iGlobal: Grant Supports Pandemic-driven Innovation in Illinois
The Center for Global Studies at the University of Illinois, a Title VI National Resource Center (NRC), works with the university's College of Education to support the development of new programs for pre-service teacher study abroad that include pre- and post-departure courses and integrated service programs. The College of Education established a scalable partnership between language instructors and administrators at local schools in rural Illinois to encourage global cultural and language learning. This effort was borne from the NRC-supported Global Intersections Fellowships for Teachers program, which offers licensed K-12 teachers across the U.S. the opportunity to receive funding from UIUC for an education abroad program of their choice.
Last year, the College of Education worked with these local communities to help them strengthen their current language programs, expand language offerings, and broaden efforts to enhance students' global competencies, resulting in the “World Language & Culture Club,” a cross-community and university collaboration where teachers invite native language speakers to visit classrooms and co-teach with teachers. During the pandemic, this project evolved into an NRC-funded innovation called iGlobal, where the College of Education invited middle school classrooms globally to collaborate in a club activity. The iGlobal experience included free, online curricular materials and teaching guides to supplement global education activities for middle school students. The middle school curricular materials serve as a pipeline for more challenging, globally focused high school coursework and activities. The materials are designed to provide familiarity with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), opportunities for collaboration in global English, and meaningful activities during which students meet and collaborate with their peers worldwide. iGlobal highlights include:
- Materials in support of content areas such as STEAM and language/cultural exchange.
- Content developed by university faculty and area studies experts targeted for various school schedules in all time zones.
- Opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate increased global competencies and familiarity with the UN SDGs.
- A certificate and a virtual or in-person recognition ceremony from the University of Illinois upon completion of a summative project.