The College of Education has implemented a new international program to involve doctoral students and technology to facilitate global learning.
The Global Learning Program is designed to provide doctoral students at Texas Tech the opportunity to maintain a job and residence outside of Lubbock while participating in international issues.
Walter Smith, Helen DeVitt Jones professor in the College of Education, is the founder and director of the Global Learning Program. He also teaches classes that coordinate with the program.
According to a news release, doctoral students use technology like Skype and email to communicate internationally.
Smith said it is good for the doctoral students as well as younger students to practice communicating internationally to keep up with changing society.
Doctoral students, he said, come from all over the country. One student in the program is from Jamaica and corresponds from her residence there.
Smith said the doctoral students participate in a four-year online curriculum that educates them to become pragmatic researchers and global science educators.
He said the goal of a global science educator is to work internationally to solve problems.
According to the news release, doctoral students are involved in three different projects: the World Moon Project, video game design and creation of model lunar vehicles.
Smith said the World Moon Project started in 2000. Children all over the world are instructed to observe the moon for six weeks and share their observations.
“No matter where you are (in the world), you are still able to see the moon,” Smith said.
The moon may be reflected in different ways, he said, but it is still the same and connects international students to each other and the doctoral students in the U.S.
The doctoral students, Smith said, worked with children in China to create a video game. The Americans were responsible for most of the content and language, while the Chinese focused on the actual programming of the game.
Denise Selmo, a teacher in Brazil, participated with the Tech doctoral students to help her students practice English skills outside of a textbook, Smith said.
According to the news release, Selmo’s students in Brazil collaborated together to create a replica of a lunar vehicle made out of cheese, sausage and bagels.
Last semester, the doctoral students worked exclusively with ninth graders to solve and put engineering problems into practice.
Smith said he hopes the next programs will begin in 2016, but that it is still too far off to consider a finite possibility.
The end result of this program, he said, could provide these doctoral students with the opportunity to just pick up a phone, use Skype or email to solve international problems from their residences.