One World Learning (OWL) Pilot Project Successfully Closed
One World Learning (OWL) Pilot Project Successfully Closed

ICDT developed the One World Learning (OWL) project to provide an opportunity for secondary school students in developed and developing countries. It aims to deepen their knowledge of foreign cultures and universal development issues, and to establish lasting international relationships. The initiative consists of three main elements: regular joint virtual classes (teleclasses), the combination of development and peace education, and the use of telepresence.

While the project addresses one of the most timely issues of the international development agenda, it approaches the problem from a non-traditional point of view. The emphasis of the initiative is on the unique learning experience and the outstanding balance between effectiveness and sustainability. Based on ICDT’s experience, education in the framework of teleclasses is as effective as in case of similar face-to-face events. The main advantage of this solution is that it requires significantly less financial and human resources since the participants do not have to travel.

To test how the concept would work in practice, a pilot project was implemented between the Magnet High School (Ongata Rongai, Kenya) and the Berzsenyi Dániel Secondary School (Budapest, Hungary) during March and April of 2012. We provided eight students and one teacher from each school the opportunity to conduct three virtual joint classes. The access to the telepresence facility was provided by Cisco Hungary and Cisco Kenya.

The analysis of the foregoing teleclasses shows that the dialogues between the participants contradict in many ways with the existing concepts of multicultural encounters and development cooperation. The meetings have thrown light on many – often shocking – issues that have been previously ignored, while other “important” problems seem to have less relevance in practice. All in all, it was found that today’s youth need an entirely different education approach to address their needs and interests than the ones which are used in traditional education.

Depending on the availability of funding opportunities, ICDT is planning to start the first “OWL semester” in 2013.

19 April 2012

Photos: István Csákány (ICDT), Manases Karanja (Magnet High School)
Illustration: József Vitáris (Vitáris Design)

© International Centre for Democratic Transition (ICDT). All rights reserved.