The Peace Project focuses on peace education through global collaboration between a high school in Japan and Louisiana. Interactions using Microsoft SkyDrive, Skype, PowerPoint, Word, Bing translator, Bing Maps, and video/audio editing software are used to engage students regarding cross cultural understanding, reconciliation between nations through cultural understanding, tolerance, conflict and resolution, improved communication skills in all areas, while developing 21st century skills that will be used outside the classroom. Students in the Multimedia production class, and other content area classes, work collaboratively to create digital media projects to communicate with the other school about specific historical events, literature written from different perspectives, traditional art, sustainable living, and everyday culture of interest to students. The project takes on a life of its own through student driven learning. After learning about the other culture students collaborate to identify common issues among the cultures and decide how to best communicate their message regarding the issue. There are open ended interactions for students to investigate issues of interest to them, as well as teacher directed interactions. An project that resulted from student directed interactions, is producing a public service announcement on Bullying in Schools with Japanese subtitles for the Japanese school. The students involved are able to relate what we are doing in class to real world events. For example, after a tsunami and earthquake hit Japan in 2011 students initiated a fundraiser and sent well wishes to families in the disaster area. Also, students in their second year of participation in the Peace Project initiated a trip to Japan to meet our Japanese friends in person and to practice our 21st century ICT skills to communicate home while traveling in Japan.
The Peace Project is an ongoing, adaptive, and interdisciplinary project that is accessible to all grade levels and subject areas in one form or another. It is meant to be developed and carried on by teachers and classes world wide. It is our wish for the Peace Project to take on a life of it's own in any classroom across the world. Flexibility and open mindedness are key in bringing a successful Peace Project to your classroom.
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