face the potential escalation of massive and complex social and environmental challenges, from climate change to epidemics, operating on an international scale.

As a non-profit organization, our goal at WorldVuze is to help foster critically thinking global citizens not only to help students to become successfully employed in this future world, but also to equip them with the skills they’ll need to tackle and solve these complex problems. We characterize a critically thinking global citizen as a person who is:

  • An informed and curious investigator;
  • A critical thinker who thoughtfully engages with the world;
  • Comfortable with complexity and open-minded when faced with diversity and uncertainty;
  • Respectful of and empathetic to different cultures and seeks to understand different points of view.
Michael Fullan's 6 C's

Michael Fullan’s 6 C’s

This set of skills, often grouped as “21st century skills” or by Michael Fullan as the 6 C’s, encompass competencies from critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, citizenship, communication, to character. We built our WorldVuze technology  specifically for the K-12 education community to create opportunities for these important skills and competencies to be practiced and applied in an authentic and safe environment.

We also understand that any technology must be rooted in and scaffolded by strong pedagogy in order to successfully support truly powerful and transformative learning. Through our professional development training workshops, educators can learn how to use our technology to regularly integrate powerful global learning experiences into their curriculum and support their students in their development as critical, creative and collaborative global citizens.

This July 4 and 5th 2016, we are partnering with Dr. Garfield Gini-Newman from the Critical Thinking Consortium and Amanda Humphreys, classroom educator from the Bishop Strachan School, to offer a 2-day workshop at the BSS Summer Symposium in Toronto.

We invite you to bring WorldVuze PD to your school or event by choosing from our Full-Day and Half-Day workshop options or by working with our team to design a custom PD workshop, which can be tailored to your group by grade and subject area (see our list of PD units below). For more information or to design and schedule your own workshop, please contact Julia Coburn at julia@worldvuze.com.

PD UNITS

Asking Powerful Questions
Learn how to use an innovative framework for asking powerful, critical thinking questions and practice applying it hands-on. Gain strategies for developing critical thinking questions collaboratively with your students that your class can pose to a global community.

Competency Focus: Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Inquiry

Facilitating Thoughtful Inter-Cultural Communicators
Unpack a framework for facilitating thoughtful inter-cultural communicators. Using real-life posts from students on WorldVuze, practice providing helpful feedback to guide your students to share more thoughtful answers, comments, and “mindshifts” in an authentic global learning environment of their peers.

Competency Focus: Communication, Citizenship, Critical Thinking

Global Curriculum Connections Through Inquiry
Learn strategies to regularly integrate authentic and engaging global learning experiences into your curriculum by leveraging the WorldVuze technology throughout the inquiry process from:

  • Formulating questions,
  • Gathering and organizing data,
  • Analyzing and interpreting patterns in perspectives, and
  • Communicating to a diverse global community.

*We can tailor this unit to your group based on grade and subject area or offer a broader, more inter-disciplinary session

Competency Focus: Critical Thinking, Communication, Creativity

Re-Thinking Global Citizenship
Explore global citizenship through multiple lenses and reflect on the impact of these different approaches. Uncover the breadth of what a global citizen can look like and develop a model for the kind of global learning experiences you hope to foster in your own classroom.

Competency Focus: Citizenship

Navigating WorldVuze
Become a WorldVuze expert! In this hands-on session we will help you navigate all the regular features of the platform (signing up, creating a class, posting a question, student activity assessment) as well as provide you with valuable tips to enable you and your students to make the most of this innovative and unique tool. For example, accessing student reports, posting video questions, exploring perspectives by using multiple filters and pie charts, creating engaging class profiles and how to take action on real-world issues.

