This website is using a security service to protect itself from online attacks. The action you just performed triggered the security solution. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data.
When it comes to enhancing students' cultural understanding, text books and lecture series only go so far. But two websites are attempting to challenge that norm by promoting international literature as a way for students to connect with the world.
"In our past as teachers we relied a lot on expository texts when trying to explore the world," admitted Lisa Thomas, project specialist at the Van Horne School of Global Inquiry, at the Asia Society's Partnership for Global Learning conference, held in July. "But we have found in our work is that narratives open the world for children in ways expository texts simply do not."
"What we’ve found is that if they're engaged in memorizing texts that are authentic representations of other cultures, they understand those cultures in way that expository texts really don’t help them to understand," she said.
The International Children's Digital Library has nearly 4,000 digitized books in 54 different languages from 63 countries across the globe, including some as far-reaching as Zimbabwe, Mongolia and Iran. All the books are available to read on the Web site cover-to-cover, free of charge.
ICDL was the brainchild of an interdisciplinary research team at the University of Maryland, and it eventually spiraled into a non-profit organization whose main project is expanding the digital library.
What makes the collection of books at ICDL unique (besides the fact that they all can be read online) is that a book originally published in Persian or Farsi, for example, is also available to read in English thanks to translators that volunteer their time. This holds true for numerous international books originally published in their authors' native languages, as well as those originally published in English that are being translated to other languages.
Accessing books from other countries that were never before available in English opens a door to a whole new world, Anne Rose, faculty researcher at ICDL, said at the conference.
Librarians can use the site during story time to expand their international collection. "Sometimes they bring in people who are native of the country they have chosen the book from as a way to expose children to books they don't have in their library," said Rose.
In addition, teachers can use ICDL in their language courses to supplement textbook teaching. "We have several bilingual books that would be good candidates for teaching other languages," she said, adding that books in languages commonly taught in U.S. schools, such as Spanish and French, prove a great resource for teachers.
World of Words is another Web site aiming to increase cultural understanding in children. The site is a part of the International Collection of Children's and Adolescent Literature, a project at the University of Arizona that houses one of the most expansive children's libraries in the world.
While the books are not available to read online, the site allows students and teachers to browse books that are set in hundreds of different countries.
In the last 10 years the publication of international books has exploded due to publishers releasing translated versions of books originally published in other countries; immigrants coming to the U.S. and telling their stories themselves or through social workers; and people spending a significant amount of time abroad because of their jobs or volunteer work.
While literature from countries outside the U.S. is growing in availability, Thomas cautioned that it can be a challenge for teachers to make sure it is culturally authentic. WOW's site evaluates each text to ensure it is an accurate reflection of the country and also provides supplemental book recommendations.
"We do our best to utilize this kind of literature to help children build a deep understanding and build this empathy that’s really necessary for a true connection o people in a other culture," said Edwards.
A sample Book List
In the last 10 years, the publication of international literature has exploded due to the translation of books, increased immigration, and volunteering abroad. Here are some examples of the different types of stories available:
Publishers releasing translated versions of books originally published in other countries/languages:
Waiting for Mama, by Tae-Jun Lee
The Diary of Ma Yan, by Pierre Haski
Immigrants coming to the U.S. and telling their stories once they become proficient in English or through social workers that have been helping them:
Red Scarf Girl, by Ji-li Jiang
When My Name Was Keoko. By Linda Sue Park
Esperanza Rising, by Pam Munoz Ryan
People spending a significant amount of time in other countries because of their jobs or volunteer work:
The Bread Winner series, by Deborah Ellis
Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson
Author: Lauren Smith
How have you use international literature in your classroom? How do you fit it school/district/state standards and assessments?
What are some of the benefits of using international literature in your classroom?
Computers and, later, Web 2.0 have changed the way young people learn. Now apps are set to do the same.
An “app” is short for software application. For example, Angry Birds and Facebook are popular apps on mobile devices. More than 30 million apps are downloaded to mobile devices every day. There are apps to help manage time, convert measurements, lead a healthier lifestyle, and for fun. A good percentage of apps are by nature educational.
Most teenagers have cell phones. And iPads are outselling personal computers. There are now an estimated 1.5 million iPads in U.S. classrooms, and with new digital textbooks introduced this year, that number will likely grow.
Before using apps, remember that learning objectives come first; recommend specific digital tools and communicate clear guidelines to help students meet expectations. Consider, too, whether apps should be used in guided instruction, or if they should be relegated to self-directed learning time. Many teachers now use the Flipped Classroom model, where class time is used primarily for discussion and collaborative work. Digital tools help students develop knowledge and skills prior to class, and help them contribute more substantively to discussions and project work.
