TakingITGlobal | by Jennifer Corriero
These days, student dropout and disengagement rates are at all-time highs, and costing billions in lost economic opportunities and crime. At the same time, global awareness and understanding across cultures is key to the future of the planet. For more than 10 years, TakingITGlobal has continued to inspire, inform and involve youth from around the globe to become actively engaged and connected in shaping a more inclusive, peaceful and sustainable world. True to our mission, we enable a collaborative learning community which provides youth with access to global opportunities, cross-cultural connections and meaningful participation in decision-making. To round out a decade of collaboration, in 2010 we saw one of our biggest years ever. Continuing on our theme of inspiring, informing and involving, here we share our top ten education and technology related projects, and invite you to contact us with your thoughts and ideas—or to get involved in creating future projects. Enjoy!
1. DeforestACTION Pilot:
Students from twelve participating schools came up with the ideas to 1) raise awareness about how palm oil plantations contribute to deforestation, as well as other global problems, such as habitat and biodiversity loss and global warming; and 2) buy back trees in endangered areas to protect them.
These ideas combined to create the DeforestACTION project, which saw students conduct awareness raising campaigns, have certain processed foods containing palm oil removed from their cafeterias, and raise funds to preserve rainforests for an orangutan sanctuary. The learning activities developed as part of the project form the basis of two new DeforestACTION thematic classrooms – one designed for elementary audiences and the other for middle and secondary. http://dfa.tigweb.org/
2. Adobe Youth Voices
The Adobe Youth Voices program aims to empower underserved youth worldwide to creatively express themselves through digital media artwork. As an implementing partner of Adobe Youth Voices, TakingITGlobal engages educators worldwide to use Adobe software, and to facilitate youth workshops in a way that enables critical inquiry and consciousness building social issues. The aim of the program is to provide youth participants with a platform for creating meaningful artwork encompassing various local and global issues. During its pilot cycle, TakingITGlobal has successfully implemented Adobe Youth Voices in partnership with 24 organizations in 6 different countries, engaging 48 educators, and over 1, 000 youth participants.
3. iEARN Youth Summit & Virtual Conference:
In the summer of 2010, the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) Canada and TakingITGlobal (TIG) hosted the Annual iEARN Conference and Youth Summit in Barrie, Ontario. The Youth Summit provided young people all over the world the opportunity to connect with each other, and attend workshops on diverse topics such as environmental activism, leadership skills and cross-cultural communication.
We also hosted Virtual Conference sponsored by Intelius, which ran concurrently with the Youth Summit and allowed participants to share their experiences with educators and students around the world through the power of the web.
Students participating at the Youth Summit were encouraged to document their experience end enter it in a contest called “Snap it, blog it, roll it or tweet it and you could WIN IT!” which awarded prizes to students who submitted the highest quantity or best quality photographs, videos, blogs, and tweets. http://iearn2010.tigweb.org/
4. Student News Action Network:
The Student News Action Network takes the concept of the school newspaper beyond school walls and the confines of print media, allowing students around the world to collaboratively to create an interactive multimedia online newspaper driven and managed by students. A collaboration between Washington International School, TIG and bureau schools worldwide, the Network brings students together in an online, peer-driven environment to creatively and constructively explore how to effect meaningful change in relation to issues of local and global significance. http://www.tigweb.org/youth-media/studentnews/
5. Tread Lightly @ COP16:
Tread Lightly is a free climate change education and engagement initiative offered by TakingITGlobal. Tread Lightly was involved with the COP16 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico in December 2010. Along with our allies from the Global Youth Action Network Mexico, TIG brought an international youth delegation, and presented at YOUNGO’S Conference of Youth, the Climate Village and inside the official proceedings. In partnership with the Center for Global Education we engaged students from with the Live from Cancun video conference. This event connected youth organizers at COP16 to classrooms in 15 countries on every inhabited continent on Earth, resulting in close to 5000 hours of collaboration and learning on climate change issues. http://treadlightly.tigweb.org/
6. EVOKE Art Contest:
In 2010, TakingITGlobal partnered with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) to launch EVOKE: a Canada-wide, multidisciplinary art contest for youth aged 13-25. Youth across Canada had the opportunity to express their unique human rights perspective through visual art. TIG launched an interactive website, an EVOKE set on TIG’s Global Gallery, and a human rights discussion guide for facilitators. In order to spread news of the EVOKE Contest, TIG reached out to 5,000 educators, 32,000 youth in Canada and 200,000 members globally. EVOKE received 189 submissions from youth across Canada and a winner was selected from 12 Provinces and Territories. http://evoke.tigweb.org/
7. Online Community Challenges: Democracy is… & Sharing the Dream
Democracy is… In 2010 TIG partnered with the United States Department of State along with United Nations University, The International Youth foundation NBC Universal, and Youtube to create conversations on Democracy through video, photo and twitter. We used global, creative challenges to enable people to share, consider, debate, and learn from diverse perspectives on democracy.
