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Tools of the Trade

Global Citizens, Unite!

There’s a lot riding on our youth today — especially with the future of our global community in their hands. Teach students how to better position themselves for this great responsibility with these six approaches, and nurture a new generation of change agents into motion in just a few clicks.

By Melissa Campeau

  1. Virtual Reality

    Travel may be the best teacher, but taking a Grade 2 class to Morocco isn’t always practical. Use virtual reality (VR) to bring the abstract to life while building empathy for people in faraway places. Slip a smartphone into VR goggles (Google Cardboard, $7–$20;, upload an app (Sites in VR,, and students can “walk” through the pyramids in Egypt or “explore” a mosque in Turkey. No borders or customs required!

    Grade: K to 12 free!

  2. Mystery Skype

    The popularity of Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes prove few can resist a good detective story. So why not wrap a cultural lesson in a mystery-shaped package? Connect with another classroom in an unidentified part of the world with Mystery Skype ( Your students’ mission? Employ critical thinking, yes-no questions and cultural knowledge to discover the other class’s location — before they discover yours!

    Grade: K to 12 free!

  3. Foreign Correspondence

    Let’s be honest, receiving a message from afar, meant just for you, is always a thrill. Communicating with a class in another country (or continent) is no different. Not only is it a ton of fun but the experience provides students with a new perspective. Whose school is greener? Which school rules differ? The Teacher’s Corner ( offers world maps that are searchable by grade to help you connect with others.

    Grade: K to 12 free!

  4. Catalysts for Change

    Light-bulb moments? Exciting. Turning plans into reality? Downright inspiring. With the Wonderment ( students post ideas for social good, then rally international volunteers and donors. Create a mobile library to serve communities in need? Guatemalan students did that! Make a creative space to help refugee children? It happened in Utah! The best part: success builds confidence, which leads to even bigger wins down the road.

    Grade: 3 to 12 free!

  5. Twitter Activism

    One tweet ( on a hot topic can get people around the world talking. Are your students fired up about First Nations rights? Oil pipeline safety? No doubt there’s a social media conversation they can join — or start. Once they’re exchanging ideas, take it to the next level. Launch an online petition or include politicians’ handles in tweets to enhance the power of social networks and spark change.

    Grade: K to 12 free!

  6. Media Monitoring

    This new era of “alternative facts” calls for top-notch media literacy. Have students research a current event, then compare how (or if) international outlets reported it. One World Nations Online ( and Media Monitoring System ( provide the tools to dig up and assess relevant info. Are there false claims? What can you interpret about a country by its approach? How might its citizens view the world differently as a result?

    Grade: 7 to 12 free!

For best practices in technology, consult the College’s professional advisory Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media (