Taking it Global or at least Glocal

I really liked the TakingITGlobal for Educators website. I found two resources I thought were useful.

  1. The directory: http://www.tigweb.org/tiged/resources.html

In the directory, you were able to search other classrooms or schools with projects similar to your own. I thought I might be able to find educators in specific fields that may be open to discuss my students’ projects with them. After searching, I didn’t find what I needed, they listed more groups than instructors. However, it did inspire me…more about that later. 🙂

  1. The action guides: http://www.tigweb.org/action-tools/guide/

The Action Guides. Be still my heart. Your own little plan on how to change the world! Where were you when I was young??? Maybe not completely useful for my interdisciplinary studies undergrad students but yet still inspiring. 🙂

This brings me to how I might implement globalization in my classroom, or online classroom.

We already have a ‘globalized’ type project because my students come from all different places and backgrounds and they are tasked to come together and create a teacher demonstration presentation and AGREE on a topic. So I thought about other ways I might incorporate globalization in their Capstone class which mainly focuses on a research question and tasks them to research at least three disciplines and describe how those disciplines can come together to solve a problem. Seems pretty global to me!

Alas, my students are limiting their resources and I’ve been quite the stick in the mud about legitimate sources. No wikis!! I wanted them to have some experience in using a library and perhaps a librarian in their research! However, I found that my students, whom are mostly non traditional aged, weren’t savvy in the technology department/world wide web either. So I have decided to incorporate globalization!

First things first, they are tasked to research each of their chosen disciplines. They are asked about important publications and scholars in the disciplines. Some go as far back as Plato! Having a foundation is great but I always ask them – ‘what’s new in the field?’. So I decided to set them up for success. Instead of using TIG website, why not expand your universe and use the tools we already have available?

Think Globally:

  1. Find a leading scholar/professional in the field you are researching. You may find that the topic or question you are researching has a few scholarly articles. Find one of the authors and the university websites the authors are associated with to find their contact information. (Creepy? Not really, I’ve done it!)
  2. Once you find them, write them an email. Talk about your assignment (research question) and interest in the topic/field/discipline. Here are a few questions you might ask them:
    1. How would your discipline approach this problem?
    2. Do you know of any other research that addresses this problem? How can I find this study?
    3. What gaps do you see in this research that could be addressed from a different discipline or addressed by integrating perspectives from multiple disciplines?

Act locally:

Think about how else you can create awareness about this issue.

  1. Find groups in your local community that are looking to solve the problem you addressed in some way. List them!
  2. Find their Facebook group/s and ‘Like’ it and ‘Follow’ it.
  3. Research their action plans, what steps are they taking to solve this problem?

Post the groups you found, by copying and pasting their Facebook group or website link. Talk about the three questions in a reflective post to share with your classmates.

I think these additions to the assignments really add some thought and helps incorporate other’s perspectives in a project originally dependent on one student’s perspective. After all, isn’t that what interdisciplinary studies is about – Multiple perspectives?

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