International Student Social Networking Project
Connect * Communicate * Collaborate
Do your teenage students spend time on social networks? Would your younger students enjoy working directly with their peers abroad? Japan Society of New York, working with Tokyo City University, has established Going Global, a free, secure social networking system (like Facebook or mixi, but safer) to help connect your students’ natural excitement over using social networking with established curricular goals. The Going Global Social Networking Project (goglobalsns.org) consists of a series of flexible projects, connected to the teaching goals of the participating schools, designed to engage students of all abilities and interests in authentic, fun, educational international exchange. This project began in September 2011 with over 750 students in over 20 schools in the United States, Japan and Pakistan, and continues to expand. All activities take place on a secure, closed network accessible only to students and teachers involved in this project. Participation is free of charge.
Sample 2013/2014 Projects Include
- Friendship: The project is for elementary school students to appreciate commonalities and differences, to understand who they are, to understand each other, and to improve language skills.
- The Four Seasons Project: Elementary School students ask: What do the four seasons look like in your part of the world? Students share images of seasonal themes and events.
- Current Issues/ Events: Students think about world issues during certain months or holiday seasons, exposing them to different perspectives on global events.
- Self-Portrait Origami: Students will get to know each other by creating an original origami crane representing who they are, learning basic origami, its history, and about each other’s culture.
- Implementing 3R – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle: Students develop an understanding of the 3R’s by creating videos that show their participation in conservationist activities.
- Bullying: Students share their thoughts on bullying, presenting methods to counteract it and sharing their thoughts globally.
- Compare and Contrast US, Japan, and Pakistan’s Social Issues: The project is for high school students to understand and discuss the social issues of the three countries and how their governments address those issues.
Key Benefits for Students
- Provides practical opportunities to learn about foreign cultures first hand. (e.g., rather than just studying about life in Pakistan or Japan, discuss and share pictures, video and music about Pakistani culture with peers who live there).
- Learn how to work collaboratively with peers both at home and abroad using social media – an important skill in the 21st century workplace.
- Provides experiential learning activities across the curriculum.
- Many students already spend hours using social media every day. Going Global converts some of that “wasted” time into learning time.
- Students not ordinarily interested in international exchange or foreign languages can be motivated to learn through select projects that focus on their interests.
- Improve Japanese language skills (for Japanese language students) through use of authentic materials.
- Flexible projects that allow for participation of students with multiple skill levels and different strengths at the same time.
- Engaging, authentic activities for English Language Learners in your classrooms.
How to Participate or Get More InformationParticipation in this Network is free of charge. To participate or receive additional information, please contact the Japan Society Education Program at 212-715-1275 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Education Programs are made possible by generous funding from The Freeman Foundation.
Additional support is provided by The Norinchukin Foundation, Inc., Chris A. Wachenheim, Jon T. Hutcheson, Joshua S. Levine and Nozomi Terao.