iEARN Frequently Asked Questions:
  1. What is iEARN?
  2. When did iEARN start?
  3. When did iEARN start in Lebanon?
  4. What is IEA?
  5. What is the vision of iEARN?
  6. What is the educational goal of iEARN?
  7. What is the rationale?
  8. How many schools, institutions and countries are involved in iEARN?
  9. What kind of Internet connection is required to work on iEARN?
  10. How can I find out what projects are currently happening in iEARN?
  11. Can my students work in English/French and Arabic?
  12. What ages/grades are iEARN students?
  13. Can I involve students with learning difficulties?
  14. How many projects are there in iEARN?
  15. Who proposes iEARN projects?
  16. What does iEARN provide?
  17. What do teachers and students do?
  18. What curriculum area do projects meet?
  19. What is special about iEARN?
  20. Do I have to be a classroom teacher to work with students?
  21. What kind of support will I get from iEARN?
  22. What are the objectives of an iEARN Workshop?


What is iEARN? Top

iEARN, The International Education and Resource Network, is the world's largest K-12 international educational network of teachers and students working together through the Internet on "Project-Based Learning". (http://www.iearn.org)

When did iEARN start?Top

iEARN started in 1988. iEARN has facilitated educational and development projects since 1988, pioneering an "interactive" approach to using educational technology by encouraging students to actively contribute to, rather than just passively "surf", the Internet. Initial pioneering programs were created in the US and former Soviet Union to demonstrate that telecommunications technology can both enhance learning and create on-line global communities.

When did iEARN start in Lebanon?Top

iEARN program activities in Lebanon were launched in 1999 with assistance from the United States Department of State, Bureau of Cultural and Educational Affairs to bring English language educators to use new methodologies and gather more schools on-line in project-based work through its CIVICS Program. CIVICS (Community Voices Collaborative Solutions) aims to involve English language teachers from Jordan, Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Lebanon in iEARN projects, focusing on issues of civic education. To learn more about the CIVICS program visit: www.iearn.org/civics/

In September 2003, iEARN-Lebanon joined the BRIDGE Program, Building Respect through Internet Dialogue and Education, through a grant from the US Department of State Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs. The aim of the program is to enable more students and teachers in the US and Countries with sizeable Muslim population to build cultural understanding in an educational context.

IEARN-Lebanon is part of the Partnership for Learning, YES, Youth Exchange & Study Program, which involves AMIDEAST, AYUSA, ASSE International, iEARN, and Sister Cities International.

What is IEA?Top

IEA, the International Education Association is the organization that supports iEARN-Lebanon's activities. It is a Lebanese based non-profit organization (AD-42) founded by Lebanese educators committed to the development of global partnerships in education, capacity building of learning communities based on the effective use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for Lebanon and the Arab World.

The vision of IEA is to empower teachers, students and communities to use ICT in active teaching and learning, through projects that make a meaningful contribution in the lives of people.

Projects undertaken by IEA promote the inclusion of ethnic and racial diversity, equity among genders, people of varied abilities and of diverse socio-economic status based on respect, tolerance, understanding and harmony among people.

What is the vision of iEARN?Top

The vision and purpose of the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) is to enable young people to undertake projects designed to make a meaningful contribution to the health and welfare of the planet and its people.

What is the educational goal of iEARN?Top

The goal of iEARN is to enhance learning outcomes by engaging students in interactive, curriculum-based projects. iEARN empowers youth and teachers to experience that they CAN make a meaningful contribution to the health and welfare of people and the planet and they can do this as part of the educational process. iEARN overall educational goals are to:

  • Enhance students' expression, language skills and understanding of the world.
  • Engage students in discussions and dialogue to discuss common issues and those related to one's culture.
  • Develop an appreciation for cultural diversity and tolerance.
  • Stimulate students' engagement and service in their community.
  • Arouse civil awareness and responsibility.
  • Improve learning and teaching practices.
  • Build a supportive community of educators that share the latest teaching methodologies.
  • Integrate technology in the curriculum in meaningful projects.