Competency Focus: Information Technology

Investigating Powerful Teacher and Student WorldVuze Case Studies
Investigate first-hand teacher and student case studies to discover how teachers and students around the world are creating powerful global learning experiences using WorldVuze that foster critical, collaborative, and creative thinking. Learn how:

  • Students are empowered to drive their own inquiries to deepen their understanding of real-world issues
  • Individual students and classrooms can take action and make a meaningful impact by initiating or participating in WorldVuze challenges
  • Educators are using WorldVuze to engage all students in their curriculum

Competency Focus: Critical Thinking, Communication, Creativity, Collaboration, Citizenship

Miss Murray’s Class “Talks” the Better than Before Challenge!

When compared to 31 of the world’s wealthiest countries, Canada’s children are among the least satisfied with their lives, ranking 25th according to UNICEF’s Report Card 13: Fairness for Children. Canadian child and youth well-being is on the decline.

“UNICEF Canada is committed to implementing the rights contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and that includes children’s right to be heard. We need to hear from young people to really understand their concerns and their thoughts on how to make Canada a better place for them”, says UNICEF Canada Policy Officer, Stacia Sahi.

watch miss murray's classWe joined Miss Murray’s Grade 8 class at Crescent School last week, who shared their thoughts on UNICEF Canada’s Better than Before Challenge and how classrooms across the country can join from now until the end of May 2016.

K-12 teachers can sign their class up for free on WorldVuze where their students can safely engage in this and other discussions with students across Canada and around the world.

UNICEF QuestionsBy sharing their perspectives on the 5 Better Before Challenge questions on WorldVuze (tagged UNICEF2016), students can share what is important to their well-being and how they think Canada can be a better place for children and youth to live. This is a chance for students to use their voice to make a real-world impact and help advocate for change to improve well-being for children and youth in Canada.

Learn how your class can join the Better than Before Challenge this May 2016 and share the challenge with two other classrooms you know to engage in this exciting dialogue!

NEW Features – Video Questions, Class Profiles, and More!

NEW Features – Video Questions, Class Profiles, and More!

WorldVuze just got more engaging! This month we are introducing new features that will allow classrooms to feel more deeply connected to one another by offering new mediums and opportunities to engage with the world.

Video Questions
Test video question

 

Ask a video question as a class or use a video to inspire discussion.

 

 

How?
Start by asking a question as you normally would by typing out your question and multiple choice options in the question field.

Add video question

 

Turn it into a video question, using YouTube or Vimeo, by finding the video you want and using the proper embed format.

 

 

 

 

For YouTube the proper embed format is:
https://youtube.com/embed/VIDEO_ID

Your video’s ID is the letter/number combination after the v= in your videos url. See the VIDEO_ID for the WorldVuze Student Case Study video, for example, highlighted in yellow below. That means, the proper embed format for the WorldVuze Student Case Study video would be https://youtube.com/embed/gdUlTt0tdTIExample Video_ID

Picture Questions
How might pictures or images be interpreted from different perspectives? You can explore this new medium for discussion by posting your own picture questions!

How?

Sample picture question

 

 

Simply find your image and add it to your next question on WorldVuze.

 

 

 

Class Profile
Learn more about the class behind the question by adding your own class profile.

How?
class profile

Add a class picture and class description that students and teachers around the world can see by editing your class, under your profile tab.

 

See class profiles of others by clicking on the class name or class profile icon next to their question, such as the Grade 6 Class below.

class profile

New to WorldVuze? Check out our 5 Steps to Get Your Class Started on WorldVuze blog, our case studies, or demo videos page. Already using WorldVuze, but interested in opportunities to further foster 21st century competencies in your students through inquiry using the technology? Consider joining one of our training sessions near you or bring WorldVuze trainers to your school.

Watch in 3 Minutes How a Student Can Explore Global Perspectives Through Her Own Inquiry

Grade 7 student, Carly, shares how WorldVuze works from a student perspective and tells a story of how she used it as a tool to explore first-hand perspectives on a topic she was curious about. Watch as Carly independently walks through the process of inquiry from beginning to end, driven by her own interests.

