The Society is excited to have recently launched The Virtual Exchange Program (VEP) with our longstanding partner in Turkey: Health and Education Foundation, (Sağlık ve Eğitim Vakfı - SEV). SEV was founded in 1968 by the graduates of Üsküdar American Academy in Istanbul, American Collegiate institute in Izmir, Tarsus American College in Tarsus and Talas American Middle School. The schools are referred to as the SEV American Schools.
VEP is a program that internationalizes schools in the US and Turkey with the professional assistance and digital resources of The International Education and Resource Network (iEARN).
IEARN is the world’s largest, most experienced online K-12 non profit network that enables educators and young people to participate in global virtual exchange. The organization has been working to internationalize schools for more than 30 years, and is now operating in more than 140 countries.
The joint program aims to create cross-cultural exchange between students in Turkey and the US. Through iEARN’s secure online platform, students and educators are able to share ideas and work together on projects through asynchronous forum discussions and media exchanges. Students participate in discussions, search for information, and exchange opinions with their international peers, as they become active learners in this collaborative environment.
Research shows that collaboration across countries and cultures leads students to develop a sense of intercultural awareness and understanding, which is regarded as one of the key features needed to solve complex global problems.
Below is the four-step process of VEP:
1) Open call for educators in the US and SEV schools to apply to VEP.
2) Chosen educators will complete an online training course, which will guide them how to participate in global projects.
3) Classrooms in the two countries agree on a thematic area of interest and collaborate on a project together.
4) The students present their work to their peers in a culminating video conference connection.