What If We Could Connect the World?

Parker 8th graders are spearheading a global language learning pilot project with Dr. Yong Zhao at the University of Oregon.  Dr. Zhao is the author of the new book, World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students.

Parker students will devise several projects for student-to -student language learning and test them to determine what could work best.  Their ideas will be incorporated into ObaWorld, an on-line platform for student communication developed by Dr. Zhoa’s team.

Today I visited in the 8th grade.  Seven students displayed and described their ideas.  They each had designed an idea to teach someone how to say “Welcome to my home” in Spanish.  They had used design thinking to develop their ideas, and had used pipe-cleaners, paper and other materials to depict their ideas, after giving feedback to each other.

Here are their “What if…” questions:


  • What if we could connect the world?
  • What if you could select the languages you want to learn?
  • What if someone could go to another country and truly experience their culture? Virtually?
  • What if we could all learn a song of peace and harmony and sing it all together?
  • What if we had linked pages with forums?
  • What if we could make friends across the world?
  • What if we post audio files, links or mpeg files?
  • What if you could submit videos?

Meg Taylor, Head