Tell us how you would shape the future of education…

Tell us how you would shape the future of education…

les tablettistesThis February 17th 2016, TFO, a go-to resource for educational and cultural content in French in Ontario and internationally is holding its third annual Les Tablettistes conference at Glendon College in Toronto. Les Tablettistes is a bilingual forum for discussion and exchange of ideas that brings together leaders in education, media, and tech to explore the challenges and opportunities for the future in a digital world. This includes an opening address from Canada’s former Prime Minister from 2003 to 2006, the Right Honourable Paul Martin; Student Rights Ambassador for Student Voice, Erik Martin; and Catherine Cano, Executive Director News Programs and Special Events CBC/Radio-Canada.

This jam packed event investigates the cross-section of innovation and education. WorldVuze, in partnership with TFO’s Les Tablettistes and The Wonderment want to bring the student perspective to the table from students across Canada and around the world!

Share Your Perspectives on Education this January 2016
Student perspectives shared by you throughout the month of January 2016 on WorldVuze and The Wonderment will be featured at Les Tablettistes conference in posters and a special video that will be seen by all attendees. Here’s a chance for student voice to be front and centre in shaping the future of education.

How do you join the conversation?
K-12 Teachers, sign up for free at www.worldvuze.com
New to WorldVuze? Check out here how to get your class started on WorldVuze in 5 easy steps.

Les Tablettistes on WorldVuzeOnce your class has joined WorldVuze, your students can safely share their perspectives on these five special Les Tablettistes questions below. Type the question you want to answer or the “TFO” or “Les Tablettistes” question tag in the search bar for easy access to the Les Tablettistes questions. You can also login to WorldVuze, click on the question links below and be taken directly to the question you want!

All languages are welcome. We encourage you to answer the question in a language that you feel most comfortable writing in!

Les Tablettistes Asks…
1) What helps you learn best at school?
2) If you could design the school of the future, what would you include to make it better than today’s schools?
3) What are the most important skills you think you should be learning at school?
4) How different do you think school is now from when your parents or grandparents went to school?
5) How well do you think your education is preparing you for your future?

Learn How to Integrate Global Education through Inquiry

Learn How to Integrate Global Education through Inquiry

Global Education Conference 2015Join us this Wednesday, November 18th at 12pm EST at the free, online Global Education 2015 Conference for our session “Global Education Technology for an Inquiry-Based Classroom”! During this 1 hour session, we will explore how to use the WorldVuze education technology to support educators in integrating global perspectives in their curriculum through an inquiry lens.

 

 

How can you join?Time zones

1) Find and click on your time zone on this page.

 

 

 

 

 

sessions2) Click on the link for the session called “Global education technology for an inquiry-based classroom” OR click on the session link here directly to take you to the Blackboard collaborate page.

*Make sure your computer is compatible with Blackboard collaborate.

 

 

 

We look forward to seeing you there! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Julia Coburn at julia@worldvuze.com. Also, check out the Global Education Conference 2015 to participate in many fascinating sessions to help your class think and learn more globally!

Learn How One Class is Using WorldVuze in 3 Minutes!

We joined teacher librarian, Jean Rehder, from Nelson Mandela Public School in Toronto, Canada who shared with us how she is using WorldVuze with classes at her school to inspire powerful student-driven dialogue. Check out this quick 3 minute video to learn some tips for integrating global perspectives into your curriculum.

5 Steps to Get Your Class Started on WorldVuze

5 Steps to Get Your Class Started on WorldVuze

Are you looking for an authentic way to engage your students in what they’re learning? Here’s 5 simple steps for how you can safely and easily integrate global learning as a regular practice in your curriculum. On WorldVuze, your class can ask powerful questions related to your curriculum for a global community of students to answer. Students can then explore these diverse perspectives in many engaging ways, using maps, filters, and graphs that allow them to compare perspectives by province/region/state, city, town, and country, as well as by age, and time and dig deeper to understand why other young people are thinking the way they do.

5 Steps to Get You Started:
1) Create a New Class for Your Students to Join

Add Your ClassEvery teacher on WorldVuze is validated to ensure a trusted community of elementary and secondary school teachers and their students are the only one’s on the site. Students must be connected to at least one class to use WorldVuze. This way, as an educator you can keep track of all of the content your students are posting.

