Online Learning Ambassadors Embrace Global Learning

By DeNisco, Alison | District Administration, February 2013 | Go to article overview

Online Learning Ambassadors Embrace Global Learning


DeNisco, Alison, District Administration


Introducing new technology into schools can be difficult, due to time constraints and a lack of resources. But your school can find a new way to help teachers integrate technology into the classroom.

A new partnership between Generation YES, a nonprofit organization that seeks to empower students to use modern technology in schools, and Oba, a cloud-based learning platform that encourages global collaboration, is allowing students to do just that.

Through Generation YES' interactive, project-based curriculum, students from grades 4 through 12 can become "Oba Ambassadors" and learn how to mentor peers and assist teachers in blending online learning into all classes with an education platform called ObaWorld. ObaWorld provides a secure environment for students to create and showcase projects, and collaborate with their peers worldwide through the internet. Oba and Generation YES member schools will have access to ObaWorld and the Oba Ambassador training at no cost for up to 30 users per school. In most schools, these students will be members of a media literacy class or club.

For example, a class in the United States and a class in China could collaborate on a cross-cultural project to research a global issue, like water usage, and how it impacts their own area, and share their results. "There are so many issues happening around the world that you may be able to read about in the news, but to really be able to connect with someone from that environment and learn about their experiences on a personal level is a value for students and adults alike," says Ruth Huang, the bilingual program coordinator of global and online education at the University of Oregon, where Oba was developed.

The Generation YES curriculum uses online tools to train these student technology leaders to lead and support new technology efforts in their schools. …

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