Students Around the World Discuss Hurricane Sandy and Global Current Events on UClass

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UClass, a new global social learning website that connects classrooms in over 40 countries, hosts lively conversation about Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 election and protests in the Middle East.

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UClass, which stands for United Classrooms, connects students across over 40 countries

“[UClass] help(s) these kids not only have fun and understand others and get a good education, but [is] going to help them for the kind of world that they are going to be growing up in.” - Jeffrey Sachs, Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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Thousands of K-12 students are now conversing across over 40 countries about current events such as Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 election and recent unrest in the Middle East on a new global social learning website called UClass, which stands for United Classrooms.

When Hurricane Sandy hit the Eastern Seaboard, students from New York and New Jersey logged in to UClass to share their experiences of the storm while students from New Hampshire and Denmark logged in to show their support. One middle school student said, “I live in South Jersey and we got hit hard… Halloween got pushed back and our boardwalk is gone,” while another said, “I feel sorry for all those concerned.”

In the lead-up to the 2012 presidential election, a group of teachers in the U.S. and Europe asked their students to write letters to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney about relevant issues and to share them on UClass. Students logged in to debate various perspectives regarding healthcare, taxation, the environment and education policy.

When violence erupted in the Middle East in response to a controversial movie made in the U.S. this fall, students reflected on the question, “Do you think people should have the right to say what they want even if it is upsetting to others?” A student from Arizona said, “They had the right but they should have thought about the consequences,” while a student from Norway said, “I think people should not say their opinions if it offends others.”

Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said, “[UClass] help(s) these kids not only have fun and understand others and get a good education, but [is] going to help them for the kind of world that they are going to be growing up in.”

A teacher using UClass with his students in the United Arab Emirates said, “Using UClass, students are able to discuss and have input on global issues making them more aware of the world they live in.”

UClass is a global social learning website that launched in August in partnership with Teach For America and Teach For All. K-12 teachers can sign their class up to connect with classrooms around the world for free. It was founded by two American public school teachers who tried to connect their students with other students around the world, but could not find a platform comprehensive enough to do so. UClass is now an expanding global network of thousands of students on all inhabitable continents who interact via collaborative projects, messaging and live feeds.

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Zak Ringelstein
zak@uclass.org
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