Set a class end date (i.e. the end of the school year). This means, your students will only be able to use WorldVuze when they’re in school. Students can join a new class when they return!

2) Students Sign-Up or Add a New Class 

Student Sign-Up

 

Every class has a unique 8 digit/letter class code. Find your class code by going to your Profile page, under your “Class” tab. Share this class code with your students to either sign-up (for first-time users) on www.worldvuze.com, or add a new class, by logging in with their username and password and entering in this new class code.

 

 

 


3) Search for Relevant Questions

explore questions

Search for relevant questions to what you’re learning by filtering questions by category, age, or time; searching for questions by keyword or geographic location (i.e. “climate change” or “Sierra Leone”); or browsing questions using the arrows on your dashboard.

4) Post Your Own Powerful Questions

Ask a Question

Work with your students to create a powerful question that you want to share with a global community of students. Teachers, post this question on behalf of your class by clicking on the orange “Ask a Question” button on the top right corner of your dashboard. Remember, every question will have both a multiple choice and an open ended part to it.

 

 

 

5) Share and Explore Local and Global Perspectives!

Explore perspectivesYour students can now share their own perspectives on meaningful questions, as well as explore and find patterns in thousands of other student perspectives across the globe.

 

 

WorldVuze is a non-profit platform and free for teachers and students to use. Why? We envision a future where young people from diverse backgrounds within and outside of their communities consider themselves as equals and are open to considering and understanding multiple points of view. In doing so, we hope they will form a deeper understanding of themselves, each other, and the world around them, as well as build the skill set and mindset needed to become effective 21st century problem solvers.

Need more help? Walk through how to use WorldVuze step-by-step with these quick demo videos.

Not signed up to WorldVuze? Join today by signing up at www.worldvuze.com.

Already on WorldVuze? Spread the word (by sharing this blog) with five more educators and grow your global learning community!

What is our role as a global community to protect the Earth’s biodiversity?

What is our role as a global community to protect the Earth’s biodiversity?

International-Day-for-Biological-Diversity.jpg.cdb6cc6aa26ddf416ca29e7517111b22Next Friday, May 22nd is the International Day for Biological Diversity. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 22,000 species have been identified as at risk of extinction on their “red list”. This includes species from the Amur Leopard, Leatherback Turtle, Mountain Gorilla, Black Rhino, and Yangtze Finless Porpoise, species that are all Critically Endangered.

Here’s your opportunity as a global community to have important discussions not only about our role in protecting the Earth’s biodiversity, but also how we will go about achieving this goal. Tag your questions with the word “biodiversity”! You can also find excellent questions already asked by classrooms on WorldVuze by searching key words, such as “environment”.

These conversations do not need to end, and in fact should not end, after May 22nd. Keep these important conversations going all year long and invite more classrooms to join the dialogue. The more perspectives that are shared, the better our understanding of the world.

WorldVuze Student Ambassadors Featured on CTV

WorldVuze Student Ambassadors Featured on CTV

CTVCongratulations to the WorldVuze student ambassadors, who on April 22nd shared how they celebrated Earth Day by connecting with children around the world on WorldVuze through a dialogue on the environment. Next year, we hope to make this initiative even bigger and better, but this doesn’t mean you can’t continue your conversations about the environment and thousands of other topics all year round.

These four passionate Grade 6 students also made their voice heard at Earth Day Canada’s 2015 Earth Day Assembly, alongside Ontario’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray.

Check out the video of the students on CTV here!

Join WorldVuze student ambassadors in the Earth Day Pledge

Join WorldVuze student ambassadors in the Earth Day Pledge

Four WorldVuze student ambassadors, who initiated the Earth Day Challenge on WorldVuze, will be leading the Earth Day pledge as part of Earth Day Canada‘s 2015 Assembly. Joining them will be Earth Day Canada President, Deb Doncaster, HGTV’s Scott MacGillvray, TVO eco-adventurer’s the Water Brothers, and Ontario’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.

