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Technology will power a new traveling high school.
Photo caption: Youth take part in the world's largest LAN (Local Area Network) party, a gathering of computer enthusiasts playing games, browsing the web and developing software on November 26, 2009 in Jonkoping, Sweden. Sweden is the first stop for the tech-savvy students of Think Global School. (Jan Johannessen/Getty Images)
STOCKHOLM, Sweden — For the first time in history, a parent will actually be proud that their child attended three different high schools in one year.
A San Francisco-based high school, Think Global School (TGS), is about to launch an ambitious program that will take students around the globe, literally. By the time they graduate from the private non-profit high school, students will have lived in 12 different countries and experienced 12 different cultures, languages and histories. The students will also be information technology gurus, as advanced communication technology will be at the curriculum’s core.
The first year will take the students to Stockholm, then Sydney, Australia; Beijing, China; and Hong Kong. Year two will include Santiago, Chile; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Berlin, Germany. As juniors and seniors, the students will study in Vancouver, British Columbia; Barcelona, Spain; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Amman, Jordan; Bangalore, India; and finally Washington, D.C.
In Sweden, public high school Young Business Creatives, which specializes in global business education, will host TGS.
"A school that wants to educate the students for tomorrow's world needs to actively open up to the rest of the world. YBC works ambitiously with 21st century skills, including creativity, information technology and what we call 'global competence,'" said YBC founder Hans Renman. "To cooperate with TGS is an excellent way for us to work achieve that."
A unique, digital educational social network will allow TGS students to connect with one another, their teachers, families, friends and inner-city partner classrooms in real time around the world.
“Technology will be integrated into daily life at school in a variety of ways,” said Mike Hourahine, chief technology officer at TGS. “Students will capture and share their experiences through the use of a social media system we have called Spot. Student blogging including video and pictures will be an important part of growth, reflection and assessment during their time at TGS. Spot also provides students and teachers with other social media tools, such as an internal Twitter-like system, social bookmarking, and profiles.”
The $88,000 annual tuition includes meals, living accommodation, electronic texts and health insurance as well as a MacBook and an iPhone, including all of the required software and support that makes it possible for the students to blog, vlog, text, tweet, chat and email about their experiences.
“Google apps for education, including gmail, Google docs and Google sites will round out an extensive online toolset for TGS,” Hourahine said The programs and documents are stored online, allowing students to access them from anywhere. “Their MacBook will be their central classroom library, collaboration and content creation tool, while their iPhone will serve as a video and picture camera, digital library and even a content creator when they are out exploring what the host city and country has to offer.”
And what of Apple’s newest toy? “We are currently exploring the e-reader market, including the Apple iPad, for the best device for this purpose for our students,” Hourahine added.