Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Disaster in Haiti: Response and Reflection

For weeks now we have been awash in news regarding the devastation in Haiti. People all over the world have been amazing in their empathy and response. I am sure that we have also seen how quickly and decidedly our students have responded in our schools. At Capital, the student council has been coming to homerooms on a near daily basis to collect donations. My students have emptied their pockets in response. I think it is equally important to think about humanitarian aid in all its forms.

Money is a wonderful way to help from a distance but not the only method. Another way our society can help is to educate. That is a strength of the Globaloria program: using socially responsible games to enlighten and inspire.

Title screen from Ayiti: The Cost of Life

A perfect tie-in for our students is the game called Ayiti: The Cost of Life, supported in part by UNICEF. This game is set in the rural regions of Haiti and shows just how hard life is in that country even prior to the earthquake. Playing this game has put Haiti's tragic current events in context for myself and my students.

First-year teachers: as your classes come to the "Playing to Learn" unit, direct your students to try playing Ayiti. It will help connect our use of the term social-issue game with an actual social issue that they are all aware of today. Experienced teachers: you can offer playing this game as a suggestion for students who have completed their work for the day.

Please encourage your students to visit the following organizations:
Save the Children
Help Haiti Now
Famine Relief Foundation
Doctors Without Borders
Mercy Corps

Even though this is a terrible disaster with massive damages and loss of life, it is a perfect example of how people from around the world can come together to make a difference.

Let's help our students understand their place in the world and think critically about how they might assume responsibilities as Global Citizens.

Until next time, the soap box is yours.


images courtesy U.S. Armed Forces and are part of the public domain


Denise Stalnaker said...

I have had students in digital imaging classes working on a public service announcement for a competition. The topic of the PSA is a global concern. I was amazed at the subjects, insight and knowledge that my present students have. I think through programs like Globaloria and just the use of the internet students have become more aware of the world. I will have them check this game out as they do playing to learn in game design. Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Great post Bill. Thank you! And thank you Denise for sharing too!!

Anonymous said...

Great post Bill. Thank you! And thank you Denise for sharing too!!

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