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Honor Moorman - Students’ Rights to Networked Learning

Honor Moorman - Students’ Rights to Networked Learning

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Students’ Rights to Networked Learningin the Development of Global Competence
Honor Moorman
Creative Commons License:
Author contact:
Author Biography:
Honor Moorman is aneducational consultant and online networkfacilitator with the Asia Society’s InternationalStudies Schools Network. She previously served on the faculty of The InternationalSchool of the Americas as an English Language Arts teacher, Internship and ServiceLearning Coordinator, and Dean of Instruction for English and Social Studies. Honor is
a National Board Certied Teacher, a Google Certied Teacher, a Discovery EducationNetwork STAR, a Flat Classroom Certied Teacher, a National Writing Project fellow,and a reviewer for ReadWriteThink.org. She has presented at numerous professional
conferences and her articles have been featured in a variety of educationalpublications. In 2010 she was awarded second place and a teacher’s choice awardin the PBS Teachers Innovation Awards and was named Teacher of the Year by her colleagues.Site:
Blogs: http://21cliteracies.wordpress.com/ and
Activity Summary
This paper is about the imperative for networked learning as a key dimension in students’development of global competence.
Class or subject area: AllGrade level(s):
Specifc learning objectives:
Global Competence
21st Century Skills
The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century 
, Thomas Friedman states that “Inthe future, how we educate our children may prove to be more important than how much we educate
them” (p. 309). That future is now. We are in the second decade of the 21st century. Globalization is
a fact of our daily lives (see Figure 1). Technological developments are advancing exponentially (seeFigure 2). All students today deserve a global education, which includes access to the Internet andopportunities for networked learning. Vivien Stewart agrees:
The future is here . . . Teaching students about the world is not a subject in itself, separate from other content areas, but should be an integral part of all subjects taught. We need to open global gatewaysand inspire students to explore beyond their national borders
. (Stewart, 2007, pp. 8, 10).
Global competence can be dened as “the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to understand andact creatively and innovatively on issues of global signicance” (Council of Chief State SchoolOfcers [CCSSO], 2010). These skills include investigating the world, recognizing perspectives,
communicating ideas, and taking action (CCSSO, 2010). A global education means not only learningabout the world, but also learning from the world and withthe world. In order for students to investigate the world and
recognize perspectives, they need access to multiple sources of 
information. Fortunately, learning in schools need no longer be
conned to the monolithic textbook as the sole source of content.
Internet connectivity allows teachers and students to access anever-expanding volume and variety of information, representingvoices from around the globe.
Global competencies and 21st century skills (see Figure 3)ourish hand-in-hand. Students develop critical thinking skills
when presented with multiple perspectives, helping them see thattexts are not neutral and encouraging them to ask critical literacy
questions such as “Whose voice is representedhere?” “Whose voice is silenced?” “Is there another point of 
view?” (see Figure 4). An Igbo proverb states “Until the liontells his side of the story, the tale of the hunt will always glorifythe hunter.” Similarly, in her TED Talk, “The Danger of a Single
Story,” Chimamamnda Adichie says, “When we reject the singlestory, when we realize there is never a single story about any
place, we regain a kind of paradise” (TED, 2009). And as themice learn in Seven Blind Mice (based on the Buddhist parableof “The Blind Men and the Elephant”), “wisdom comes fromseeing the whole” (Young, 1991).
In order to emerge as global citizens, students must not only
“investigate the world beyond their immediate environment”
and “recognize their own and others’ perspectives” (CCSSO,
2010), they must also be able to “apply cross-cultural understanding” (Asia Society, 2010) as they“communicate ideas” and “take action” (CCSSO, 2010; Asia Society, 2010) based on what they’velearned. These goals are best achieved when students have authentic audiences and purposes
Figure 1. The 21st Century Context.(Oxfam, 2006).
for their work, when they see that what they’ve learned and what they have to communicate aboutthat learning matters “in the real world” – beyond the teacher’s grade book and the four walls of the
classroom. Here again, global citizenship skills and digital citizenship skills can be developed mosteffectively in concert with one another. Given the costs involved in travel, students are most likely
to “connect and collaborate across boundaries” and “enact global solutions” (CCSSO, 2010; AsiaSociety, 2010) via the web. Internet connectivity creates unprecedented access to diverse global
audiences; social media and Web 2.0 tools provide new modes of communication and collaboration.Friedman describes the “at
world” of contemporary societyas the “global web-enabledplatform for multiple forms of sharing knowledge and workirrespective of time, distance,geography, and increasinglyeven language” (2005, n.p.).Internet technologies enableindividuals to learn, create,and collaborate with othersaround the world twenty-four hours a day, seven days aweek. In the developed world,today’s young people havegrown up surrounded bydigital technology and Internet connectivity. These youth are often referred to as “digital natives,” the
“digital generation,” or the “net generation,” (Palfrey & Gasser, 2008; Prensky, 2005/2006; Tapscott,1998, 2009). They are not only comfortable with Web 2.0 tools, they are also emerging as prosumers(Tapscott & Williams, 2008), able to produce and publish online content just as easily as they are
able to consume it. Three-quarters of teens, compared with two-thirds of adult Internet users are
Figure 2. Did You Know? “We are living in exponential times.” (Fisch & McLeod, 2007).
Core Subjects and 21st CenturyThemes
Global Awareness
Financial, Economic, Businessand Entrepreneurial Literacy
Civic Literacy
Health Literacy
Learning and Innovation Skills
Creativity and Innovation
Critical Thinking and ProblemSolving
Communication andCollaboration
Figure 3. Twenty-First Century Student Outcomes. (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2009a).
Information, Media andTechnology Skills
Information Literacy
Media Literacy
ICT Literacy
Life and Career Skills
Flexibility and Adaptability
Initiative and Self-Direction
Social and Cross-CulturalSkills
Productivity and Accountability
Leadership and Responsibility

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