This week, I’d like to draw attention to a few specific resources I’ve come across for the global classroom.
The first comes from the World Digital Library, which I discovered thanks to a participant in one of my e-courses. This is a pretty incredible resource–it contains visual images of ancient literary materials from all over the world, is multilingual and authentic, and certainly appeals to bookies like me! I can imagine endless explorations and learning coming from a site like this, and it would enrich any classroom.
Photographs can be a powerful window into the world, and I still remember being fascinated by National Geographic images when I was a child. NG continues to offer some of the best global photography available, and like 360Cities, it offers a way to develop visual and cultural literacy skills.
I used photographs two ways in my classroom–as prompts for creative writing, and as exercises in cultural literacy (and foreign language use). Years ago, I saw a woman at a conference talk about deconstructing images for Background, Props/Objects, Clothing, Expression and Gesture. I added the PBL-style “wonders” as well, encouraging students to ask questions about what they couldn’t see or understand, what they were left wondering about.
Frontline is airing an incredible new documentary online, in partnership with PBS. In “Outlawed in Pakistan,” we see a young Pakistani woman confront her rapists in court. This is an incredible documentary which students could benefit from seeing, as it gives a real and personal look at the experience of women in Pakistan.
Hat tip to Upworthy for sharing this incredible resource–I encourage educators to subscribe to their emails, so that these resources cross your desk every day!
Finally, I want to offer a shout out to the United Nations Foundation for a powerful new graphic about their work to support the needs of women globally. I was president of the United Nations Association in Denver for many years, as well as sponsoring the Model UN club in my school. I remain convinced that no matter what you might think about the effectiveness of the UN itself, exposing students to their work is incredibly valuable and can help students understand the complexity of solving global issues.
In this case, the UNF offers a very clear sense of how many global challenges really do tie back to the needs of women in particular. An image like this could provoke powerful discussion and inquiry for students.