UNICEF launched Connecting Classrooms in 2008 as an initiative based in schools and youth centers. It is a civic media initiative that aims to empower young people through new and traditional media, including the internet. Students go through a curriculum designed by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to help them write about topics in their communities and post about them on an internet platform. Both students and teachers use the online platform which is designed for group interaction and collaborative work. Activities are developed jointly with partners and teachers, taking full advantage of existing curricula and learning resources. Connecting Classrooms is designed to encourage discussion among students on multiple continents, support active dialogue about global issues, and promote small group work within schools and between different countries.
Connecting Classrooms has helped youth learn to work together, develop their communications and computer skills, define and express their positions on global issues, and become active and engaged global citizens, able to advocate to and on behalf of their communities. For youth and teachers alike, the skills gained by participating in Connecting Classrooms are meant to be applicable in both the classroom and the workplace, in advocacy and peer education, and other forms of community engagement. In an effort to extend the benefits of the program to out-of-school youth and local communities, the participants will use their newly acquired skills to educate and mobilize their communities.
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CEI approaches in action
Number of students and teachers served is unknown.