I’ve been a fan of global collaboration for the last decade or so. There are many reasons why I enjoy flattening my classroom walls — developing global competency is a must, global collaboration can bring learning to life, and it’s fun!
Lately, I’ve been following with interest the United Nations Global Goals and how they can apply to education.
This post explains what the Global Goals are and gives some ideas on how students and teachers can take action on these goals.
What Are the Global Goals?
In 2015, the United Nations announced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); these are also known as the Global Goals. The leaders of all 193 member states of the United Nations agreed on the 17 goals for a better world by 2030.
Below is a visual summary and you can read more about each goal on The Global Goals website.
This video was put together with celebrities to announce the goals.
How Can Teachers And Students Take Action With The UN Global Goals?
No doubt, you’ll agree that these goals are important, but to say they’re ambitious is an understatement! What can we as teachers do to help? Here are seven ideas.
1) Make your students aware of the UN Global Goals
The Global Goals YouTube channel has some nice short videos that provide a good introduction. There are also some fantastic cartoons for younger children on this Vimeo channel. Better yet, have students investigate what the Global Goals are for themselves.
There are also some excellent resources on the World’s Largest Lesson page.
2) Get your students familiar with working with people from overseas
Developing global competence is a must if we expect future generations to work together to solve some of our world’s big problems (as outlined in the Global Goals). Additionally, we want our students to thrive in a changing labour market and live harmoniously together.
All this can begin with regular and authentic interactions with others around the world. Check out my guide to getting started with global collaboration for lots of ideas and entry points.
3) Use stories
All teachers know the power of storytelling! There are some free online stories and comics that address different Goals on the World’s Largest Lesson page.
4) Join the Global Goals education communities
TeachSDGs is an excellent community dedicated to promoting and assisting educators to teach with the Goals. You can also join the global community of educators passionate about the Goals on Participate.
5) Learn more with courses
6) Share the Global Goals
For the goals to work, people need to know about them. You can use the hashtag #GlobalGoals on social media and download the app. You can also spread the word to your offline connections including family, friends, colleagues, and the school community. Helping to raise awareness about the Global Goals can make a difference!
This free initiative introduces the Goals to children and young people everywhere and unites them in action. There are resources for educators to teach lessons, run projects, and take action in support of the Goals.
The World’s Largest Lesson begins September 24. Register and find out more.
Overview of The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018 — This is a report card on how we are going with achieving the goals, 3 years in.
A Guide to the Goals for Children and Young People — This is a resource you could print for students, or you could use snippets of it as you wish.
How To Connect with Other Classes Around the World Through Blogging — My post on how to find others around the world to connect with.
The Global Goals are certainly ambitious but those in education are fortunate; we are in a position to take small steps towards making a change and influencing others. Even if you don’t have the time or class to run a project this year, just helping to spread the word about the Goals can make a big difference!
Personally, I love the way the Global Goals can offer a framework around global collaboration in the classroom. When you use technology to connect with others around the world, your goal might be big or small. Sometimes, you might work with another class to actively address one of the 17 Goals. At other times, the simple act of communicating with diverse cultures can help build the global competence students need to work with others in the future.
After all, what more can we want than to have everyone work together to make the world a better place?
Thank you to Ines Pinto who has translated this post into Portuguese. Please share this link with anyone you think could benefit!
Do you have any other resources to add? Please let me know!