ICDT has created the One World Learning (OWL) project to provide opportunities 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 project approaches timely issues within the international development agenda with a non-traditional perspective. It follows the main points of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and focuses on those development issues which have to be addressed through conventional education. The OWL teleclasses will emphasize the needs and interests of the actual participants, rather than relying on a general curriculum.
OWL is designed for secondary school students as they are the most inclusive members of the society and they are about to make important decisions regarding the continuation of their studies or beginning their career. Experiences people undergo between the ages of 14 and 18 will fundamentally determine their personal and work attitude that will also influence their environment and the community they belong to.
The primary aim is to promote understanding cultural difference amongst persons and groups. The specific objectives are to broaden the knowledge of students on issues that have high priory in the global development agenda (e.g. human rights, gender equality, multicultural knowledge, health and environmental awareness, economic way of thinking etc.) and to lay down a foundation for a sustainable, non-formal development education method.
The project is composed of regular real-time interaction of two culturally different groups (OWL teleclasses), an interest-driven and flexible curriculum, and the use of the telepresence technology in secondary education environment.
The combination of the above-mentioned elements enables the participants to have a realistic face-to-face communication experience and to use most elements of verbal and non-verbal communication. They take their seats around a virtual table and engage in discussion, as they would do in real life.
Note: In March 2012, a One World Learning (OWL) pilot project was implemented between the Magnet High School (Ongata Rongai, Kenya) and the Berzsenyi Dániel Secondary School (Budapest, Hungary). Eighteen students and two teachers participated in an introductory session and three 2-hour teleclasses. The objective of the pilot project was to determine the feasibility of the project concepts. Cisco Hungary and Cisco Kenya provided access to the telepresence facility used in this project.