Every week I summarise the #classDojoEU conversation on Twitter with my own thoughts on the questions asked. This week the topic was Global Issues and Topical Events. There was an interesting mix of questions.
Q1. How have you been using the Rugby World Cup to teach the different curricular areas?
Geography and Maths have been the two areas in the curriculum that have benefited most from the World Cup. From learning about each country to working out derivations of points, both these subjects were brought to life.
Q2. Which current events and issues are you and your learners interested in or motivated by?
Sometimes, the best resource you can get is the front page of the daily newspaper. It’s great way to start discussions about the world and the issues in the country. Sometimes, one has to censor things due to the children’s ages but overall, most headlines are fair game. Naturally, pop culture and sport play a role in what happens in older classes while cartoons and things on TV are of interest to our littler members of school. 2016 is going to be a big year in Ireland for 1916 commemorations.
Q3. Should we be focusing more on current issues rather than pre-designed issues?
It depends. I think it’s important for us to discuss current issues all the time but there are other more general issues that crop up and have cropped up through history and it’s important to learn about them. We must learn from history. However, where possible, I do think current issues can guide us nicely into areas that the curriculum fails to do.
Q4. How have you overcome barriers to discussing potentially sensitive issues?
I think some teacher censoring has to come into play here. For example, we had a terrible tragedy in Ireland recently where 10 people were killed in a fire. However, there was a lot of debate about the situation because the survivors of the fire had to move to a different area. One could make an assumption that the debate happened for the reason that the people were from the Traveller community. While it would be good for children to talk about the injustice of such a situation, one would really want to ensure that they didn’t read some of the hate-filled comments that were being left of certain web sites.
Q5. How do you and your learners think globally and act locally?
The internet has made both these things much easier to do. In our school we tend to look out for opportunities to help and get involved in local community projects. We also like local communities to come to us for lots of different reasons. Globally, Skype and Google Hangouts are a huge help. We have been lucky to have met and spoken to people from all over the world. Using Social Media, the same can be done.
Q6. How can ClassDojo help with thinking globally and acting locally?
ClassStory is one way of doing things for sharing our classroom with families. Globally, we can share our ClassDojo stories on our blog. I’m sure ClassDojo has a few tricks up its sleeve for further developing this.