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Julie Kinnaird | April 24, 2018

We may not cross physical borders regularly, but we cross cultural borders every day in our classrooms. As we are aware of our own traditions and values, it is important to be mindful and respectful of others and to be aware of what is going on in our state and in the world. The journey toward being a more globally-competent educator starts with you. Here are some ways you can open up windows to the world and build your own global competencies:

  • Learn about yourself! What and who influences you and your cultural values and beliefs? Spend some time getting to know “you” and where you come from. Also spend some time learning (or re-learning) about your family, your community or the many communities that you are a part of. Learn about our state and our country.
  • Stay on top of current events by checking out the daily international headlines from news sources such as CNN, BBC, Washington Post, Al Jazeera and The New York Times. Check out headlines from around the world by going to Check out this compilation of Global News Resources from the University of Michigan.
  • Read the latest articles in The Economist, The Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Educational Leadership, The Atlantic and other periodicals or websites including National Geographic.
  • What’s trending around the world: Global Voices takes you beyond the headlines to see what others are reporting across the globe. Read in English or one of the 40 languages that the borderless site is translated in.
  • Pick up a good book with an international theme or written by an international author. Yesterday was World Book Day! Mark your calendar and be sure to celebrate it next year. Follow the links to see lists of award-winning books and other ideas: Americas Book Award, Pura Belpre, Children’s Africana Book Awards, Middle East Book Award Winners, Notable Books for a Global Society, Primary Source’s list of book awards and A Year of Reading the World.
  • Check out or stream online foreign films from your local city or college library or online service. UNC area studies centers from the following regions offer film collections: Africa, Middle East, Latin America. Check out a list of past Academy Awards nominees and winners for best foreign language films here.
  • Participate in professional development programs that focus on global education, global themes or a specific world region. (Save the dates for World View’s fall symposia: K-12 Oct 17/18, community college Nov 14/15.)
  • Take a virtual trip. Check out Google’s 360 tours to virtually immerse yourself in a country or site around the world. Here are a few ideas:
    • Google Earth: Google Earth’s re-designed education site with Earth Voyager helps you traverse the earth with exploration and storytelling.
    • Want to learn more about China, but can’t get on a plane yet? Check out this virtual tour of China! The developers also have a virtual tour of the Galapagos Islands.
    • Borderland: Visit the U.S.–Mexico border with NPR.
    • Google’s virtual Arts & Culture takes you to museums, landmarks, famous sites and additional art collections spanning the globe. You can search by historic event as well.
    • Want Asian art specifically? Visit the Asian Art Exhibit and take a virtual and interactive tour of the Asia Art Museum of San Francisco
    • Learn more about the tragic events in Syria with this virtual tour created by Amnesty International or about the plight of refugees around the world with these VR videos created by Doctors Without Borders.
    • Travels of Odysseus: National Geographic takes you on a virtual journey as you follow the footsteps of Odysseus.
    • Reframe Iran: Learn about Iran through this short 360 VR video that takes you into the studios of Iran’s greatest artists who were exiled during the 1979 revolution.
    • Want to learn how to use virtual field trips in the classroom? Read here to learn how one educator took his class around the world in 80 (school) days.