YES Program Expands Online Cross-Cultural Collaboration

The Youth Exchange and Study Program (YES) is expanding its efforts to connect students across cultures, is expanding its efforts into more countries in Africa and bringing collaborative technologies to bear in order to help exchange students communicate before, during, and after their programs.

The YES Program, funded by the United States Department of State, is expanding its student exchanges to include students from Cameroon, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Students participating in the program will spend a year with an American host family and will attend high school.

To help prepare the students for their exchanges, YES is working with the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN). iEARN runs the "Building Respect through Internet Dialogue and Global Education" (BRIDGE) program. BRIDGE links together K-12 students and educators around the world through collaborative online academic projects. According to iEARN, there are more than 2 million students and 100,000 teachers who have participated in BRIDGE.

For the program, iEARN is providing Web 2.0 tools to help students prepare for their exchanges and to communicate during and after the exchanges.

"We are excited to see the expansion of YES into additional African countries," said Ed Gragert, iEARN-USA executive director, in a prepared statement. "This program has demonstrated that students return to their home countries with new communications and technology skills and global perspectives that will prepare them for higher education and careers."

Further information can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director, education for 1105 Media's Public Sector Media Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal. A 22-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

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