by Michael Putman
Featured as an Education World Best Blog for 2012, Globicate: Global Education For a New Generation is a website/blog maintained by Heidi Befort. In her description, Heidi asserts that the website focuses on a number of principles, including cultural awareness and geographical knowledge. Additionally, it seeks to promote communication, collaboration, and connections with people around the world within efforts to resolve genuine, real-world challenges. The latter goal is significant, not only within the preparation of students to become global citizens, but because it distinctly parallels multiple goals relevant to the new literacies of the Internet and proficiencies using 21st Century tools within literacy activities.
Examining the website in detail, including recent blog posts, it becomes abundantly clear that Globicate recognizes the inherent importance of literacy (and often technology) on several levels. A recent post, titled “Intentional Writing – Mapping A Course,” is focused on using technology to help students create graphic organizers to guide their writing. Having used several of the sites described myself within my work with teaching candidates as well as practicing teachers, I can attest to their value in helping students in the writing process. Continuing the focus on writing, Heidi provides some practical advice to help reluctant writers (or any student for that matter) improve their craft through several strategies. The post on June 3 takes moves away from writing, but maintains a literacy focus, as the post, entitled “Chase Against Time,” offers a short introduction to a book by the same name, providing just enough information to pique interest. These represent only the most recent posts - as I examined the website’s archives, I found one of its strengths was the inherent variability in the content that is available. Readers might find a tip about an activity to implement in a classroom (May 19), information about a specific country (e.g. Japan on March 29), pictures of classroom artifacts (May 20), or a personal narrative (May 10) that may, to paraphrase Heidi, “renew your vigor and bring a smile to your face.”
Globicate also includes a number of additional resources, both for purchase and freely provided. The prices on the former are very minimal and the preview capability allows you the opportunity to examine the materials before buying them. Within the free resources, I did notice numerous tools useful as advance organizers for literacy activities. Overall, not all of the resources are literacy focused, but each will prove very useful within the classroom.
If you haven’t taken the time to visit Globicate, I would recommend adding it to your summer list as I am sure you will find something that will prove helpful in August! Enjoy the summer!
Mike Putman is from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
This article is part of a series from the Technology in Literacy Education Special Interest Group (TILE-SIG).