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iEARN (International Education and Resource Network)
Address and contact details
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 450
New York, NY 100115, USA
For contact information for offices/centres outside the USA, see
the iEARN website.
A partial list of partners includes:
American Forum for Global Education
American Museum of Natural History
The Center for Collaborative Research in Education
Copen Family Fund
Global Education And Development Alliance (GEADA)
I Have a Dream Foundation
International Institute for Communications and Development
International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX)
John Templeton Foundation
The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA)
North Carolina Center for International Understanding
Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation)
SEED (Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development)
Sister Cities International
Superintendent of Manhattan High Schools
United Nations Association of the United States of America
United Nations Cyberschoolbus
United States Department of Education
United States Department of State
World Links for Development (WorLD) Program
World Wise Schools
iEARN is active in over 95 countries. Take a look at the
website for further information.
iEARN has been linking schools internationally since 1988. In that
year, the Copen Family Foundation, under the leadership of Peter
Copen, linked 12 schools in Moscow with 12 schools in New York State
in a pioneering
demonstration that education could be enhanced and the quality of
life on the planet improved if young people were to have the opportunity
telecommunications technologies to engage in collaborative projects.
Working with the New York State Education Department and the Academy
of Science of the former Soviet Union, students worked in both English
and Russian on curriculum-based projects designed by participating
teachers. An independent evaluation of this demonstration project
students discussed political/social issues and international
events more frequently than a control group;
students read more at home, including more news magazines
and books by authors from other countries;
the project impacted students' awareness and understanding
of international issues and current events;
enrolments in second language courses increased as students
wrote for an authentic audience.
The heart of the programme was (and continues to be) the principle
that students can be empowered to enhance their learning through
interactive, project-based learning and that they can - by addressing
local, national and global issues in these projects - make a meaningful
difference to the quality of life on the planet.
Based on teacher reactions (one told evaluators that it "was the
most dynamic and rewarding educational experience I have had in
my 22 years of teaching"), iEARN expanded to nine countries in 1990.
In each country a centre was created to provide training and support
for teachers who were at the cutting edge of educational change.
After the success of the project work completed between 1990 and
1994, iEARN opened its network to schools worldwide and currently
works with schools in over 95 countries.
Aims and objectives
The goals of the International Education and Resource Network are:
To develop friendly relations among youth of all nations
based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination
To encourage youth from all countries to learn and work
cooperatively and collaboratively using telecommunications and other
technology, to strengthen universal peace, to identify and take
active part in resolving global problems facing the world.
To promote and encourage respect for human rights and for
fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex,
language, culture or religion.
To facilitate identification and sharing the different but
complementary experiences of educational, academic and other national
organizations with enduring educational infrastructures and traditions
throughout the world.
To share high-quality educational and other resources available
in individual member centres.
To provide a global infrastructure for a conceptual and
action-based educational network that is open to all.
To share/transfer telecommunications technology, teaching
methods and other resources with youth organizations, schools or
individuals wishing to achieve the iEARN purpose and goals.
To assist in establishing training and support programmes
in each global centre.
To expand the network of financially and operationally sustainable
iEARN centers throughout the globe.
To work with umbrella organizations, academic bodies, universities,
non- government organizations and governments to establish a global
community of concerned organizations and citizens with the express
purpose of supporting the youth of the world in developing and implementing
educational and humanitarian projects, especially projects of change
and healing for the health and welfare of the planet.
To develop and maintain high-quality educational innovation.
To raise funds through local and global funding agreements
to support these programmes and goals.
iEARN involves young people and their teachers in schools and youth
Young people and their teachers in schools and youth organizations
Involvement of children
iEARN involves an estimated 500,000 young people, aged between
5-20, from over 95 countries around the world.
Summary of project
iEARN is a non-profit organization made up of over 4,000 schools
in nearly 100 countries. iEARN empowers teachers and young people
to work together online at very low cost, using the Internet and
other new technologies.
Since 1988, iEARN has pioneered online school linkages to enable
students to engage in meaningful educational projects with peers
in their countries and around the world. iEARN is:
an inclusive and culturally diverse community;
a safe and structured environment in which young people
an opportunity to apply knowledge in service-learning projects;
a community of educators and learners making a difference
as part of the educational process.
There are over 100 projects in iEARN, all designed and facilitated
by teachers and students to fit their curriculum and classroom needs
and schedules. To join, participants select an online project and
look at how they can integrate it into their classroom.
With the project selected, teachers and students enter online forum
spaces to meet one another and get involved in ongoing projects
with classrooms around the world who are working on the same project.
These projects enable students to develop:
research and critical thinking skills;
experience with new technologies;
the habit of getting involved in community issues.
In addition to connecting students' learning with local issues
and meeting specific curriculum needs, every project proposed by
teachers and students in iEARN has to answer the question: How will
this project affect the quality of life on the planet? This vision
and purpose is the glue that holds iEARN together, enabling participants
to become global citizens who make a difference by collaborating
with their peers around the world.
Copen Family Fund
Global Catalyst Foundation
New York City Board of Education
Open Society Institute
Sir John Templeton Foundation
Teachers College at Columbia University
United States Department of Education
United States Department of State
The cost for participation in iEARN is determined by each iEARN
country centre. This ranges from no fee in many iEARN countries
to small participation fees to cover programmatic support in countries
such as the USA, where schools pay either a US$100 teacher fee,
or US$280 for a full school membership.
Strengths of project
Uses technology to involve young people in collaborative
work on global/local issues.
Creates in young people the awareness that by working with
their peers, they can affect change; that they, as one individual,
can make a difference.
Enhances learning because people learn more when engaged
experientially with others on issues that matter in their daily
See the iEARN website
What members say
"iEARN is like a big room where you can find the countries of iEARN
sitting all together at one table. They are sharing experiences.
They are working together to make their countries better." Sharif,
"Before we had iEARN in Macedonia, there was a lot of Internet
connectivity, but there was no content. Now [students] are working
on collaborative projects. They are so skilled, working on websites,
they are even providing training for teachers and their colleagues
and promoting iEARN around the country." Jove, Macedonia
"When we joined iEARN eight years ago, that opened up the world
so that now my elementary students are members of a multiethnic,
multinational world. They work with kids all over the world almost
every day of their lives." Charly Bullock, USA
"iEARN has made a wonderful difference with me. Me being connected
with a lot of youth all over the world internationally, really talking
about different projects, really having that global community bond
that we have as young people." Leinz Vales, USA
"The learning has been exponential. When a student does something
for me, he does it in a very cursory way, but when he has to put
up something for a global peer audience, boy, he does about one
or 20 drafts ... then the feedback pumps him to achieve even more."
Peter Patrao, India
"iEARN not only can bridge the gaps for communication around the
world but as the kids get older and make their moves into the political
arena and life's arena those bridges that they build now as youth
will highly affect the livelihood of us as adults." Cleveland,
"The world of tomorrow or I would say today, it is no more geographical
boundaries ... We really need to know each other, we really need
to be tolerant of each other, really need to be understanding each
other's practices, respecting the differences. So I see iEARN is
going to play a pivotal role in making this happen." Farah Kamal,
"iEARN is doing some wonderful, wonderful work and makes us all
very proud and I'm especially honoured to be here [at the iEARN
Making a Difference Awards Gala] ... My message to you is please
keep doing what you are doing. You are building a better world.
I'm not just saying that - I've gone out into the schools and I've
seen what can happen. What you are doing really makes a difference."
Richard Riley, US Secretary of Education 1992-2000
Examples of the projects currently underway in iEARN can be seen
on the website.
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