Global Cities, Inc. Convenes Representatives from Over 20 U.S. School Districts & Educators from Europe to Promote Early Global Digital Education
Notable speakers included Mayors Michael R. Bloomberg and Michael A. Nutter as well as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational & Cultural Affairs, Evan Ryan
May 12, 2016 – New York – Twenty-five U.S. school districts from 16 states participated in a symposium on global digital education convened by Global Cities, Inc., a program of Bloomberg Philanthropies. More than 20 of the school districts were from the largest school districts in the U.S. including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, Ft. Lauderdale and Houston. In addition, the symposium was attended by educators from Barcelona, London, and Warsaw.
Michael R. Bloomberg, three-term Mayor of New York City and philanthropist addressed the symposium and said, “Combating the ignorance that breeds fear and intolerance begins with young people…and giving students positive experiences with students from other countries doesn’t just enhance their education journeys, it strengthens the fabric of our societies. Every local challenge has a global connection; and in order to be good citizens today, we must be global citizens, too. That’s why programs that bring students from diverse cultures together are so important. And it’s also why technology is so critical to the idea of global citizenship.”
At today’s symposium, held at Bloomberg Philanthropies, educators and global digital experts discussed how to expand American students’ access to international learning opportunities. Participants explored how Internet-based activities and peer to peer exchanges can develop students’ global citizenship. Key to success is motivating students to investigate the world, appreciate cultural differences, and gain digital literacy.
“Global education is the great common ground that drives human progress forward. It is our first line of defense against the growing tide of inequality and prejudice in U.S. cities and around the globe,” said Michael A. Nutter, former Mayor of Philadelphia, in his keynote conversation with Harvard University Professor Fernando M. Reimers. “As the world changes, we must equip the young with skills to work with others who may not share their own worldview in order to collaborate on today’s challenges,” said Professor Reimers.
The symposium presented alternative global digital education models to meet the varied needs of school districts. In addition to the Global Scholars program operated by Global Cities, Inc., school districts heard from Kizuna Across Cultures; Out of Eden Learn, Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education; and Reach the World.
Symposium participants were welcomed by Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan. “Young people who have a chance to experience different perspectives early in life have a better chance at developing the skills, empathy, and cooperative spirit that we need to face the great challenges and possibilities of this changing world,” said Secretary Ryan.
Founder and President of Global Cities, Inc. Marjorie B. Tiven said, “With the rise of intolerance and isolationism around the world, we must educate our children at an early age to engage with each other to solve problems. Technology allows us to easily connect students from distant cities in their classrooms to discover what they have in common and to become truly global citizens.” She served as NYC Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, 2002-2013.
The Global Scholars program connects classes of 10 to 13-year old students in multilateral e-classrooms. It benefits both teachers and students through its project-based experiential learning model. Students use an interactive, multimedia online classroom and original curriculum materials to communicate about important global issues with their international peers. Teachers gain year-round professional development and a connection to a worldwide network of educators.