Dear Educational “Initiators,”

This is a blog post written for all those educators in the eKWIP community who are feeling a bit overwhelmed with the process of collaborating at the international level. Understand that the feeling of being overwhelmed is natural at this point in the process. If there wasn’t some element of frustration or cognitive dissonance, then the eKWIP web portal would fail to be a true educational innovation.

You were selected by your administrators because of your ability to innovate and to truly meet the educational needs of your students. Here at CII, we believe that the Triggering Teachable Moments (T2M) instructional design model will allow educators from around the globe to invite international co-teachers into their classrooms to enhance the learning environment. It is our belief that already existing lessons can be enhanced with a standards-driven T2M.

Let’s take a look at one possible example for a T2M extension on a standard. The common core standards call for third grade students to work with narrative traditions. Sure, public and charter schools purchase anthologies that contain multi-cultural materials from around the globe. We at CII believe that instead of turning to text book companies, educational initiators can call upon their international peers within the eKWIP community. One possibility might be to allow students to share their favorite childhood storybooks containing myths and fables. This interaction would allow for real international collaboration at the student level. The core standards are still being taught but now with a much more relevant spin. It is important to note that during the implementation of the eKWIP platform you always have the full support of the eKWIP global community. The following core standards would be used to develop a rubric for assessment purposes with this mythology T2M.

Common Core State Standards Initiative : Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (SAS) Standards Aligned System

Reading Standards for Literature K-5

Grade 3 students:
Key Ideas and details
1.    Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
2.    Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how   it is conveyed through key details in the text.
3.    Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

One of the wonderful dimensions of T2M is its ability to fit within any existing curriculum framework. The main purpose of the eKWIP portal is to connect international educators and provide them the opportunity to collaborate, communicate, and problem-solve classroom issues and lessons. Please make use of the Teacher Forum discussion board to share ideas both nationally and internationally with your eKWIP learning community.

Once I was paired with MGIS (Mahatma Gandhi International School), I began by downloading their brochure in order to understand their academic mission and goals. This very interesting and informative brochure allowed me to discover new educational perspectives. At MGIS teachers are called “initiators.” What a beautiful yet simple concept; all great learning and innovation began with an “Initiator.”

Be excited and willing to push through your cognitive dissonance so that your classroom is open to the world.

Please RSS this blog so that you get the most recent updates, and feel free to comment to this post or respond directly in the Teacher Forum.

Gregory M. McGough, M.Ed.

CII Chief Academic Officer