Join them at:
77 Wellesley St. West, Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON

Time:
April 22nd from 9:30am to 10:15am

For more details about the event, see the flyer here!

Of course, if you cannot make the event in person, share your pledge with the WorldVuze community by answering: How will you lower your carbon footprint on your way to school this year? Share your Earth Day 2015 pledge and be specific!

Does your class have an idea about a challenge you would like the WorldVuze community to participate in? Contact us to share your ideas at info@worldvuze.com!

Join Us at the Summer Symposium this July!

Join Us at the Summer Symposium this July!

This July 6th and 7th we will be co-facilitating a two day workshop “WorldVuze: Global Education in an Inquiry Based Classroom” with Garfield Gini-Newman from the Critical Thinking Consortium at the Summer Symposium in Toronto, Canada held at the Bishop Strachan School.

During this workshop, learn how to provide authentic, engaging and deep global learning for your students across the curriculum. Explore the possibilities of using WorldVuze to bring diverse student perspectives to your discussions about core curriculum such as science and social studies as well as complex challenges such as climate change, urban planning, clean water and urbanization.

You will have an opportunity to work with the renowned educator, Dr. Garfield Gini- Newman (Senior Lecturer at OISE/University of Toronto and National Senior Consultant at TC2) to learn and practice relevant pedagogical approaches from the Critical Thinking Consortium. These scaffolds enhance critical, creative and collaborative thinking for all students.  BSS educator Amanda Humphreys brings her many years of experience with project work to WorldVuze and will highlight examples of ways you can successfully integrate this platform in a variety of grades. As well, WorldVuze founders, Julia Coburn and Ellen Palmer, will navigate you through the powerful uses of this platform.

See flyer for workshop details

See how to Register here

Are you interested in having WorldVuze P.D. at your school or your next event? Contact Julia Coburn at julia@worldvuze.com for details! Also, go to tc2.ca for more Critical Thinking Consortium workshops and resources!

 

Student Corner – A Grade 6 Student Explores Governance

Student Corner – A Grade 6 Student Explores Governance

The most important part of the WorldVuze experience is hearing what students have to say. Learn from the experience of a Grade 6 student, Carly, in her own words as she independently explores governance on WorldVuze:


“Every few days I check WorldVuze. My favourite things to do on the site are reading the answers from kids from different countries. Especially, if the question is about something [from] there own country. For example, I was looking at other peoples answers to the question “Do you think the government in your country is trustworthy?”. I have been told Mexico does not have a great government. So, I was wondering if the children of Mexico felt this way.

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 6.29.39 PMHalf of the answer chart said “not at all”, one quarter said “sometimes”, and one quarter said “most the time”. I found this very interesting. Than I decided to look at what kids in other countries were saying. The responses from others were all so interesting.

Something that stood out to me was the answers from other students in Canada. I thought everyone felt our government was doing a great job. Turns out, Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 6.31.53 PMnot everyone feels this way. 3 out of 24 said the our government was not at all trustworthy. 2 out of 24 said sometimes. 9 out of 24 said most the time. 5 out of 24 said yes. The rest were not sure. This was super interesting to me. It made me more aware of the perspectives of Canadians on the Canadian government.”

Classrooms, submit your explorations and discoveries on WorldVuze for the next “student corner” by emailing Julia at julia@worldvuze.com!

Join the Earth Day Challenge!

Many of our environmental challenges are global in nature – from climate change, overpopulation, pollution, energy use, waste, water, to biodiversity. Activities in one community can impact others around the world. Earth Day is a reminder of our need to reflect on how we can protect the environment, but these discussions should last all year round.

Join us this year in our Earth Day Challenge from now until Earth Day (April 22, 2015) to spur a dialogue around environmental challenges that we all face together. Perhaps you want to have a better understanding on how people in different communities are impacted by pollution or climate change. Maybe you want to find out suggestions on how other people are reducing their impact on the environment in their community or in their school. Through these discussions, we can expand our thinking on environmental topics, learn from people experiencing environmental challenges from different geographic locations, and understand how we can best tackle these challenges together.

