[email protected] World Classroom Partnership is a multi-stakeholder initiative led by the private sector that brings together 83 companies and other entities to cooperate in integrating Information, Communication, and Scientific Technologies (ICSTs) in the learning and education process. Partners are from 25 countries on all continents, and include some of the largest multinationals with operations in more than 100 countries, as well as local companies involved in education and technology. The initiative is designed to advance achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and improve the quality of education through innovation and international collaboration between students and teachers.
The [email protected] World Classroom Partnership Program aims to provide access to ICSTs for education and learning to 1,500 classrooms, expecting to reach at least 45,000 students and 7,500 teachers. The [email protected] Solution Pack will include a mobile computer device for every student and teacher, an interactive whiteboard, digital lab ware, a classroom server, a learning management system (LMS), a digital projector, educational content, and teacher training materials. Ongoing support will be provided to all [email protected] schools.
The Program includes a comprehensive Educational Plan of Activities designed to engage students and teachers in interconnected educational and learning activities, especially school-to-school collaboration across national boundaries using digital tools. Teachers and students in the participant classes will develop an Educational Plan jointly with a Class in another country, promoting awareness of global development challenges and enabling the development of foreign language skills, communication, problem solving, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Students will be provided with productivity tools, collaboration mechanisms, scientific experiments, and digital lab ware.
All classrooms/schools will have a Local Partner Organization that will be responsible for each specific school fulfilling the objectives of participation in the Program. A Local Project Consultant will coordinate and support the collaboration between partner schools. These local partners will manage the specific needs of the communities where the Projects are implemented, as well as effective deployment of the infrastructure and follow-up procedures. This local focus will generate economic sustainability, recognize the value of local resources, and enhance the use of local historical and cultural content.
In order to promote knowledge acquisition and creation, a comprehensive training pack supporting the implementation of the Program will be offered. This pack includes: a) Intel Teach Program, b) Microsoft Partners in Learning, c) Pasco Scientific training, d) Interactive Whiteboard training and e) Digital Content training.
2013: 70 Classrooms/Schools will be selected from the schools currently participating in [email protected] Projects. Schools in the following Countries have been selected for infrastructure deployment: Colombia (2), Egypt (15), India (15), Indonesia (2), Mexico (12), Myanmar (1), Namibia (2), Pakistan (1), Philippines (5), Portugal (5), Puerto Rico (2), Kenya (2), South Sudan (1), and UK (5).
2014: 500 Classrooms/Schools will be selected from the schools currently participating in [email protected] Projects.
2015: 930 Classrooms/Schools will be selected from the schools currently participating in [email protected] Projects. Partners, namely Intel, Microsoft and Pasco, will identify Classrooms and teachers.
The application to participate will be made available to schools through a website. An algorithm has been developed that will match applicants with possible partner schools, based on criteria such as student age, class subject (e.g. physics), and logistical concerns such as time zone compatibility.
Special Programs will be developed focused on Classrooms/Schools belonging to twin local and regional administrative departments, near World Heritage Sites including Natural Sites, and communities under peace processes.
The Educational Plan will support the development of local curricula through the inclusion of international shared learning activities on subjects like geography, biology, literature, and language, among others. The Program simultaneously provides an environment to promote global citizenship with a unique approach to educational curricula in which learning activities are organized in three areas: Heritage, Sustainability, and Financial Literacy.
A toolkit that will be available to all participants is under preparation. It will contain exercises and activities as well as guidelines to develop the Program. The Toolkit will also include guidance such as tutorials and a step-by-step approach for communication between the peer participants.
An evaluation framework focusing on qualitative and quantitative aspects will be developed with the participation of Local and Global Entities.
Over 1.5 billion children and youth are attending kindergartens, primary and secondary schools and universities
' (UNESCO source), and only a very tiny number of classrooms are using fully ICSTs. Of those students and teachers who have access to ICSTs, only a smaller number use them to create new learning methodologies, educate for 21st century skills and themes, or further teachers' professional development. For example, in European Union only little more than half of students use computers at least once a week (European Commission report: Survey of Schools 2013).
Missing the opportunity of ICSTs as educational tools will deepen the digital divide and exclude communities from the benefits of global interconnected development, while access to technology can have a strong effect on social and economic development in the most excluded communities. In countries like Argentina, Portugal, and Uruguay, ICSTs, in and out of the classroom, improved the quality of and access to education, demonstrating its transformative capacity (World Bank EduTech blog 31 July 2013). Ultimately, adding digital learning opportunities to classrooms will improve students' communication skills, enable greater understanding and awareness of World Development Challenges, and build critical thinking through collaboration with peers in different countries who may share different views.
The availabity of ICSTs in schools reinforces the central role of schools as spaces in which to access information and knowledge, giving a meaningful use to 21st century digital tools.
[email protected] Education Sustainable is seeking financial and educational support to the implementation of World Classrooms Partnerships Commitment. In what concerns the financial support, they are looking for sponsoring the schools to participate. Regarding the educational resources, their aim is to bring new content developed by the partners and experts linked to their own activity. [email protected] seeks educational resources in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly in the areas of Energy, Climate and Water.
[email protected] Sustainable Education offers the possibility of sponsoring the implementation of classrooms in various countries, with the involvement of the schools and local authorities. [email protected] Sustainable Education offers also the possibility of integrating educational content of interested partners, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in the Education Collaborative Projects of the World Classrooms Partnerships, particularly in what concerns content focused on Energy, Climate and Water.