How I Use It
I tried out One Globe Kids with my class of 3rd graders by taking advantage of the availability of the stories on both the iPad (Globe Smart Education 1) and online ( www.oneglobekids.com) Initially I used the online version with my whole class using my computer and smartboard to explore the Haiti stories. This is a very convenient option for teachers without or limited access to iPads. Later students worked in small groups with iPads to read and discuss the other stories. My students enjoyed the app so much that many independently went back to read the stories over and over again.
One problem I had was the long time it took to download all the stories on each iPad; we also had problems with some stories crashing. I hope future updates address those issues.
The classroom app at $19.99 might seem too costly for many teachers. However, the curricular supports provided are well worth it. The teacher guide extends the lessons with behind-the-scenes looks at the making of each story, offers a discussion guide for each country, lesson plan ideas, and classroom activities that draw directly from each unit and build on topics that arise in the stories. Although Common Core ELA Standards were not specifically addressed, I found that practically all 3rd grade ELA standards were supported in the lessons. This makes One Globe Kids a great interdisciplinary study that integrates Common Core with other content areas infusing a global perspective to 21st century skills.
My third graders developed cultural understanding and perspective-taking skills through reading and listening to the diverse kids' stories from around the world, learning about their countries, and making comparisons to their own daily lives. Because the well-written One Globe Kids' stories are so beautifully photographed and are so authentically narrated, my students really connected with them.
I am most impressed that One Globe Kids does not shy away from telling the honest, yet non-judgmental, stories of the challenges that face kids in developing countries. This was eye opening for many of my students, yet they were still able to identify with their commonalities regardless of the differences, and admire the warmth and resilience of spirit of the families and communities portrayed.