Watch this video from our Earth Day Challenge student team (who are spearheading this campaign!) to find out how your class can get involved.

  1. Post all of your Earth Day questions to WorldVuze and tag them as “EarthDay2015”
  2. Students answer Earth Day questions posted by your own and other classrooms. Find questions by typing in “EarthDay2015” in the search bar
  3. Check back on our blog once a week for updates and a video diary from the Earth Day Team reacting to your questions and perspectives you are sharing
  4. Share your own class reactions (through pictures, video, text) to the Earth Day discussions happening on WorldVuze and send them to info@wordvuze.com to share with the community through our blog and weekly teacher updates
  5. Invite three more classrooms to join the Earth Day Challenge!

A Chance to Move Beyond Empathy

Do you ever wonder how other people see the world? Sometimes it can be hard to imagine. Every person carries their own worldview, a collection of personal, cultural and societal influences, that shape how they see the world.

These world views, along with social norms, are what drive the decisions that we make, big or small.

The problem is, when we carry these world views with us, they act as a shadow. We do not feel they are there and they accompany us wherever we go. Often we do not even realize it is there and because of this, it can be challenging to comprehend the many alternative world views that exist.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 11.00.21 AMWorld views are also not static. One individual’s worldview can be similar or vary widely from others across the world or even within their own community and classroom, but it is also highly dependent on the topic at hand. As a student, you may share the same worldview with your classmates on many topics, but at the same time, have more in common with peers on the other side of the world on another topic. They can also change with new information, meeting new people, and exposure to novel experiences or events.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 10.58.06 AMEmpathy is an important process, to try to feel what it is like to be in another person’s shoes. As a class on WorldVuze, you can ask questions to learn about the spectrum of views that students locally and around the world have on any topic in a safe environment. This means, that when your class is learning about global issues, whether it is climate change, human rights, science and technology, or education, you can step outside of yourself and try to have a better understanding of how other people are thinking and why. This provides a base for deep and authentic, real-world learning experiences.

Now, you can take this even one step further, a step beyond empathy. Instead of just putting yourself in another person’s shoes, now you have the opportunity to reflect on your own world view, the way a person sees it from a different point of view. It is hard to examine your own “shadow”, but much easier for someone to shine light on it, if they are coming from a different angle.

No Name-Calling Week: What does it mean to keep your school safe?

This week (Jan 19th-23rd) is No Name Calling Week. This is a week to spotlight no-name calling and anti-bullying. It is a time to think of how your school can become a safe place for everyone.

Child Helpline International (CHI) is a “global network of 192 child helplines in 145 countries”. CHI reported that 28 million children and youth internationally contacted child helplines between 2012 to 2013 where they commonly requested assistance, council, or referral on abuse and violence (29%); psycho-social mental health (14%); peer relationships (125); family relationships (11%); sexuality and sexual awareness (9%); and school-related matters (5%).

Since as early as 1999, bullying unfortunately has extended into cyberspace and is becoming a growing phenomenon due to increased access to ICT and use of social networking sites. Cyberbullying can cross mediums from text message, email, blogs, and social media. According to PREVNet (Promoting Relationships & Eliminating Violence Network) 1 in 3 Canadian youth reported being cyberbullied and 78% believe not enough is being done to stop bullying in their community.

Students need to learn how to conduct themselves ethically both on and offline and as a community we must be prepared to step in to stop it in its’ tracks.

Extend conversations and activities happening at your school and find out what is happening at other schools locally and around the world by posting questions and engaging in meaningful conversations on WorldVuze. What is the experience at other schools with this issue? How are schools addressing bullying and do students believe the approach is effective? What do students in different areas of the world believe are the root causes of bullying? Where do students see bullying happen most frequently?

Looking for Practical Ways to Integrate WorldVuze into Your Curriculum?

