The Global Classroom Initiative links schools, institutions and Groups
from around the world supporting exchanges of all kinds.
How can a teacher from a remote Himalayan village learn inquiry based methods, establish a library or create oral learning units if itís unknown to her? Why not take the teacher, virtually or literally, into a global classroom?
Start a mental health program? Partner with a stellar one. Learn about life in an extended family? Live it with a village family. Test a new computer platform? Organise a group of volunteer computer programmers to help a village document their vanishing heritage - the programmers learn, the villagers learn and heritage can be conserved and shared through the web.
Our GCI began simply in the 1990s with youth from Ladakh traveling to the west to learn new skills. It rapidly evolved into an exchange of people, ideas and skills. Some of our current partnerships include exchanging ideas on teacher training and community service with the American Embassy School in New Delhi.
In 2010, 3 Ladakhi youth spent 6 weeks at Lower Canada College, Montreal improving their IT and filming skills while LCC students learned of issues within development today and what its like to have a snow leopard steal your goats.
Did we mention hockey? Starting with a remote village visit from the Honourable High Commissioner from Canada in 2006, remote villages introduced hockey in their Youth Leadership projects. Now Canadians and Ladakhis speak the same language without ever opening their mouths.
Hi and the HELP Fund resources are going global too. With the help of Omprakash.org, we are uploading over 100 tried and tested health and education materials, freely downloadable to any NGO in the world. Our books or their frameworks are now used in Romania, Peru, Uganda and inner city schools in North America.
And movies made within the GCI are on YouTube, Microsoft Research's internal Channel 9 and used in vital learning campaigns across the Himalayas.