Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?
Global Playground believes that education is the most promising means to eliminating poverty, violence, intolerance, and misunderstanding in our world. Young minds are most open to cross-cultural understanding and appreciation of difference. Global Playground’s growing network of schools across the world and its educational contacts within the United States afford it a valuable and unique opportunity to bring corners of the globe together through cross-cultural dialogue. The Virtual Playground utilizes technology to foster these interactions which have the potential to generate an understanding of the shared human experience both within and outside of each child’s own cultural worldview. Global Playground has structured its Five-Year Plan to include clearly-established goals in this regard, including fundraising for the Virtual Playground, developing its Twitter and Facebook platforms, and positioning Teaching Fellows in-country to facilitate communications on the Virtual Playground.
Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!
The Virtual Playground holds to a single vision: to give children around the world a place to learn, play, and work together through online games, lessons, and activities, cultivating relationships that will help forge a more united planet. The Virtual Playground will serve children from 6-18 years old who live in different countries, speak many languages, and emerge from vastly differing cultures. Some students have grown up with access to technology, others have not. Some have extensive experience in a school, others are attending a school for the first time. For children in resource-poor countries, the opportunity to acquire computer skills, to become familiar with information technology and social media, and to interact, teach, and learn from other children with similar concerns and solutions is critical to granting them access to a world of ideas, people, and education. For youth who already have greater access to technology, the Virtual Playground provides an opportunity to gain cultural awareness, broaden global perspectives, and demonstrate the similarities in children across the planet, thereby engendering a vital and rarely afforded paradigm shift in their world view, one that can help foster cooperation, learning, and support across borders, languages, and societies.