VOLUME 33, NUMBER 23 THURSDAY, April 4, 2002
ReporterElectronic Highways

Web site tackles global issues

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Kids—play games and learn about other nations! Teachers—modify your curriculum to prepare your students to be citizens of the world! Parents—find answers to questions children ask about events in the news! Globalization: What is it and why are some people opposed to it? Refugees: Where are they from and why do they want to leave? Poverty: Why do half the people in the world live on less than $2 per day and what community activities can kids become involved in to help?

The United Nations Cyberschoolbus http://www.un.org/Pubs/CyberSchoolBus/index.html is an award-winning Web site that can answer these and many other questions. It features projects, games, curriculum materials and resources on global issues aimed at K-12 students and teachers.

Clicking on "Resources" http://www.un.org/Pubs/CyberSchoolBus/res.html leads to several sites of interest to students of various ages. "InfoNation" provides comparative statistical information from any selection of up to five countries, with data on population, economy, environment, health and technology. "Country at a Glance" features a navigable world map that identifies each country the cursor points to and connects to more extensive data, including links to each country's major newspapers. "Briefing Papers" offers dossiers on current world issues, including AIDS/HIV, biodiversity, child labor, child soldiers, children's rights, climate change, disarmament, drug abuse, education, globalization, governance, human rights, international law, preventing conflicts, peacekeeping, poverty, refugees, renewing the UN and technology. Each dossier includes an overview of the topic, progress that has been made, next steps to be taken, student activities and resources. A "United Nations Introduction" and "Virtual Tour," with a 360-degree, panoramic image of the Security Council Chamber, also welcome the visitor.

Among the seven "Games and Quizzes" http://www0.un.org/cyberschoolbus/qui.html featured are "Flag Tag," inviting the player to match the country with its flag; "The Professor's Postcard,"challenging students to discover which World Heritage Site she describes in her postcards, and "Pook In The World," an animated, interactive adventure of a little girl trying to help save the world.

The "Community" category http://www.un.org/Pubs/CyberSchoolBus/com.html includes many features not limited to a Model UN discussion area, various art competitions for children and a Days Of The Year calendar, marking important anniversaries for the world community.

The "Curriculum" section http://www.un.org/Pubs/CyberSchoolBus/cur.html offers kits and curriculum units on many topics, including peace education, health, poverty, human rights, cities, environment and indigenous peoples. Also featured are links to the curricular materials offered by other UN educational Web sites http://www.un.org/Pubs/CyberSchoolBus/otherunsites.html, such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Bank, the UN Environment Programme, UNESCO and UNICEF.

The United Nations and its specialized agencies are not the only source for Web sites on global issues for students and teachers. For example, Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids http://bensguide.gpo.gov, in its extensive subject listing http://bensguide.gpo.gov/subject.html, includes selections under "Foreign Affairs."

The Internet offers a global awareness coupon worth redeeming!

—Nina Cascio and Rick McRae, University Libraries


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