So which apps can help build global competence? With a world of possibilities, what follows is a short list of mostly Apple iOS apps to help you get started. To download, go to the Apple iTunes store, search for the app by name, and click on the price button to synch with your device. Several of these apps are available for Android and other devices, too.
View artworks and artist bios from around the world. Play a quiz game; high scores can be linked to an online social gaming site. Parental controls allow teachers and parents to censor nude forms in art as necessary. (Grades 6-12 /iPhone / $0.99)
Love Art: National Gallery London
With one of the greatest collections of Western European art in the world, the National Gallery app shares over 250 pieces in a way that allows kids to touch the art. Includes commentary by artists, writers, and experts. (All ages / iPhone, iPod, and iPad / $2.99)
The Elements: A Visual Exploration
This one helps students learn about the periodic table in a hands-on way. Each element has various objects associated with it–many international. For instance, copper (Cu) features a Persian weave chain, a Chinese ritual bronze, and more. Each object can be rotated or viewed in three dimensions. Get current market prices for some elements, like gold. (Grades 8-12 / iPad / $13.99)
CDC Solve the Outbreak
Students become the detectives as they try to save lives by stopping the outbreak of diseases around the world. Students get clues, analyze data and solve the case while learning about diseases and outbreaks in an engaging way.
Free for iPad.
This interactive, engaging app allows you to look at the Earth’s continents and oceans and how they have changed over the last 4.5 billion years. Look through layers of data such as atmospheric composition, temperature, biodiversity, day lengthy and solar luminosity.
Choose a local observation site and use this app to record plant changes and animal sightings once a week. These findings will contribute to the nature tracking project from the USA National Phenology Network.
Grades 4 – adult / iPhone, Android / Free
Project NOAH (Networked Organisms And Habitats)
Students can join citizen scientists around the world by tracking wildlife in the local habitat. Activities include photographing animals, documenting observations, classifying findings using the community field guide, and sharing with the project to participate in missions and earn digital badges.
Grades 4 – adult / iPhone and Android / Free
iLiveMath: Animals of Africa and Asia
This app series combines math and zoology. Going beyond math equations and flash cards, iLiveMath tests students with illustrative questions and challenges their applied math skills. The iLiveMath series (including Animals of Africa and Animals of Asia) uses photos, videos, wikis, and sound to stimulate learning via various levels of difficulty. It targets 1st through 6th graders on basic concepts of calculating time, weight, and other measures. (Age appropriateness vary by app / iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad / $4.99 each)
This multilingual, talking app helps students learn fractions in English, French, or Spanish. It has multiple levels. (Ages 4-12 / iPad / $2.99)
Everyone knows 1 + 1 = 2. But did you know Dot + Line = 6? Take your math skills to the next level while learning the ancient Maya’s remarkable number system in this fast-paced counting game! (Late elementary school to adult / iPhone or iPad / free)
This app by the International Children’s Digital Library allows students to create their own storybook by adding text and images (including photos or images they draw), and sharing their books via email. (Grades K-12 / iPhone, iPod Touch / Free)
Another storybook creation app, this one allows students to create their own stories as cartoons. Students learn about a story arc, how to create characters, and about other cultures, customs, and lifestyles through stories created by their peers around the world. (Grades K-12 / iPad / Free)
The Flat Stanley and Flat Stella characters have traveled the globe connecting children to the world. Students track their travels and document their adventures. No longer confined to cardboard cutouts, this free app enables students to create their own digital Flat Stanley or Flat Stella. Students can customize the character’s hair, features, and clothes and superimpose Flat Stanley or Stella on photos. Share photos and stories via email, Facebook, as well as the Flat Stanley map and network. In combination with a digital storytelling app such as StoryKit, VoiceThread, Animoto, or Scribble Press, the possibilities are endless. (All ages / iPhone, iPod touch, iPad / Free)
ICDL Books for Children
The International Children’s Digital Library brings thousands of children’s books from over 60 countries to young readers. (Preschool and Elementary / iPhone, iPod touch, iPad / Free)
Designed to empower citizen journalists around the world, this app enables students to create high-quality stories and news reports using a mobile device. Engage students in creating and sharing a range of audio, video, and photo projects using the examples, lessons and templates provided.
Android / Free
Flight of the Pamplemousse
Book for elementary students involving travel through dreamlands and France. Accompanying educator guide available.