To connect the world to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, TakingITGlobal partnered with the Government of British Colombia and The BC Ministry of Education. We collaborated to deliver the Sharing the Dream Webcast Series, the Playing for Peace art contest as well as a series of globally focused discussion threads and blog posts from reporters live on the scene at the 2010 Olympics and Paralympics.
Total online content submissions in 2010: 13 642 (projects, groups, articles, gallery, organizations, events, opportunities, stories) http://www.tigweb.org/community/
8. Multilingual Community: Online Volunteers!
Launch of the Online Volunteer Lounge: With members in 238 countries worldwide, TakingITGlobal recognizes the need to develop a strong multilingual platform that is accessible to users around the world. The OV Lounge provides a dynamic space where current volunteers are able to post documents and resources, share photos, read Twitter and blog updates, participate in Discussion Board conversations, communicate with others via a Live Chat tool, and send messages to other volunteer group members. Through these tools, the lounge helps volunteers connect with each other by exchanging tips and tricks for making the most of their volunteer experiences, asking questions, swapping resources, accessing opportunities, and strengthening a sense of global volunteer community. http://multilingual.tigweb.org/index.html
Translation Volunteers: 237, Words Translated: 2,072,195, Non-English Pageviews: 5,470,713, Languages Spoken by Members: 263, and counting
9. Sprout E-Course:
Sprout is a platform for young people who want to grow their social venture and learn to create lasting change that takes root in their communities. To date, Sprout has connected and supported over 250 youth, hailing from over 40 countries.
In July 2010, TakingITGlobal led an evolution of the Sprout E-course. Now Sprout is accessible to an unlimited number of global youth in a self-directed version. This 6 week course offers young leaders worldwide access to training in essential skills, including team building, project management, communications and leveraging technology as they imagine, plan and develop social innovation projects.
Variations of the program have also been developed to support youth in both the Arab region and Asia-Pacific region with partners including the Library of Alexandria and Microsoft Partners in Learning. http://sprout.tigweb.org/about/
10. The Youth Effect:
Facilitated and lead by Jennifer Corriero, Co-founder and Executive Director of TakingITGlobal, The Youth Effect is a toolkit for decision makers on how engage youth.
The Youth Effect was created to inspire leaders of organizations across sectors to believe in the capability of youth and to develop the skills of established leaders in being able to engage and collaborate more effectively with youth. It is part of an effort to ensure that children and youth are an integral part of designing, shaping and creating a more sustainable future. http://youtheffect.org/
Jennifer Corriero is the co-founder and executive director of TakingITGlobal, an online learning community for youth interested in global issues and creating positive change. Her extensive experience includes developing and driving youth programs related to technology, collaboration and entrepreneurship, and designing and delivering interactive learning experiences to empower youth and community leaders. She has been a delegate to the World Summit on the Information Society; she’s presented and supported civil society engagement at events including the World Urban Forum, World Summit on Sustainable Development and other global forums. Corriero has been a youth engagement strategy consultant for Microsoft, TD Bank, Ontario Science Centre and the Canadian Government. She earned her BA in Business, Communications, Technology and a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University. An innovator, leader and engaging public speaker, she has been widely recognized by various conferences, organizations, universities and mainstream magazines for her tireless efforts in motivating the youth of the world. Contact her through TakingITGlobal.