“I am always searching for opportunities to bring the real world into my classroom,” says Elisabeth King, associate professor of international education and politics. “I want to give our students, who are so passionate about wanting to make a difference in the world, the opportunity to see the wonder and the challenges of their engagement.”
Last semester, King’s students got a chance to impact the education of citizens abroad by creating curricular material for Rumie, a non-profit organization that uses low-cost technology to improve access to education for youth around the world.
As a final project for their International Development and Education seminar, students created learning resources for Rumie’s featured projects: English and Math for Syrian Refugees or Basic Numeracy and Literacy in Tanzania.
The material will live on Rumie’s LearnCloud until it is selected and downloaded by the teachers and education programs in Turkey, Lebanon, and Tanzania, who will receive Rumie tablets.
Meghan Beal, a second-year masters student, worked on an English module for Syrian refugee children. Her module included lessons on English vocabulary and basic grammar, and a tutorial that taught students how to express time, frequency, and duration.
Beal hopes to one day create safe spaces where Syrian refugee children can get access to quality education and psychological support. She was moved by the idea that her work at NYU will find its way into the hands of a child eager to learn.
“I felt a bit overwhelmed at first, especially considering the obstacles that many Syrian children face while trying to access education in their host countries,” Beal said. “Hopefully our curricula will be able to reach some students and help them to continue learning.”
Photos: A Rumie tablet; Elisabeth King (left) and International Education masters student Oluyemisi Thomas (right), discuss the project via Skype with Deanna del Vecchio, Rumie’s director of partnerships. (Photo credit, Rachel Harrison.)