$1.99 on iPad (50% discount for educators)
A website and related storybook apps that has activity, games, and bedtime stories from around the world. (Preschool and Elementary / iPad / each story is $0.99)
This multimedia story and activity app is based on the award-winning children’s book What Does It Mean To Be Global? by Rana DiOrio with illustrations by Chris Hill. Writing, art, music, and educational activities in Spanish and English are designed to help children learn about cultures, languages, and values from around the world. (Ages 4 and up / iPhone and iPad / $1.99)
This Quest Visual app instantly translates signs, menus, labels, anything written into Spanish and French (more languages are promised soon). Try it in a scavenger hunt activity. (Grades 1-12 / iPhone, iPad / Free, but accompanying dictionaries, if you want them, are $9.99 each)
FREE [Language] Tutor
Games in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish engage language learners. Good for beginning students. To find this app, insert desired language in the title, for example, “Free Chinese Tutor.” (Grades 1-12 / Free for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch / Free)
Translate written English into more than 50 other languages, or you can flip it and translate other languages into English. Some languages (not all) come with a text-to-speech button as well, so you can hear how to say it and see how it’s written. And a few languages have voice recognition translations. This is a great app for English language learners and foreign language classes. (Grades 6 - adult / iPhone, iPad / Free, but deluxe versions start at $3.99)
This language learning app provides series of lessons mapped out so that students must master each level in order to unlock the next. Learning activities include written and verbal/audio translation as well as fill-in-the-blank and multiple choice. Students are motivated to keep learning with progress markers and badges, but the highlight of the experience is after mastering certain levels, learners are asked to help translate real pages on the Web. Current languages offered are English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
iPhone and Android (May 29) / Free
These apps are designed to make language learning fun. Each app includes interactive games that teach vocabulary and conversation skills in one of 13 languages including Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.
All ages / iPhone and iPad / Free
Spanish Word Bingo
Practice over 150 Spanish words in 10 different categories by playing four different games. Allows you to track and view words that you got wrong.
Free online or .99 cents for the iPhone iPad app
This app helps you learn essential phrases (including slang), practice speaking into a translator, and teaches you about local culture. Languages include French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Free to try; $9.99 for full access to one language
Today in History
This app lists notable international events in history as well as important figures’ birthdates and deaths. Use this app for quizzes, facts of the day, or home practice. (Grades 3-12 / iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch / Free)
Meat, grains, fruits, paper, and clothing–all require water to produce. The Virtual Water app informs consumers about their daily water footprint. Use this app to help students learn more about the earth’s precious resource and the relationship between water and food security. (Grades 4 and up / iPhone, iPod touch, iPad iOS / $1.99)
History: Maps of the World
Explore maps from around the world, including ancient maps. You can search by country, category, course (money, transportation, etc), or era. Other apps by the same company (which cost $4.99 each) include Maps of Asia, Africa, Oceania, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. (Grades4-12 / iPhone, iPad / Free)
Fly around by swiping your finger, zoom in or out by pinching, and browse layers including places, photos, and Wikipedia articles by tapping on the screen. (All ages /iPhone, iPad, and Android / Free)
National Geographic World Atlas
Explore the nations and territories of the world with National Geographic maps. View maps in the traditional “Executive” and “Classic” styles or seamlessly transition to satellite and road maps from Bing. This app also offers a library of maps that can be downloaded for offline use. (All ages / iPhone, iPod touch, iPad / $1.99)
With an intuitive and flexible interface, this app makes it easy to navigate the CIA World Factbook including geography, government, economics, communications, transportation, military, and transnational information. Maps and comparisons make it easy to locate and compare data across countries. (Grades 4-12 / iPhone, iPod touch, iPad / $0.99)
This app from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) provides comparative information about global economic indicators including population, migration, energy, technology, education, health, and the environment. (Grades 4-12 / iPhone and Android / Free)
Kids World Maps
A visually appealing tool with easy navigation between political and physical maps as well as maps highlighting cities, deserts, mountains, or rivers. (Elementary / iPad / $0.99)
GeoBee Challenge by National Geographic
Master this game, and you’re ready to become the next National Geographic Bee Champion! Challenges come in three rounds: multiple choice questions, interactive map questions, and the bonus round where students match National Geographic photos to their locations on the map. (Grades 4-12 / iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android, and NookColor / $1.99)
Geo Walk HD – 3D World Fact Book
This app makes learning about the world interactive and a lot of fun. Navigate the globe to discover points of interest. Tap the cards to zoom into interesting images and information. Search by course or filter for specific categories: places, animals, plants, people, or events. (Grades 4-12 / iPhone, iPod touch, iPad / $2.99)
Stuck on Earth – Free World Travel Guide
“The ultimate for photographers, explorers, and daydreamers,” this app is a great way to explore and discover fascinating and beautiful places around the globe captured by talented photographers worldwide. (Grades 4-12 / iPad / Free)
This National Geographic Society app explores the challenges of a growing human population in a world with limited resources. See informative videos, interactive maps, in-depth articles, and photography. (Grades 9-12 / iPad / $4.99)
Stack the Countries
Quiz students on country capitals, landmarks, geographic locations, and more. They can touch, move, and drop the animated countries anywhere on the screen. They must build a stack of countries that reaches the checkered line to win each level. (Grades 7 – 12 / iPhone, iPad / $1.99)
Ansel and Clair’s Adventures in Africa
In this educational adventure game, alien Ansel and robot Clair explore three regions of Africa – the Nile Valley, the Sahara Desert, and the Serengheti Plains. Through their interactive journey, they learn about the animals, environment, history, geography, and culture of Africa. Kids will enjoy the animations, games, puzzles and engaging storyline, taking photos along the way for their travel journal.
