The campaign’s Web site will act as a hub for teachers to share their stories to explain what they did and how it impacted school achievement. For instance, students from Fitchburg (Mass.) High School hosted German students through the Sister Cities International organization, and Manitou Springs (Colo.) Middle School connected with students in El Salvador using videoconferencing and social media. The organizations associated with Connect All Schools, including the U.S. Department of Education and the Asia Society, are available to support teachers and develop an international approach for that’s right for their individual classroom. Gragert says the idea can be implemented across the curriculum in subjects such as math, science, history and world language.
Timothy Magner, executive director of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, believes the goal of connecting all schools by 2016 is attainable. “I think the time has clearly come. We know that essentially every school is connected to the Internet. With this platform, this goal is a reality,” says Magner. “There is an opportunity and an obligation to be connected with the world and to broaden our cultural understanding.”