- 03 August 2013
- by Talan Tyminski
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and countless other social networking sites have become synonymous with procrastination. Some software developers have gone so far as to create ‘self- control’ applications that block the sites for a span of time (read: finals week). However, one new site attempts to combine the social network with an educational one. Friend Our World, which officially launches September 1st 2013, allows students in the US to join with ones from all around the world to connect socially and learn from one another. The organization’s goal is “To make global citizens.”
Students can play games related to geography, language, and tons of other topics while developing a greater understanding of other cultures. Friend Our World even “encourages its users to send messages to the United Nations advocating for peace.” With so many diverse users, Friend Our World expects to have over 30 different languages represented with students playing through home and school.
The idea of children being on an interconnected world network may seem a bit scary, but Friend Our World is specifically designed to be a nontoxic learning environment. A “Safety list” feature allows both parents and teacher to monitor student’s activity and contacts. Friend Our World is a completely free resource to expand the classroom. They explain, “We wanted it to be accessible to anyone who was interested in learning.”
Through the teacher portal, students in class rooms across the would can Skype call each other to test out their new language skills and get a glimpse of a different culture.
With expanding technology and trade our world is becoming completely interconnected. Yet at the same time, education in the US and around the globe is attempting to find a way to adapt. Understanding, respecting and embracing other cultures may not only lead to a more peaceful world, but one where education is no longer a geographic lottery. Friend Our World is expanding the walls of the classroom, promoting peace and, above all, allowing our generation and the ones that come after to truly be global citizens. Through education and a brilliant message, Friend Our World hopes to give social networking a whole new connotation.