W.Va. To Celebrate International Education Week Nov. 15-19

November 08, 2010

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia students will travel the globe without leaving their classrooms during International Education Week Nov. 15-19.

International Education Week, sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of State, exposes children to the history, geography, literature and arts of other cultures and the importance of learning a second language.

“As we prepare West Virginia students to meet the demands of a 21st century, global economy, it is imperative that they are ready to live in a diverse and tolerant society,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “I encourage every school in West Virginia to observe International Education Week to give children the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the world in which they live.”  

Teachers and administrators are encouraged to use this week as a springboard to establish long-term goals and short-term celebrations focusing on global awareness in their schools.  

Suggested activities for International Week include inviting international guest speakers to address any number of topics, from the differences in education systems to holiday celebrations. Teachers can incorporate foreign languages into their classroom throughout the week or encourage reading books by a foreign author or about other cultures.

Schools also could form student focus groups to discuss a particular area of global awareness, such as diversity in American schools, global warming or the growing influence of China. They also can interview local businesses, clubs and churches about their activities in international issues.
Other activities would be to facilitate a classroom-to-classroom connection with another country. Today’s technology allows computer users to communicate with friends from around the world almost instantaneously.  
For more information, contact Robert Crawford with the Office of International Schools at 304-558-0200, or the Office of Communications at 304-558-2699. Information also is available at http://iew.state.gov/.
Additional classroom resources are available here:

www.iearn.org iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) is the world's largest non-profit global network that enables teachers and youth to use the Internet and other technologies to collaborate on projects that enhance learning and make a difference in the world.

www.thinkquest.org ThinkQuest is another internet platform that allows teachers and students to collaborate with international partners on a project based learning initiative.

http://asiasociety.org/education-learning the Asia Society Education and Learning site provides educators with multiple resources for examining global learning and competency. 

http://www.gapminder.org Gapminder is technology tool that presents statistical and trend data related to issues that affect the world. Teachers and students can use this tool to make global comparisons over a period of time. 

http://www.worldmapper.org Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. Teachers and students can look at maps on topics like world internet usage, income, land area to population, etc…

www.actfl.org The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages provides resources related to the topic of the teaching of foreign/world languages. 

http://www.panwapa.org Panwapa is an interactive educational site developed by the Sesame Workshop that affords elementary students an opportunity to discover other countries and languages while collecting international profile cards.  

http://www.edsteps.org EdSteps has developed a global competency matrix that educators can use to examine the global significance of student work. Schools can celebrate by taking the Global IQ Quiz featured on the International Education Week site and rating their global knowledge.

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