Exchanges in Action

By answering critical questions about education, pastimes and global citizenship, 12-14 year old students in Ukraine and Pennsylvania learned about their differences and similarities.  

With the support of the Know My World facilitator, teachers participated in an enthusiastic exchange planning conference and agreed that their partnership would incorporate a wide variety of tech platforms. Through prezi introductions, topical video posts, webinars and an edmodo community, students developed a deeper cross-cultural awareness during their four-week exchange.  The project allowed students to explore a wide range of content, from important contemporary issues of social responsibility to light hearted conversation about leisure and favorite foods.  


Pennsylvania students shared their live group discussion in response to the question: What do you think of when you hear the term “global citizen”? and provided lively video tours of their school. Miles away, their partners in Ukraine highlighted their roles as mentors, discussing feedback from and ways in which younger students understand different cultures.  As a whole, the students thought critically about the role the media plays in shaping popular narratives about  “human rights” and “current events”. They identified strengths and weaknesses about the ways we receive the “news” about our world.  


On both continents, students were eager to create and share their work; their fruitful collaboration was courageous and fun. As they connected with one another, it became clear that this inventive group was especially compelled to find creative ways to format, share and include video presentations in their exchange.  Each KMW exchange is truly the product of a unique partnership; this cross-cultural exploration was a dynamic dialogue that happened to offer participants an introduction to documentary film making! In addition to learning about one another, students learned about writing scripts and performing voice overs, selecting the most appropriate musical soundtrack for their video and building a cohesive piece of media to invite their partners into their daily lives.