What is the rationale?Top

The rationale is that problems in the planet are rising exponentially and therefore it only makes sense to try to resolve them exponentially. The use of the Internet and e-mail by children to experience solving problems together has the potential for involving them exponentially. For example, in the old days if you sent a letter it only reached one person. On an online iEARN conference, you can write the same letter and involve thousands of people. If a group of kids do a project in a classroom it will involve maybe 30 kids, but now the same project on iEARN can easily involve 300.

How many schools, institutions and countries are involved in iEARN?Top

iEARN is currently engaging over 1,000,000 young people annually in meaningful on-line projects, and has expanded to include over 10,000 schools and youth organizations over 100 countries.

What kind of Internet connection is required to work on iEARN?Top

It's possible to participate in iEARN with any level of connection, whether via the WWW or e-mail.

How can I find out what projects are currently happening in iEARN?Top

There are a number of ways to find current projects in the network. In addition to the Project Description Book, there is also the Projects Database on the WWW at http://www.iearn.org/projects/index.html, which is searchable, as well as a listing of current projects on the newsgroup iearn.ideas.

Can my students work in English/French and Arabic?Top

Yes, your students can work in many different languages with iEARN. There are 29 languages spoken in iEARN: Arabic, Armenian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, Spanish, Farsi, French, German, German, Greek, Korean, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Kartuli, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Mongolian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Tamil, and Ukrainian.

What ages/grades are iEARN students?Top

iEARN students range from 5-19 and include students from the first grade to seniors in high school.

Can I involve students with learning difficulties?Top

Yes, iEARN is an inclusive and culturally diverse community of teachers

How many projects are there in iEARN?Top

There are over 100 projects in iEARN

Who proposes iEARN projects?Top

iEARN teachers and students propose projects that meet their curriculum requirements.

What does iEARN provide?Top

iEARN provides a safe and structured environment in which youth can communicate, a known audience for writing and reading with a purpose and a place to find specific action steps to address local, national and global issues.

What do teachers and students do?Top

After joining, teachers and students enter online forum spaces to meet other participants and get involved in ongoing projects, initiated by teachers and students throughout the world.

What curriculum area do projects meet?Top

iEARN projects are divided in three main areas "Language Arts", "Social Studies and Humanities" and "Science, Environment and Math". This said most projects lend themselves to cross-curricular integration.

What is special about iEARN?Top

In addition to meeting a specific curriculum need, every project proposed by teachers and students in iEARN has to answer the question: how will this project affect the quality of life on the planet? That vision and purpose is the glue that holds iEARN together.

Do I have to be a classroom teacher to work with students?Top

Not necessarily, in many schools & community centers, iEARN teachers or leaders work with students in after-school or extra curricular activities. Through participation in iEARN projects, students develop the habit of getting involved in community issues, thus engaging themselves in community service.

What kind of support will I get from iEARN?Top

iEARN provides ongoing support, through e-mails and iEARN forums. Workshop participants will receive a Project Description Booklet and a Beginner's Guide.

What are the objectives of an iEARN Workshop?Top

In a beginner's workshop you will:

  • Be exposed to and discuss iEARN's mission and vision
  • Understand the goals, objectives and implementation of iEARN programs
  • Get familiar with and navigate iEARN web site and available resources at hand
  • Practice using iEARN''s technology tools and be aware of the difference between them
  • Find out the underlying objectives and cross curriculum aspect of anyone iEARN online collaborative project and its correlation to teaching standards
  • Understand the nature of asynchronous/synchronous communication in online collaborative projects
  • Find out and discuss how to motivate students and prepare them for online collaboration
  • Select a project that correlates to your curriculum's objectives and teaching standards
  • Plan and initiate a project for immediate implementation
  • Establish long-term professional relationships and a sustainable sense of community

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