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  • Writer's pictureIVECA Center

Technology and Global Citizenship Education

Dr. Eunhee Jung, IVECA Founder, speaking at the UN-AI forum on "Unlearning Intolerance: National and International Perspectives in Global Citizenship Education" - Photo Credit: The UN Academic Impact

From the United Nations Academic Impact

December 1, 2017

One of the indicators of Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, is the extent to which global citizenship education has been mainstreamed at all levels in national education policies, curricula, teacher education and student assessment. In this first of a two-part series on global citizenship education, we interviewed Dr. Eunhee Jung, founder and Executive Director of the non-profit organization IVECA International Virtual Schooling, on the use of information and communications technology in global citizenship education.

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Dr. Jung describes an epiphany she had regarding the nexus of educational training, intercultural communication and technology. I saw a Korean man who was practicing English using his cell phone. In a flash, I had an image of students ere sitting on a playground here and there in groups and working together on school tasks using mobile devices. Soon afterwards, she decided to take up graduate studies in educational technology and international/comparative education. Her doctoral thesis at the University of Virginia dealt with Intercultural Competence Development: Implementing International Virtual Elementary Classroom Activities for Public School Students in the U.S. and Korea. Out of this research grew the IVECA (Intercultural Virtual Exchange of Classroom Activities) programme, an international online schooling platform that Dr. Jung founded and now directs.

According to Dr. Jung, IVECA harnesses the recent affordable developments in information and communications technology to enable elementary and secondary school as well as university students from different backgrounds around the globe to interact directly with each other. She sees IVECA's virtual learning experience as promoting a new sense of living together. Partnered school students can communicate in a genuinely reciprocal manner, indeed, in a way that offers some distinct advantages over what is all-too-often a one-way learning environment in which visiting students must adapt to their host country and assimilate to the local culture. Dr. Jung believes that IVECA helps create a learning space especially suited to global citizenship, inasmuch as online connectivity allows the participants to learn from one another on a more equal footing.

Global citizenship means to Dr. Jung communicating and collaborating appropriately and effectively with people in both local and far-flung communities. Interacting with people from different backgrounds brings with it a powerful potential to reflect on the relationship between global dynamics and individual choices. Global citizenship also means being able to solve problems creatively through compassion and respect for cultural diversity, Dr. Jung says. Whether virtually or in situ, the interconnectedness of phenomena that lies at the core of global citizenship, she believes, can best be tangibly grasped through face-to-face interaction and collaboration with people in diverse cultures and countries.




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