Partners, iEARN Seeking Teachers to Expand Online Youth Exchange

Travel grants available for teachers from U.S. Chapters with Brazilian Partners to attend the Annual International Education & Resource Network (iEARN) Conference

Partners of the Americas is expanding opportunities for online youth exchanges through a preferred partner agreement with iEARN, a leader in K-12 virtual exchange and project-based learning. iEARN has affiliates in approximately 140 countries and 33,000 schools worldwide.

“Partners and iEARN both use connections to transform lives,” Partners’ President & CEO Steve Vetter said. “While we both know that important transformation can happen online, nothing beats working together, face-to-face.”

This year offers a rare opportunity for Partners and iEARN to team up and expand online-project exchanges in the Western HemisphereThe 22nd annual iEARN International Conference and Youth Summit will be held in Brasília from July 26 – 31. The theme of this year's conference is: Inclusive Education, Cross-Cultural Communication, Transformation. Thanks to these travel grants, Partners’ educators will join the gathering of master teachers from across the globe.

“We will celebrate Partners of the Americas at the conference,” said iEARN-USA Executive Director Daniel Rosenblum. He credits a Brasilia-DC Partners’ travel grant with starting iEARN-Brasil, which in turn grew out of a series of Partners travel grants beginning with Montana-Patagonia in 1990.

"As a result of Partner Travel Grants, there have been face-to-face workshops, online projects and lots of people have benefited,” Rosenblum said. “The hope and vision for iEARN is that the experience of working together online will broaden and enhance students' capacity for compassion and understanding."

Most iEARN projects are developed and facilitated by volunteer teachers in the network. Projects take place in as many as 30 languages, including Spanish and French. Portuguese-language projects are expected to begin later this year.

The upcoming event in Brasília is the annual flagship gathering for iEARN participants, and the one chance for students and teachers alike to meet face-to-face. This year’s Conference will feature world-renowned speakers, student-led presentations, teacher development workshops, and a film festival.

A special focus will be placed on Brazilian public-school students, giving them a unique chance to use their secondary language skills to communicate with native English, French, Arabic, and Spanish speakers, among others, with the hope that the students will maintain correspondence over the iEARN platform in the future.

Details:

  • Up to three travel grants are available for teachers from U.S. Partners Chapters to travel to the conference. Recipients must include a visit to their partner chapter for an additional four days to complete the 10-day stay requirement, with the traditional host family accommodations and meals. Apply for your travel grant online by June 5, 2015.
  • Travel grants will include airfare and $100 for expenses. Conference costs range from US $660 to $1100 for a double room for six nights, meals and conference fee. Grantees should check with their accountant to see whether their expenses at the conference are U.S. tax-deductible.
  • The post-conference agenda for grantees should include sharing best practices with teachers from the iEARN conference on how to use online projects in the classroom as well as finding a teacher(s) and schools to pair with.
  • Back home, grantees are expected to participate in at least one iEARN project with a teacher(s) in their partner chapter before the end of the year.
  • Grants will be available later for teachers from southern Partners Chapters to continue and strengthen the online exchanges by traveling to their Northern partner chapter and offering training workshops on how to implement online, curriculum-based projects.

Questions? Contact Cathy or Almerinda:

Cathy Healy: DC Partners of the Americas Board, iEARN-USA Board, iEARN-Brasil Advisory Board

Skype: CathyHealy, Cell: 202-262-9659

Almerinda Garibaldi: Founding President, Educadores Globais, which includes iEARN-Brasil, and 2014 Partners of the Americas LifeChanger

Skype: almerbg, Cell: 011 55 (61) 8125-8295

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