As you may or may not know, I’m moving on from my position at TakingITGlobal at the end of August, and we’re currently looking for someone to fill my shoes. I can say pretty confidently that it’s an excellent opportunity for the right kind of person – the kind of person who is passionate about both global education and social media, a self-starter who is not afraid to innovate. Details of the position and qualifications can be found here:
The game leads players through the 2004 presidential elections in Ukraine, which saw the pro-West and pro-Russia factions in the country pitted against each other in a bitter battle including corruption, scandals, and a poisoning. Players make decisions for both main candidates, with the goal of achieving democratic reform while avoiding violence. Play the game here. (note: the game is still a bit of a work in progress)
The virtual classroom
The classroom/lesson plans focus on democracy, human rights and governance, and are designed with high school students in mind. There is focus on the relationship between Canada and Ukraine, and on Canadian involvement (government and NGOs) in the Orange Revolution, but this can easily be adapted for use in other countries. Check out the homepage for the project to set up a classroom or the TIGed Activity Database for lesson plans.
How can you help?
We need teachers to evaluate the lesson plans and game! Set up a virtual classroom (here), play the game or implement any portion of the lesson plans, and respond to this short survey by June 12. We will randomly select 3 teachers who set up the virtual classroom by June 12 to receive a special TIG prize pack.
Don’t look to the media for an answer. I did a quick scan of Canada’s major newspapers (the online front pages), English and French, and all I found was the Star article above (questioning Earth Day Canada’s corporate sponsorship) and this cute human interest piece in La Presse (following a 9 year old who launched a “véritable petite révoltuion écologique dans son école primaire”). Both stories were buried beneath news of record gas prices, dropping interest rates, and Habs fans rioting. A Google News search wasn’t much more positive than my initial survey. But doesn’t it seem to be the case that more of us are more interested in the fate of the planet than ever?
You wouldn’t know it, if you only follow mainstream media. If you do care, and you live in Ontario, make an Earth Day Resolution (like the kind that you make for the new year, but focus on the planet and not your waistline. Or both. But definitely the planet.) and mail it in to info at ocic dot on dot ca, and check out the Ontario Council for International Cooperation’s news page to see what others are pledging. And if you don’t live in Ontario, or you do but you just want to spread your pledge a bit, check out 43things or TakingITGlobal’s Commit tool or fbook app (if you find bugs in either of the TIG tools, email broken at takingitglobal dot org).
Oh, and check out this video. It’s not strictly about earth day, but it’s cute:
We’re finally just about ready to launch the Youth Media Exchange (ymex.org), a new site devoted to sharing and discussing digital media for social change. The site will have a few bugs/kinks to start, but is going to be a pretty cool new forum for deeper conversations on the impacts of digital media on our lives, and how we can leverage it to affect change on global issues. The format of the site is pretty cool, too. It’s a social networking tool linked to TIG where you embed media you (or someone else) has posted elsewhere on the web to launch a discussion. Video, audio, writing, images, games, mashups… anything goes, as long as it’s linked to social issues in some way. Coming soon are group/collaboration tools, a mentoring system, and a more guided user experience, where your interests and past use of the site will help guide you to new skills, new content, and new forms of action. The site is presented in partnership by TIG, Global Kids, and the Asia Society, with funding from the MacArthur Foundation.
I promised last weekend in Ottawa that I’d make my slides on using social media for public engagement available. Here they are! I’ve added a few things that were missing, but they’re still a pretty weak substitute for the conversation we had. Feel free to post anything I’ve missed as comments, or e-mail me, and I’ll update them!