Friday, April 30, 2010

EDIM 508- Developing the Respectful and Ethical mind via Google Earth

Service is the rent we pay for living on this planet.” – Marion Wright Edelman

As global citizens, it is critical that our students develop ethical and respectful minds. Gardner states, "respect is equally important at the workplace and in civil society."(pg 116) With this in mind, this Google Earth Virtual Field trip seeks the whet the appetite for global stewardship in our middle school student.  Through a cross continental journey to countries that have needs and meeting real individuals who served to help their fellow global neighbors, this project hopes to have every middle school student impacted by this experience will develop a heightened sense of global empathy and improved global competency.  In short, on this journey, students will meet several Peace Corps volunteers, understand how each served in his assignment, and appreciate the value in the art of serving others.  

This project embodies the "Four  Ms"  mentioned by Gardner ("signposts toward the achievement of good work")  (Gardner pg. 148-149)
1. Mission- This project specifically tries to achieve the enduring understanding that within this world, there are places and people with great needs.  It would benefit all if we did our part to help others to improve their quality of life.

2. Models- Through this project, students are provided with models of service.  Multimedia was used to show them real people, positive individuals who "embodied good work" to serve others. 

3. Mirror test-individual version- Through the final assessment, an open ended question at the end of the journey, the student is asked if he can envision himself as a peace corps volunteer.  It also calls for further reflection, asking him where and how would he serve as a volunteer.

4. Mirror test-professional responsibility-This project seeks to call every student who participates into the spirit of collective global social responsibility to oneself and others.

It is my hope that we can use this virtual field trip as a preliminary lesson prior to the launch of our district's Journeys in Film pilot project.  It would benefit our students greatly if they can witness first hand the lasting impact of global community service through web 2.0 and multimedia.

Gardner, H. (2007). Five minds for the future. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

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