Using Technology to Get Students Involved in Global Issues

World issues can be complex and difficult to understand, but it is our job as teachers to present these issues to students and teach them the impact these problems have on others. Getting students interested in global issues can be a challenging task. The average student isn't going to be knowledgeable on foreign policies and politics let alone be interested in getting involved. Why is this? 

First, many students don't understand how issues across the world will affect them. World issues can seem distant and abstract, and students may not see how they affect their own lives. Some students do believe if it doesn't affect them they don't need to get involved.

Second, it is possible that world issues can overwhelm students by their complexity. Trying to learn about the politics and relations of another country can be overwhelming with the amount of information there is to take in. With so much already going on in students' lives, tackling an issues that is plaguing people across the world is a daunting task. Students can be dissuaded from getting into world issues because they don't have the time or energy to be overwhelmed by so many brand new pieces of information.

Third, even if students are knowledgeable and interested, it is hard to feel that they can make a difference. Students may feel like they are powerless to change the world, and this can lead to apathy. What is the point of taking interest in something if there is nothing they can do to help? 

Even though this is a daunting task, there are things that teachers can do to get students interested in world issues. 

  • Make it relevant to their lives. When possible, try to connect world issues to students' own lives. This will help them see how these issues matter to them, and it will make them more likely to want to learn more about them.
  • Use a variety of resources. Don't just rely on one type of resource when teaching about world issues. Use a variety of resources, such as books, articles, videos, and websites. This will help students learn in a way that is most effective for them.
  • Get students involved. Don't just lecture students about world issues. Get them involved in activities that will help them learn more about these issues. This could involve participating in a debate, writing a letter to their elected officials, or volunteering for an organization that is working to address a particular world issue.

Getting students involved with world issues is easier than it ever has been. Mobile devices, tablets, and computers can instantly connect a person with different pieces of information, games, websites, or even people who can engage students in world issues. Utilize the technology provided to your students in various ways to get students interested in world issues. 

  • Use social media to connect students with people from around the world. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be used to connect students with people from all over the world. Follow and study accounts of famous influencers from different countries. This can help students learn about different cultures and perspectives, and it can also help them build relationships with people who are passionate about world issues.
  • Use educational apps and websites. There are many educational apps and websites that can help students learn about world issues. These resources can make learning about world issues fun and engaging, and they can also help students stay up-to-date on current events.
  • Use video conferencing to connect students with experts. Video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts can be used to connect students with experts on world issues. This can help students learn from people who are on the front lines of making a difference, and it can also help students feel like they are part of a global community.
  • Connect with another class around the world. Kids use their digital devices to connect with individuals in other countries, but this doesn’t mean they understand how to do so with an open mind, a respectful perspective, or the intent to learn about culture. As the teacher set up a video conference call with a class in a different country for a more intimate, open dialogue. 

Parts of this section were excerpted from Hacking Digital Learning Strategies. Learn unique digital learning strategies and take your students on technology filled missions to teach valuable lessons. 

The more we help students understand world issues in fun and entertaining ways, the more motivated they will be to get involved. Provide further online resources to your students so they can continue getting involved. By following these tips and utilizing the tools at your disposal, you can use technology to help students learn about and engage with world issues in a way that is both fun and educational.

Main post image by Ketut Subiyanto via Pexels

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