FEBRUARY 27, 2019
“JUST THINK HOW THEIR EXPERIENCES ARE MAGNIFIED”:
Mike Bloomberg on the Value of Global Digital Education
“Putting people together from around the world is one of the most important things we can do,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP & Bloomberg Philanthropies and former mayor of New York City, at a recent gathering of international educators in New York City. “We’re trying to get more people exposed to ideas and traditions from elsewhere. We think that the more that we can recognize the hopes and aspirations that bind us together, the more we’ll be able to build and sustain alliances that promote peace and prosperity, and give us a future.”
Mayor Bloomberg addressed educators and policymakers at the Global Cities Symposium, Global Competency in a Changing World: Developing and Assessing Student Learning Outcomes, a conference exploring global digital education as a pathway to global competency for students ages 10-13. The focus was the public release of Evaluating Global Digital Education: Student Outcomes Framework, a report and framework making it possible to measure student progress toward global learning goals, and making these insights widely available to educators and classrooms worldwide. The report draws on the experiences of Global Scholars, the global digital exchange program operated by Global Cities, Inc., a Program of Bloomberg Philanthropies.
“Thanks to technology and the pioneering work that leaders like you are doing,” Mayor Bloomberg said, “seventh graders in Fort Lauderdale can now sit in front of the same classroom as those in Barcelona, and just think about how their experiences are magnified.”
Mayor Bloomberg emphasized 3 additional points.
Global learning matters. “We’ve got to give people the understanding that critical thinking and cultural understanding and appreciation for diversity are good for the world and also good for each of us.”
Clear standards improve programs. “We’re glad to see that educators and policymakers are already using the report that you’ve produced to establish standards on global civic education. The report makes it clear that educators have a lot more to do. The Global Scholars program is helping students to do more.”
Data must drive improvement. “The most important thing is when you measure something you then use the data... You can test the kids but if you find out that they don’t know something and don’t go into a classroom and change the classroom to try and fill that gap and teach them what they’re not learning, what’s the point of it?”
The 74 educators attending the symposium represented 32 cities, 21 international and 11 US. In addition to Mayor Bloomberg, speakers included John B. King, Jr., president of the Education Trust and former U.S. Secretary of Education; Ester Fuchs, professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University; Kevin Guthrie, president of ITHAKA; and Marjorie B. Tiven, president and founder of Global Cities.
More than 15,000 students currently participate in the Global Scholars program in nearly 700 classrooms. In the six years since Global Cities formally launched the digital exchange program in 2014 with 333 students, the program has reached nearly 50,000 students. Their experiences and those of the teachers and administrators helping to lead the program internationally inform Global Cities’ new report, co-published by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The report presents an evaluation framework for global education based on nine student learning outcomes and the innovative approach of global digital exchange. Global Cities conceived this framework so that educators can better teach global competency, and evaluators can better measure what students are learning.
Read the report: Evaluating Global Digital Education: Student Outcomes Framework
See additional video from the Global Cities Symposium, including Kevin Guthrie and John B., King, Jr., in our Video Library