iEARN Looks To Expand Online Cross-Cultural Collaboration


The International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) is expanding its "Building Respect through Internet Dialogue and Global Education" (BRIDGE) program and is looking to increase the numbers of teachers, schools, and programs involved with the online academic and cultural initiative. Through a new grant from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, the program will support new professional scholarships for educators, among other expanded offerings.

BRIDGE links together K-12 students and educators around the world through collaborative online academic projects. According to the group, there are more than 2 million students and 100,000 teachers who have participated in BRIDGE. Now, with the additional funding, iEARN is looking to provide scholarships to teachers in the United States for professional development in a variety of subjects. The funding will also be used to expand programs in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, the United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan. All told, the expanded program is expected to impact as many as "33,000 new students and 660 new educators," according to information released by iEARN.

"In a world increasingly torn by hostility and strife, this unique form of direct communication and collaboration is more vital than ever," said Ed Gragert, executive director of iEARN-USA, in a statement released this week. "BRIDGE builds vital cultural awareness and appreciation."

According to the organization, "iEARN is seeking educators interested in applying for the 330 scholarships available for iEARN's online professional development courses in all subject areas. iEARN is eager to broaden institutional partnerships with educators, schools, and organizations engaged in similar or complementary activities."

"With few opportunities for students and teachers in the U.S. to engage directly with their counterparts from predominantly Muslim countries, iEARN's BRIDGE program fills an important need. We are pleased to be able to support its expansion and look forward to the projects and collaborations that result," said Joan E. Spero, president of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Further information can be found here.

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David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

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