Connecting worlds is an online educational proposal which combines classroom activities with networking among students from 6 to 17 years old. The participants belong to different cultural, economic and social realities and attend school centres from all over the world.
Students interact and work through an online multilingual platform whose contents are available in 7 languages (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, Galician, Catalan and Basque). The work is carried out in a cooperative manner in working teams of the same age range.
Each year tackles a specific issue related to Education for a Global Citizenship such as labour standards, climate change or poverty and there is a different educational proposal for each age group.
Teachers from all over the world may register their class-groups and take part in this experience.
The activity is structured in 3 large stages:
In the year 2003, a team of teachers and professionals at Oxfam Intermon launched Connecting Worlds. Since then, over 150,000 students from 41 different countries and over 3,600 schools have participated in this education proposal. Connecting Worlds originated from the desire to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The idea was to promote a space for multicultural learning where students of different social backgrounds could share and work in a cooperative manner in order to reflect upon and act against global injustice. Today, 18 years later, the proposal is still valid and fully consolidated and every year proposes a different issue to be worked on: labor rights, climate change, migrations, culture of peace, food justice, etc.
In addition, Connecting Worlds incorporates changes with every new edition, so as to adapt to the needs and expectations of the current educational systems. One of the novelties consisted in including the Service- Learning methodology as an optional practice within the proposal, giving students and teachers the opportunity of deciding how far they want to go in implementing what they have learned.
Moreover, the Training Module for Teachers, which aims to facilitate the understanding of the subject addressed, as well as the development of the online proposal.
As Oxfam Intermon’s Head of the Education Unit for a Global Citizenship Begoña Cardona explains, since its inception Connecting Worlds was conceived as a project that went far beyond raising awareness: “Students participating in the project discover different realities and social injustices existing both at a global level and within their closest environment. The strength of Connecting Worlds lies in their commitment to finding solutions and in social actions”.
For all the above, 80 per cent of teachers who have participated in the project consider that it brings about meaningful change in students’ attitude regarding the subject addressed, and that it also has a positive impact on the way students interact within the classroom. Thirty per cent of schools that have participated in Connecting Worlds register again and 10 per cent signed up to participate more than 4 times.
Moreover, the impact is felt not only among students. As Esther Gutiérrez, a teacher who joined the project during the 2018/19 academic year, explains: “Participating in Connecting Worlds has allowed me to rethink my role as a teacher within the classroom. Students take the leading role here.”