Polar Bears International

11/12/2014 1:36:13 PM

Take Your Class to Visit the Polar Bears!

Gone are the days when classes were restricted to looking at pictures in textbooks or watching videos on Youtube. In the learning environments of the 21st century, educators have the amazing opportunity of opening their classroom to the world and the world to their classroom.

This week, I have the privilege of being part of a team made up of Dr. Jennifer Kay, from the University of Colorado, Dr. Stephen Petersen, from the Assiniboine Zoo, and the inspirational Polar Bears International® (PBI) crew. Together, we will welcome these young global travelers to the beauty and magnificence of the Canadian Arctic through Tundra Connections® webcasts and video conferences.

These students are being taught by educators who understand that to engage the 21st century learner, we need to go beyond talking about climate change and what the scientists are saying, and begin a conversation with the climate change scientists themselves. These educators understand that to truly empower our students to be agents of change around the challenges facing polar nears, they need to see for themselves the changes taking place in the North and have a personal encounter with those most impacted by them.

The amazing thing about what Polar Bears International is doing, is that they are turning what was once an "extra-ordinary" experience, into an "ordinary" experience. What a decade ago would only have been accessible to a select few, costing thousands of dollars for each student to travel to Churchill, is now accessible through the click of a mouse. For three weeks every year, PBI is opening the window for tens of thousands of learners, who would never have an opportunity to travel to the western dhore of the Hudson Bay, and see first hand, the world of the polar bear.

It is for all these reasons that The Centre for Global Education is thrilled to work with organizations like PBI, who have a passion for reaching young people and empowering them to act on some of the world's greatest challenges. For not only will the students be learning about the crisis that is facing polar bears, they will be challenged to take that knowledge and turn it into action. Through the use of such tools as TakingITGlobal's Commit2Act Mobile App, students will leave with the practical tools needed to help influence change at home and around the world.

Needless to say, I couldn't be more excited for what the week will hold.

From topics like Ecosystems to Canadian Icons, Climate Change to Polar Bears, I am thrilled to be able to be part of the team that will be hosting students from all around the world.

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