American Red Cross Joins Pearson Foundation’s Digital Arts Alliance
25 June 2007
Exploring Humanitarian Law Educator Training and Professional Development Adopt Digital Arts approach
Atlanta, GA. June 25, 2007 – Today at the opening of the National Education Computing Conference, the Pearson Foundation announced that the American Red Cross has joined the Digital Arts Alliance, the consortium that promotes digital arts in K-12 education through fully funded and staffed programs delivered directly to schools and community centers nationwide. The Pearson Foundation is the founding partner in the Digital Arts Alliance, and part of Pearson plc, the international education and information company.
Each year, the Digital Arts Alliance makes it possible for more than 15,000 students and their teachers to experience firsthand how laptop computers, video production equipment, and the latest mobile-phone technologies are changing the ways young people can organize, present, and share information about issues that matter to them. Alliance members believe that using technologies to enhance personal expression creates an expanded kind of literacy, often referred to as 21st Century literacy, that people – especially young people – already use in their everyday lives.
Beginning this summer and extending through the 2008-2009 academic year, The American Red Cross and the Pearson Foundation will provide digital-arts focused professional development workshops for middle and high school teachers in regional workshops across the United States. These intensive hands-on sessions will enable teachers and staff who have adopted the American Red Cross’ Exploring Humanitarian Law curriculum to integrate digital arts and digital movie-making into their classroom lessons.
Teachers who participate in these workshops will also be eligible to take part in Pearson Foundation-hosted Digital Arts Classroom Residencies. In these week-long sessions, students making use of the same curriculum will have the opportunity to document what they have learned while using the latest personal computers, digital video cameras, and movie-making software. The results will be shared with teachers and students nationwide as the Exploring Humanitarian Law curriculum is made available online on the American Red Cross website.
Exploring Humanitarian Law (EHL) is a secondary curriculum produced by the International Committee of the Red Cross in association with the Education Development Center and in collaboration with the American Red Cross. It meets national social studies standards for high school and is currently being implemented in more than 90 countries. The Pearson Foundation is currently adapting these materials to an online training environment for use among the American Red Cross’ national network of teachers and educators.
“We are proud to participate in of the Digital Arts Alliance to extend the reach and impact of the EHL program. Exploring Humanitarian Law teaches U.S. secondary students about respect for life and the protection of human dignity in armed conflict. The collaboration with the Pearson Foundation comes at the right time to teach these concepts to students as the United States is at present involved in armed conflict,” said Tom Corl of American Red Cross, International Services. “The digital arts approach provides an exceptional opportunity for curricular integration and for professional development. Teachers will have the opportunity to explore EHL in an online environment as well as learning how to develop lesson plans that integrate digital arts technology with specific components from the EHL curriculum in a powerful way.”
Mark Nieker, president of the Pearson Foundation, said, “For today’s young people, success in school and in life requires educational experiences that meet the challenges of our new century. Digital arts projects provide that kind of experience. In the Digital Arts Alliance, we strive to join with leaders in every aspect of this field to offer exceptional digital arts programs and to foster the development of confident school leaders. For this reason, we are extremely pleased to welcome the American Red Cross, and to be involved with the Exploring Humanitarian Law curriculum.”
The American Red Cross joins other Digital Arts Alliance members, including Nokia, Adobe, The National Academy Foundation, and Facing History and Ourselves, in supporting an extended network of teachers and students who take advantage of Digital Arts Alliance student and educator residency programs to develop proficiencies in core subject knowledge and other 21st Century skills.
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About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work. More information on the American Red Cross can be found at www.redcross.org.
About the Pearson Foundation
The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson’s commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.