We want to help! There are many creative ways you can pull WorldVuze into your classroom to add real-world context, a deeper global understanding, and provide more enriching learning experiences for your students.

The exercise of students developing a provoking question, communicating their own opinion in a cross-cultural environment, and processing/ interpreting/ analyzing multiple and diverse perspectives shared by other students around the world on WorldVuze has significant potential for building much needed higher order thinking skills and 21st century competencies (i.e. critical thinking, cross-cultural communication, collaboration, citizenship). We believe the greatest potential is when the tool is used through an inquiry-based and student-centred approach.

If you have questions about how to practically integrate WorldVuze into your curriculum, here’s how we can help:

Submit Your Questions
Email your questions to us at info@worldvuze.com. A skilled educator will share suggestions and advice with you.

Explore Case Studies
Find out how other classrooms have been using WorldVuze on our Case Studies page. Stay tuned for many more entries to come!

Join an Upcoming Workshop
If you would like more hands-on support, you may consider a workshop at your school. Email us at info@worldvuze.com to request more information. Workshops will be available starting in March 2015.

Lastly, in the future, we would also like to create an entire Teacher Community section of the WorldVuze platform to support peer-to-peer learning, sharing ideas and resources, and networking.

Turn the news into a conversation and engage in a “diversity of thought”

An article in the Guardian today “Why does diversity in the media sector matter?” discussed the importance of diversity in forming and reporting on the news, bringing together news agencies from the BBC, the Guardian, GNM, and Knight-Mozilla. They note that diversity goes beyond looking or sounding different, but involves many factors coming together (age, background, life experiences, peers) that influence the “diversity of thought”.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 9.16.29 AMOn WorldVuze classrooms have the opportunity to ask questions that matter to them. Sometimes these questions are formed from a book you are reading or a discussion that has stemmed from the unit you are working on in class. Another way you can engage your students in meaningful dialogue on important local and global issues is by using the news as a starting point.

Take this article about the loss of a Northern white rhino at the San Diego zoo, leaving only 5 remaining members of the subspecies in the world. This is an opportunity for your class to engage in the inquiry process and think of a wide array of questions. Some questions may be:

  • What role do you think zoos should play in conserving wildlife?
  • What do you think is the responsibility of the “average person” to protect endangered or threatened species?
  • What support do you think conservationists need to truly protect endangered species, such as the Northern white rhino?

The process of developing a good question that can inspire a meaningful and engaging discussion can be challenging, but is one of the most important parts of this learning process. Set criteria with your class about what a “good question” looks like for WorldVuze (one important criteria you should strongly consider is that the question seeks opinion or perspective, not fact).

The value of being exposed to a diversity of perspectives is immense. It is central to developing fundamental 21st century competencies such as critical thinking and collaboration. It helps break down barriers and stereotypes by going beyond any one isolated point of view representing a place, such as a country or a city. By exploring multiple points of view on a regular basis, it not only creates an opportunity to consider new perspectives and ways of thinking, but can also alter our perception of each other.

Diversity helps to inspire innovation and creativity. In fact, in the September 2014 issue of Scientific American focused on Diversity from a scientific perspective in a series of articles. One article, by Fred Guterl, “Diversity in Science: Why it is Essential for Excellence” found that diversity relates to the quality and effectiveness of teams as it makes us address our unconscious biases and tends to make people prepare and critically analyze their own point of view more thoroughly as a result. The article goes on to share the gravity of being exposed to a diversity of thought in saying: “Scientists pride themselves on their objectivity, but personal experience and point of view have a lot to do with what questions get asked in the first place and how researchers go about answering them. The people in science and engineering are driving the world’s most vital engine of prosperity and new ideas. Who are they?”.

If you take this concept beyond science and apply this phenomenon to all fields (i.e. environmental management, international development, city planning, etc.), you can only imagine the potential impact it can have on how we may solve all of our most pressing problems.

