In an historic speech in Cairo, Egypt in June 2009, President Obama expressed his desire to "create a new online network, so a young person in Kansas can communicate instantly with a young person in Cairo.” Since then, the Secretary of State and Secretary of Education have both emphasized the importance of learning other languages, gaining a global competency and traveling to other countries. A number of organizations linking US schools with others around the world are coming together in a new "Connect All Schools" consortium to meet a very specific goal: to connect every school in the US with the world by 2016.
Bringing the world into the classroom and building global competency can include the introduction of global issues curriculum, new World Languages, online collaboration, youth and teacher exchanges, professional development on international education, video-conferences, etc. This interactive website has been built to enable schools to indicate how they are connected to the world and for new teachers, school administrators and parents to work with consortium partners on building new links.
Imagine the possibilities for language practice online with native speakers around the world, for our students to learn WITH the world, instead of just about it, creating a student citizenry that is aware of and comfortable with interaction with peers worldwide. The Partnership For 21st Century Skills, a collaboration between the education community and private sector companies, has identified global awareness, ability to work in teams and a familiarity with technology as some of the skills that our young people will need to have to effectively work in a global environment. Research has clearly demonstrated that authentic interaction with the world’s students across the curriculum results in enhanced learning, improved reading/writing test scores by our students and a heightened motivation to learn.
Further, by showing a wide range of types of connection we are providing diverse models for schools across the country to replicate--many that require minimal or no cost. Every school can and should be connected because all of our students, regardless of the school they attend, need to acquire skills and networks to excel in the 21st century.
For more information on Connect All Schools, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org