Technology in Global Education

According to ISTE standard 7, students will use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning, and explore local and global issues and use collaborative technologies to work with others to investigate solutions. Global citizenship is defined as awareness, caring, and embracing cultural diversity while promoting social justice and sustainability, coupled with a sense of responsibility to act(Reysen, & Katzarska-Miller, 2013). Global education allows students to appreciate diverse perspectives, understand the connections they have to the wider world, respectively and effectively communicate and collaborate across cultures and countries, and use disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge to investigate and take action on issues that matter to them and the wider world. I remember 10 years ago when I collaborated with a teacher in China and had our students in two countries working on a project about school lunch around the world. We encountered many challenges due to time zone differences, language barriers, and communication efficiency. Incorporating more advanced technology in our education today, what role technology plays in fostering students global awareness and engagement in global citizenship? 

The article Fostering Students’ Global Awareness: Technology Applications in Social Studies Teaching and Learning stated that global awareness enhances students’ abilities to work collaboratively with persons of diverse backgrounds, to understand and seek solutions to global issues, and to acquire 21st century skills to participate in global society, and global education helps students to develop self-awareness of their identity, culture, beliefs and understand how those connect with others in the world. Crawford and Kirby (2008) introduced a model called  “the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge”. The TPCK model offers a conceptual framework interrelated components of teachers’ knowledge in three areas: content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and technological knowledge. Technological knowledge entails knowledge of and the ability to use both non-digital tools and equipment, and digital tools. It requires educators to have the knowledge of how various technologies may be applied during specific aspects of teaching and learning, the knowledge of what makes concepts difficult or easy to learn and how technologies can help redress some of the problems that students face, and the knowledge of how technologies can be used to build on existing knowledge and to develop new strengthen old one. This framework can serve as a conceptual foundation for teachers to foster students’ global awareness in teaching and learning(Crawford and Kirby, 2008).

Global Issues Network is a great example of how educators use technologies to bring projects and opportunities for students to engage and participate in global learning. 

One of our international schools in our district has been hosting WA global Issues Network, the WAGIN, in the past several years and students have demonstrated skills and passion in participating in projects with teams across the country and the world during the event. The network features cooperation and collaboration through the use of  technologies to empower students leadership to develop sustainable solutions to address global problems and to implement their ideas with the support of the network created locally or globally through technology. It was unfortunate that the event in WA was canceled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, my students were able to collaborate with students in China on a sustainable goals project to learn global issues related to the 17 sustainable development goals in the U.S and China and how our current political relationship and issues impact the goals and solutions. During the project, students were able to utilize online meeting tools like Zoom, recording tools like the flipgrid to minimize the time zone challenges and online documents shared editing features to enhance the collaboration and communication with students in China. 

In conclusion, global education should not be represented as a one time project or only part of the students population can have access to it. The infusion of global education through the appropriate and effective use of various technologies is essential for preparing students to participate and engage as global citizens(Crawford and Kirby, 2008). 

References

Reysen, S. & Katzarska-Miller, I (2013) A model of global citizenship: Antecedents and outcomes, International Journal of Psychology, 48:5, 858-870,

10.1080/00207594.2012.701749

Crawford, E. and Kirby, M. (2008). Fostering Students’ Global Awareness: Technology Application in Social Studies Teaching and Learning. Retrieved from 

http://www.joci.ecu.edu/index.php/JoCI/article/viewFile/12/18


Global Issues Network. (2020). Retrieved February 27, 2021, Retrieved from

https://globalissuesnetwork.org/