Saturday, February 25, 2012

What if?

We had our annual Teachers' Convention on February 23 and 24 and I was happy to attend a session by Bill Belsey titled "My Classroom is Wired, Now What?" Bill provided plenty of stories of how he makes learning authentic and real for his students in his classroom. He shares his classroom experiences on his class website called Although Bill uses technology fluently with his students, he stresses that it is not about the technology, it is about the learning.

One example Bill shared with us was his story about how he got his classroom involved in Kiva. Kiva is a non-profit micro loan organization helping alleviate poverty by providing loans to people to help them start a business. Bill explained that 98% of the loans get repaid.

Here is what Mr. Belsey's class did. The classroom had to raise $100 by working, not getting a hand down. When the class earned the money, Bill told them they had to research Kiva and find a person they feel would benefit from the money. The students presented to the class and they voted on 4 people to give $25 dollars to. The loan was repaid to the class, and they started the process all over again.

To me, this is a great example of Global Education, citizenship and authentic learning. So I titled this post "What if?" What if more and more classrooms raised money and got involved with Kiva? What if teachers read this post and spread the word through Twitter and other Social Media? What if hundreds, no thousands of classrooms raised a little bit of money to provide a loan for someone trying to break out of poverty? I will leave you, the reader, with these questions and will be happy to have you comment. Please do, and please spread the word. You can empower your students to make a big difference in the world we live in.