Thursday, July 15

GLOBAL PROBLEM SOLVING – From keynote to classroom

A key theme that emerged for me from the ISTE conference was the importance of collaborating to create solutions to community and global issues.


This theme was echoed throughout the conference in a variety of contexts including:







a) Keynote: Jean –Francois Rischard examined the role educators can play in global problem solving.

His key note (depressing at times) centred around 20 global problems that he believes we must resolve within the next 20years if we are to avoid massive and adverse planetary consequences.
To begin resolving these problems he thinks we need:
1) to approach each issue globally. Bringing the best people from all around the world together in one place to explore and create solutions.
2) to develop a mindset in the next generation… one that puts global thinking first and local and national thinking second.
His book: http://www.theglobalist.com/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=2653


b) TEDx TALKS – Individuals Making a Difference





Fiona Grant and I were lucky enough to be guests at a live TED x Talks event. During this event several speakers shared their passions and commitments.
http://tedxdenvered.com/blog/2010/07/01/thank-you-for-making-tedxdenvered-a-success-post-1-of-2/

A highlight for me was the sharing from Dafna Michaelson. Dafna travelled the globe collecting stories about how communities have problem solved. See www.journeyinstitute.org
Dafna’s 7 minute TEDx talk illustrated how community problem solving might be facilitated.
This simple process involved:
1. Identifying the community.
2. Identifying issues
3. Suggesting solutions
4.Taking action.
We engaged in this process during intermission (see pics below) I was amazed at the diversity of issues and solutions that were generated. A positive feeling of working together to create solutions prevailed.
To hear more about Dafna’s project:
http://www.thebalancingact.com/show_segment.php?id=1844




c) Students Collaborating Across the World
Many high quality example of students involved in collaborate projects were shared throughout ISTE.
This is an important area that I believe needs to be explored further in New Zealand schools.
A fantastic resource to help communicate these ideas in numbers we can relate to is the miniature earth project: http://www.miniature-earth.com/
A selection of global projects that nurture rigorous collaboration and problem solving include:

Taking IT global

Rock Our World

ThinkQuest

Such projects I believe put the vision for our curriculum firmly into practice. They also provide a path for developing important relations and problem solving skills. Skills that may one take contribute to the maintenance of a peaceful nation.

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