Ages 4-9 / iPad / $4.99
This app enables students to compare how the world used to look with how it looks today. They learn about history by exploring the photos, videos, audio recordings, and stories pinned to the map, which is searchable by place, date, and Google streetview. Students are encouraged to contribute to the collection and create tours. How to guides, resources and activity ideas are provided for school projects. Created by WeAreWhatWeDo in partnership with Google.
Ages 16 and up, or with parent/guardian permission / iPhone, Android, Windows Phone / Free
Tap Quiz Maps World Edition
Learn countries of the world through this global geography game.
Free for iPhone and iPad
Middle and high school to adult.
Boom Boom! Revolution
Boom Boom cards turn random acts of kindness into a social game. Participants perform intentional acts of kindness¬–or underground acts of guerilla goodness–stated on the cards, then pass the card forward. Players inspire each other and celebrate their good deeds by documenting and sharing their stories via the app or Boom Boom Cards website. (All ages / iPhone, iPod touch, iPad / Free)
This tool enables users to create interactive images by adding tags with embedded music, video, text, images, and links. Teachers can use Thinglink to connect students with multimedia resources and students can use it to explore new concepts and share their ideas.
iPhone and iPad app coming soon (http://app.thinglink.com)
Honor Moorman and Heather Singmaster contributed to this story.
Gateway Colleges Colombo, Kandy, Negombo and Bambalapitiya held their 14th Annual Teacher Training workshop at the Heritance Ahungalle (formally Triton) on July 9 and 10. This year's training included two sessions.
The first was a session on the use of Interactive Whiteboards and the second was a workshop on "Psychology and Communication". The event also included many items of entertainment including a staff concert organized by various Departments of Gateway Colleges.
Interactive Whiteboards are considered to be an excellent resource, not only for visual learners, but also for Auditory and Kinesthetic learners. Gateway has therefore, made necessary investments to encourage all teachers from Kindergarten to Advanced Level to use this new tool. With arrangements being made to provide Internet access in all classrooms, teaching and learning at Gateway is expected to reach greater heights.
As an organization that has established a firm reputation for ICT both locally and Internationally, Gateway has provided continuous support to its teachers developing their ICT skills. Over the years, many teachers have qualified in either ICDL (International Computer Driving Licence) or e-Citizen. It is with this background that the school has worked out a programme for teachers to obtain Laptops at very special concessionary rates. In view of these initiatives, the Management of Gateway is confident that all teachers will incorporate ICT into their day to day teaching.
A well trained teaching staff has always been a priority for Gateway. Over the years, Gateway teachers have had the opportunity of being trained by many local and International experts on various topics. From the upcoming new academic year, the Directorate of Gateway is making arrangements to formalize the training, especially for teachers who are qualified in their subject specialities, but who have not had any formal teacher training. The proposed Professional Diploma that is to be offered to teachers of Gateway through the Gateway Graduate School is to be of a year's duration. The modules to be included are - Soft Skills for Teachers, Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector, Planning and Enabling Learning, Principles and Practice of Assessment and the Pedagogical use of ICT.
The Directorate identifies the teachers of Gateway as the most important members in taking the school forward. The recent introduction of the Health Insurance scheme was also a gesture of goodwill for the efforts of the teachers of Gateway, whom the Directorate believes is the driving force of the organization.
Provision of learning of the highest global standards, while retaining the culture of the land, has been the raison d'etre for Gateway College since it twas founded in 1997.
