1. 100 Costa Rican Educators Learn "Globaloria-Style" at the 6th Annual Edunov@ Institute
On November 3rd, more than 100 Costa Rican educators spent a full day with World Wide Workshop President, Idit Caperton, experiencing Constructionist Learning in the Age of Social Media Technology. This workshop gave educators hands-on experience in applying the new Globaloria principle of learning - the subject of Idit's keynote speech a few days earlier. The workshop, with its focus on Constructionism, appropriately inaugurated the high tech Papert Amphitheater at the newly-designed facilities of the Omar Dengo Foundation (ODF).
For the past 20 years, ODF has engaged education professionals in Constructionist teaching and learning. In the 1980s, ODF worked with Papert's team at MIT to bring computers into the classroom. In the 1990s they worked to connect students and teachers to the internet. "It was a powerful experience to talk with my Costa Rican colleagues about how to 'upgrade Constructionism' for the technological advances and realities of today - what I call building Constructionism's Third Generation or C3G," said Idit. "We are exploring how C3G could help Costa Rican educators transform their country's education system in the 21st Century."
During the workshop, Idit asked educators to step into the role of Globaloria learners, just as their students would. They worked in teams to explore the Globaloria curriculum, and used popular technology tools (Flash, MediaWiki, Blogger) to start conceiving and developing an original game idea that explores global and local issues.
On November 20th, West Virginia's First Lady, Gayle C. Manchin, and World Wide Workshop President Idit Caperton hosted the First Globaloria Principals Colloquium at the Governor's Mansion in Charleston. The Colloquium formally acknowledged the exceptional leadership and commitment of Principals at 14 Globaloria pilot schools statewide. Select members of the WV Board of Education, the WV Center for Professional Development and the World Wide Workshop team also participated in the event.
The First Lady began the day by thanking the Principals for their "commitment to the Globaloria Program, dedication to transforming education in West Virginia, and support of West Virginia's use of technology for educational excellence, professional development and economic growth." Governor Joe Manchin III also attended the meeting, and encouraged the Principals to join his efforts "to prepare WV students for new future jobs and business leadership in the 21st century."
The three-hour colloquium was as an opportunity to explore Globaloria as a cutting-edge education innovation. Focus was placed on how the Principals' active leadership and participation in the program can directly contribute to scaling it in the state.
"What does it mean to be a Globaloria-WV Principal?" Idit Caperton asked the 14 Principals and distinguished guests. "Your schools are at the forefront of change. You are achieving academic excellence through innovation and setting a standard that will be replicated across West Virginia and the world. Now the question is how can you maximize your Globaloria participation, and recruit even more educators--across grades and school subjects--to make your school the best it can be?"
Shannon Sullivan, Director of Programs, explained the 'nuts and bolts' of how Globaloria works day-to-day, including the curriculum, online platform and professional development components. "You have the power to take this transparent, collaborative, hands-on learning and teaching model to the next level" she concluded. "With your commitment and leadership, Globaloria can be well-integrated into core classes like mathematics and science. It can have a deeper impact in your school, engage more educators and students, and ultimately help transform education across West Virginia."
3. World Wide Workshop Team and Dr. Howard Gardner Form New Hypotheses About Globaloria's Impact on Students and Educators
In 2007, Gardner introduced "The Five Minds" -- intellectual approaches managers and employees will need to function successfully in the 21st century. They include the Disciplined Mind (seeking depth), the Synthesizing Mind (culminating breadth), the Creating Mind (applying stretch), the Respectful Mind (appreciating differences) and the Ethical Mind (embracing transparency and honesty).
Based on our discussion, we saw a strong correlation between Gardner's Five Minds and the Globaloria experience - especially our theoretical framework for facilitating Constructionist Digital Literacy and the Six Contemporary Learning Abilities (6CLAs). In essence, we now believe the Globaloria experience, over time, as a gestalt, cultivates the "6CLAs" plus the "5 Minds" in our learners and teachers.
We will continue to explore the relationship between our overlapping theories and look at opportunities for joint research with Gardner's "Future of Learning" team at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
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