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Paving the Way to a Global Curriculum

October 6, 2011

There’s no substitute for studying abroad. The personal growth that comes with immersing oneself in a foreign culture is simply unmatched. But study abroad programs aren’t cheap. So how do we integrate classrooms across borders so that international students can engage on a regular basis even if they can’t visit one another’s national landmarks? A company called ePals has one solution.

According to this recent press release, ePals’ “LearningSpace connects approximately 700,000 classrooms in 200 countries via integration with the Global Community, a K-12 social learning network where students and educators can find educational resources and connect with classrooms around the world for collaborative projects.”

Again, there’s no substitute for the sensational experience of strutting into the Smithsonian’s large entrance hall and smelling the history firsthand. But taking a virtual tour online isn’t half bad. Or consider learning about climate change and how it affects the planet by allowing students to compare their own personal experiences and opinions with other students around the world.

There is nothing astonishingly innovative about what ePals is doing with their Global Community, but it’s a good sign to see that there are more tools cropping up that connect classrooms globally. Because the first step in creating a truly integrated international curriculum is building the infrastructure to support it. And online communities such as the one built by ePals are paving the way.

 

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