Gateway College stands out among the International Schools in Sri Lanka, in that it follows the English National Curriculum in its entirety from the Foundation Level to the Advanced Level for students of Sri Lanka and other nationalities. With state-of-the-art facilities and a guarantee of not more than 25 students to a class, Gateway assures the best for every student. Gateway enjoys accredited teaching centre status from Edexcel - UK, Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and NCC Education - UK, enabling the school to conduct all examinations in-house. While achieving excellence in academic as well as co-curricular fields, students have thus lived up to the expectations of the founders by developing into wholesome personalities.
Having strengthened its position in the Primary and Secondary sectors, Gateway College has now embarked into the tertiary sector. With the opening of the new Graduate School, Gateway College brings a new dimension to its existing provision from Play Group (2 ½ years+) to Degree Level, with a new focus and theme - "Foundation to Graduation".
Asia is resolutely open for business with Irish companies. That was the clear message that emerged during Taoiseach Micheal Martin’s visit to Japan and Singapore this week.
hile pandemic-related restrictions on tourists remain in some countries, business travellers are welcome to visit these rapidly growing export markets and join the ranks of leading Irish companies successfully winning in the region, such as Kingspan, Kerry Group and ICON.
Japan, a G7 country and the world’s third-largest economy, is home to
125 million people, so the market presents significant ongoing opportunities for Irish exporters.
Enterprise Ireland last week published its Annual Business Review for 2021, which confirmed that exports from Enterprise Ireland-backed companies to Japan increased to record levels last year, reaching an all-time high of €277m and representing an increase of 11.1pc. There are approximately 200 Enterprise Ireland-supported client companies regularly exporting to Japan, with more than 50 local presences established to support their growth in the market and employing up to 2,000 people in Japan.
Digital transformation is a core focus for Japan, meaning the government and private sector there are hurry to discover new innovative solutions in this area. Like so many other markets, sustainability is also high on the agenda there, with digital and data-driven green solutions in high demand. This adds to the opportunities for well-established firms in the areas of life sciences, fintech, software and advanced manufacturing.
The Taoiseach led the Irish delegation on this important visit to the region, and they were warmly welcomed by Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, where both countries signed a joint declaration, “Taking Forward Partnership with Shared Ambition”, which focuses on economic collaboration and co-operation.
While in Japan, the Taoiseach hosted roundtables with Enterprise Ireland client companies to recognise some of their significant market milestones. These included a new office opening in Japan for energy tech firm GridBeyond, a new partnership for infrastructure automation specialists Ubiqube with Japanese firm Alaxala, and ICON’s major acquisition in Japan and plans to scale in the market.
From Japan, the Taoiseach and the Irish delegation travelled to Singapore, where they met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong. Exports from Irish firms to Southeast Asia rose by 8pc to €392m in 2021, with Singapore increasing by 10pc, accounting for €116m of that.
While Singapore is a relatively small island nation of 5.4 million people, English is widely spoken there, making it an ideal launching pad for Irish companies to enter the massive trading bloc of Southeast Asia.
This region, home to 682 million people, includes huge markets such as Indonesia (273 million people),
Vietnam (97 million) and Thailand (70 million).
Fintech, regtech, pharma and health tech are key sectors in Singapore, along with high-tech construction, education and food, while agritech is also a huge opportunity as you go further into Southeast Asia.
During the visit there this week, nine Irish companies participated in contract signings in Singapore. These included PM Group, which is supporting a first-of-its-kind vaccine plant in Singapore, along with ICDL, Intuition Publishing, Know Your Customer, NUIG, CurrencyFair (Zai), Aero Inspection, Ubiqube and Mackin EHS.
In order to operate in Japan and Southeast Asia, Irish exporters need to be prepared for the fact that cultural and business norms there mean that they will have to operate somewhat differently than they may do in other export markets in Europe or North America.
They will need to be mindful and respectful of these local business norms and cultural nuances, and the Enterprise Ireland teams on the ground in these markets regularly provide local support and advice on this front.
It’s also vital to have sufficient financial resources in order to commit to the market, win business and be highly responsive to customers. To make any headway, Irish firms typically find they need to set up a direct market presence and hire locally.
For any companies interested in exporting to APAC markets, there’s one key question — are you world class in what you do?
Those who can confidently answer that they are should talk to Enterprise Ireland to assess potential opportunities in the region.
Kevin Ryan is director, ASEAN at Enterprise Ireland, and Neil Cooney is director, Japan at Enterprise Ireland.