District Administration October 2016 - 12

OnTopic Julie Lindsay By Tim Goral Making the world your classroom How global education can help unite cultures and countries Julie Lindsay believes that, in today's increasingly turbulent societies, it is vital that children experience other cultures and develop the skills that will help them in a connected world. These learners will be "better prepared to be productive and compassionate citizens in a global economy and they are able to improve their communication skills, collaborate effectively and be ready for multicultural workspaces," she says. Empowering educators with the tools to foster this environment in the classroom is a critical part of the process. Lindsay's book, The Global Educator: Leveraging Technology for Collaborative Learning and Teaching (ISTE, 2016), and her Flat Connection website (http:// DAmag.me/flat) provide a host of What does it mean to be a global rather than an international educator? That's something we skim over in the book, but it's really important. An international educator is someone who is a bit more mobile. They've worked in different parts of the world. A global educator, on the other hand, is someone who hasn't necessarily worked outside of their country. They may very well have stayed in the same school, the same town their entire teaching life, but they have this ability to take their learning global. So they understand the process. You wrote, "Being a global educator can be seen as a behavior in attitude, disposition and mindset." Yes, absolutely. Global educators have the skills, the workflow and the habits of learning that allow them to take their learning global. That means connecting with other educators. That means bringing global opportunities into the classroom or into their learning environment for their students and colleagues, and knowing where to go to offer those enhanced global opportunities. Global education is about not constricting learning to just one room, one teacher and 20 students. The world is out there and we're going to learn with it. resources and best practices that enable educators to begin their own global experiences. DAmag.me/global 12 October 2016 What's required to become a global educator? Many schools don't have extra money to invest in that. There are a lot of free opportunities out there. All it takes for an educator to reach out professionally is to start a blog. If you have a classroom blog, you can interact with the world. And if you have a Twitter account you can make those vital connections and say, "Hey, come read our class blog and interact with my students." Twitter has become a most amazing professional development and professional learning network tool. I know many educators are still not picking it up because they are not quite sure what to do with it. But it's through the use of hashtags that Twitter has become relevant to education and relevant to building global communities. Now, I'm talking about a very basic level where you can build asynchronous connections. When you get a bit more confident, you can talk to your tech people and say, "Can I have Skype unblocked for this purpose?" What I've found in schools is when teachers start having that conversation with administrators and tech people, things are unblocked because they realize how important it is. Your website, Flat Connections, made me think of Tom Friedman's book, The World is Flat. Is there a relation between the two ideas? Yes. I know Tom from years ago when we first developed what was then called Flat Classroom. We took those concepts of flattening the world through the use District Administration http://www.DAmag.me/flat http://www.DAmag.me/global

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration October 2016

District Administration October 2016 - Cover1
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