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 <http://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 twenty schools in the United States, Japan and Pakistan, and is now expanding. 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 2012 Projects Include:
- Cartoon Bio: Students work together on an interactive cartoon to learn about daily life in Pakistan, Japan, and the United States.
- What’s Your Sentence?: students think about their future by answering the question “what’s my sentence?” and summarizing their lives 30 years from now in one sentence.
- Change the World: Students will express their opinions regarding a cause they support and an issue or matter that concerns them. Students think critically to find solutions to possible ‘problems’ that their peers have highlighted.
- Myths and Stereotypes: Using photos and digital tools, students will collaborate to understand and dispel certain myths & stereotypes they have about each others’ cultures.
- Future Job Opportunities: Students learn about different goals, dreams, and the steps for achieving them both abroad and in other parts of their own countries.
- The Four Seasons Project: Elementary School students ask: What do the four seasons look like in your part of the world?
Key Benefits for Students
- Provide 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.
- Provide experiential learning activities across the curriculum.
- Many students already spend hours using social media every day. Convert 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.
- Interact with leaders in multiple fields (e.g., participate in an online forum with a diplomat who helped negotiate a climate change treaty)
- 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
Additional information is available in English (PDF) and in Japanese (PDF).
Education Programs are made possible by generous funding from The Freeman Foundation.
Additional support is provided by The Norinchukin Foundation, Inc., Chris A. Wachenheim, Joshua N. Solomon, Jon T. Hutcheson, Joshua S. Levine and Nozomi Terao.