Constructor Lab
Leadership Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

U.N. Sustainable Development Goals: A Global Scaffolding for Inquiry-Based Learning

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Tuesday, June 25, 1:00–3:00 pm
Location: Posters: Level 4, Terrace Ballroom Lobby, Table 46

Molly Farrow  
Imagine the 17 SDGs as online scaffolding helping students find relevance and new applications for standards-based learning. Challenge students to examine scientific concepts, patterns of human injustice, and data analysis skills in a global context. Identify components of local projects that are relevant to assessing global sustainability issues.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: United Nations
Free online resources are available at Curriculum Pathways
- search "global".

Also explore the videos available at Data for Good
and launch GatherIQ

Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Digital citizenship
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Special education, Social studies
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
Global Collaborator
  • Students explore local and global issues and use collaborative technologies to work with others to investigate solutions.
For Educators:
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
Disclosure: The submitter of this session has been supported by a company whose product is being included in the session
Related exhibitors: Curriculum Pathways

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

According to the education mission of UNESCO, future-ready students need to exercise agency, in their own education and throughout life. Agency implies a sense of responsibility to participate in the world and, in so doing, to influence people, events and circumstances for the better. Agency requires the ability to frame a guiding purpose and identify actions to achieve a goal.

Participants in this session will examine how to help enable student agency. Teachers should both recognize students’ individuality, and also acknowledge the wider set of relationships – with their teachers, peers, families and communities – that influence learning.

I will emphasize two key factors that help students develop agency. The first is a personalized learning environment that supports and motivates each student to nurture his or her passions, make connections between different learning experiences and opportunities, and design their own learning projects and processes in collaboration with others. The second is building a solid foundation: literacy and numeracy remain crucial. In the era of digital transformation and with the advent of big data, digital literacy and data literacy are becoming increasingly essential, as are physical health and mental well-being. This application of core learning objectives to global goals can be achieved using the free resources recommended in this session supporting literacy, numeracy, and examination of critical scientific and historical knowledge. Link to blog post>

When we ask students to learn using authentic resources, we transform them into global thinkers. Rather than passively receiving information from a teacher or textbook, students engage in inquiry — making sense of documents, data, and ideas of the past and present through analysis and aligning content within its global context.

Participants will experience how well-designed technology empowers students to explore global issues using case-study inquiry with open-ended questions, identifying evidence from images and text, collaborating with peers, and creating content-rich annotated maps.

The standards-aligned online activities showcased in this session promote critical thinking and support the themes outlined in the Goals of Sustainable Development outlined by the United Nations.

Participants will explore the document analyzer tool to read selections of primary-source document passages from varying points of view investigating global issues like imperialism in Africa, Gandhi’s work to gain independence for India, the global impact of the Suez crisis, NAFTA and more.

Participants will experience the ease of tools for just-in-time definitions providing immediate clarity for students reading background content on global topics like the spread of Buddhism along the Silk Road, the Columbian exchange, Ibn Battuta’s travels to Timbuktu, the 1918 pandemic, the WTO, and more. See examples of these resources here: Bridging the Digital Equity Gap.

Participants will explore the videos available at Data for Good and launch GatherIQ

Supporting research

According to The Future of Education and Skills: The Future We Want 2030
We are facing unprecedented challenges – social, economic and environmental – driven by accelerating globalization and a faster rate of technological developments. At the same time, those forces are providing us with myriad new opportunities for human advancement. The future is uncertain and we cannot predict it; but we need to be open and ready for it.

The children entering education in 2018 will be young adults in 2030. Schools can prepare them for jobs that have not yet been created, for technologies that have not yet been invented, to solve problems that have not yet been anticipated.

Students will need to develop curiosity, imagination, resilience and self-regulation; they will need to respect and appreciate the ideas, perspectives and values of others; and they will need to cope with failure and rejection, and to move forward in the face of adversity.

Education can equip learners with agency and a sense of purpose, and the competencies they need, to shape their own lives and contribute to the lives of others.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has launched The Future of Education and Skills 2030 project. The aim of the project is to help countries find answers to two far-reaching questions: What knowledge, skills, attitudes and values will today's students need to thrive and shape their world? And, How can instructional systems develop these knowledge, skills, attitudes?

According to the Education for Sustainable Development Goals

Implementing learning for the SDGs helps develop the above cognitive, socio-emotional and behavioural learning outcomes as well as the cross-cutting sustainability key competencies needed to achieve all the SDGs.

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Molly Farrow, SAS

Molly Farrow taught Social Studies for 11 years In North Carolina (and one year at the Taipei American School) before becoming a Curriculum Specialist for Curriculum Pathways®. She is part of a team of educators providing FREE, content-rich online resources. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University, earning a Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of North Carolina. She writes edtech blogs

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