Using Multiple Student Perspectives to Break the “Single Story”

This Monday, we co-presented a session with Jennifer D. Klein from PRINCIPLED Learning Strategies and the World Leadership School at the Global Education Conference 2014. The session, “Using Multiple Student Perspectives to Break the Single Story” discussed three underlying principles that helped form the WorldVuze experience and our philosophies toward global education.

These principles are that Global Education should:

1) Break the “Single Story”;

2) Be engaging and relatable for students; and

3) Be Equitable.

If you were not able to make it to the session, do not fret, you can watch it on your own time here!

You can also learn more about Global Education at this wonderful and free online conference here. It will be running all week until Friday, November 21st.

Join Our Online Session at the Global Education Conference 2014

We are thrilled to be joining the Global Education Conference 2014 this year. Join us on Monday, November 17th at 10pm EST in our conference session “Using Multiple Student Perspectives to Break the Single Story” that we are co-presenting with Jennifer D. Klein, the founder of PRINCIPLED Learning Solutions and Director of Professional Development at World Leadership School.

During the session, we will discuss the underlying principles behind the WorldVuze technology and their implications to global education. Find out how you can make learning about complex local and global topics engaging and relatable for students, bringing humanity and empowering the individual, while not losing sight of the big picture and the collective.

Themes discussed in this presentation include: uncovering bias; student centred learning, student voice, equitable global dialogue, and inquiry based learning.

Join by following this link, then select your time zone and find our session under Monday, November 17th at 10pm est: http://www.globaleducationconference.com/page/sessions-and-schedule

 

Quick Tip – Finding Patterns in Answers on WorldVuze

We have created WorldVuze to present information in a way that will allow you and your students to easily sort and find patterns in answers to questions and dig deeper to understand why they and their peers are thinking the way they do.

Take a question asked by a Grade 5 class from the International School of Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland: Do you think animal testing should be allowed? So far, 44 students from 4 countries have answered this question. There are many ways your students can sort through these answers.

1) Students can examine a pie chart of the answers

2) Students can filter the answers by how students have answered the question. For example, first by looking at the answers of students who said “yes” (choice a); then looking at the answers of students who said “no” (choice b); and so on.

Sample question: What were some common reasons cited by students when students answered “yes”? How about “no”?

3) Then students can further filter answers by country, region, age, gender, and time. For example, you may want your students to compare answers between the “United States” and “Sweden”, or from students in one province of Canada “Ontario” to another “Saskatchewan”. Students can also use the pie chart, which adjusts to the filters they have set, to quickly capture a visual comparison.

Sample question: What are the similarities and differences between answers coming from students in Sweden compared to the United States?

Additional Questions you may want to add:

Statistics
You can ask your students questions about the quality of the information they are receiving. How many answers will you need to find a real pattern?

Reflection
You can ask students to reflect on the answers they read and examine whether any of the answers had changed the way they are thinking about the topic or the way they thought other students would have responded. This is what we call a “mindshift”. They can then share their mindshifts, if they have had any, on the question page itself!

There are so many examples of classroom lessons that we will continue to share, but we also want to hear from you! What are some creative ways that you are using WorldVuze in your class?

Why do students think WorldVuze matters?

WorldVuze wouldn’t matter if students didn’t care. Before we began our pilot in April, over 300 students answered a pre-pilot survey where 92% said they are more interested in school when they “care about what they are learning”.

Young people will need to address complex and multi-layered global challenges in their life time – the environment, politics, health, food, energy, the economy. For the same reason that these issues are complex and multi-layered, they are easy for people to feel disconnected to, to feel overwhelmed in their immensity.

What we found out is this. Students are engaged when they are able to share their own opinion. Students are excited by questions that challenge their thinking. Students care about what other young people have to say.

By creating an environment where students have an outlet to engage in meaningful global dialogue with other students their own age, students develop a deeper interest in these challenging and complex topics. At the end of the pilot in June, 92% of students shared that WorldVuze helped them care more about what they are learning.

It is this kind of fascination and curiosity we believe will be needed in our leaders who will ultimately tackle these challenges and effectively and collaboratively address them.