Communication for Global Action Using Technology

Educator effectively engages and supports students in using technology as a tool for communication in support of action and/or advocacy about a globally significant issue.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

The educator facilitates students in selecting and applying technology in order to communicate appropriately and effectively as part of an action or advocacy project to address a globally significant issue. The educator facilitates the learning experience to maximize students’ growth and guides them through a reflective debrief at the end of the experience.

Method Components

How Can Students Use Technology as a Tool for Communication in Support of Action and Advocacy on Global Issues?

Projects that engage students in taking action on globally significant issues are an essential component of a curriculum that fosters global competence. When students learn about issues that have both local and global significance, they should also be given the opportunity to participate in action and advocacy projects to address these issues and make a positive impact on the local (or even the global) level. Student voice and choice are key aspects of these projects. (For more information, see the “Knowledge to Action Projects” micro-credential in the Global Competence: Action and Engagement stack.)

Action and advocacy can take many forms, including:

  • Educating others about the issue
  • Raising awareness about the issue
  • Speaking out for or against something
  • Advocating for a particular action or change
  • Uniting the community around the issue
  • Engaging others in collaborative action
  • Performing direct or indirect service

And in the process of completing an action/advocacy project, students may communicate and collaborate in a variety of ways, including:

  • Writing letters, editorials, blogs, position papers
  • Giving speeches or presentations
  • Organizing community events (sit-in, rally, fundraiser, charity walk/run, debate, exhibition, voter registration, etc.)
  • Developing websites
  • Producing videos (documentaries, public service announcements, etc.)
  • Creating visuals (artwork, infographics, photography, animations, etc.)
  • Producing materials (petitions, flyers, posters, banners, murals, slides, Prezi, etc.)
  • Creating campaigns (series of activities, social media campaigns, etc.)

Depending on the students’ goals for the project—the form of action or advocacy they select and the communication needed in order to execute the project—they will need to understand what technology tools best support their goals and how to appropriately and effectively use them. If students are creating public service announcements, for example, they will need to consider their audience as well as where and when the PSAs will be screened in order to select an appropriate video format. Thus, while guiding students through the development and delivery of an action and advocacy project to address a global issue, it is also necessary to support them in learning about appropriate and effective use of technology tools, including digital citizenship and digital literacy skills.

How is the Use of Technology Tools for Communication in Support of Action and Advocacy Important for Developing Global Competence?

As students investigate the world and conduct inquiry into issues of global significance, they need opportunities to select and apply appropriate tools and strategies for communicating effectively about those issues. As students learn to recognize and apply an understanding of different perspectives on the issue, they must also develop the skills and dispositions for encouraging discourse and participating in inclusive dialogue. All of this comes together when students create action and advocacy projects, using digital technology in any number of ways to share knowledge and engage with others around the global issue they have selected. (See the Resources section for more information.)

Suggested Implementation Strategies

As you guide students through the process of planning and developing their action/advocacy projects, help them consider how various digital technologies can help them with each stage of the process. Here are some example questions to ask students and support them in answering.

Identifying and researching the topic of global significance:

  • What online information sources are useful and reliable for learning about this topic from local, national, and global perspectives?
  • How might we use technology (social media, online surveys, etc.) to poll the community and find out which issues are most relevant?
  • How might we use technology (email, video conferencing, etc.) to interview individuals affected by the issue?

Project planning and development:

  • What tools can we use for communicating and collaborating with each other as we plan our project together?
  • How can we use technology to engage the community in our project?
  • How can we use technology to communicate appropriately and effectively with stakeholders?
  • Considering our topic, audience, and purpose, what forms of communication might be most appropriate and what technology tools will be most effective?
  • How can we use the technology tools we have chosen in the most appropriate and effective manner?

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

When students take on action and advocacy projects, they are engaged in authentic work characterized by real-world relevance, multiple sources and perspectives, and the creation of polished products (Reeves, Herrington, and Oliver, 2003). Through the use of technology, students are able to engage with stakeholders and audience members and to create high-quality communication media to convey their messages about issues of global significance.

The use of digital technologies has been demonstrated to effectively produce high levels of student engagement, collaborative learning, and authentic problem-solving (Moersch, 2011). Technology can promote deeper learning experiences for students by facilitating collaboration, supporting project-based learning, and providing the tools needed for authentic work, including real-world communication. When engaged in deeper learning through meaningful and authentic use of technology, students can do the real-world work of journalists, producers, historians, debaters, entrepreneurs, project managers, and so on. Digital technology enables them to produce, publish, and present high-quality work products (Vander Ark and Schneider, 2012) as part of their action and advocacy projects.


Global competence refers to the knowledge, skills, and dispositions individuals need to be successful in today's interconnected world and to be fully engaged in and act on issues of global significance. The Global Competence Task Force defined globally competent individuals as "those who use their knowledge and skills to investigate the world beyond their immediate environment, recognize their own and others' perspectives, communicate their ideas effectively with diverse audiences, and translate their ideas into appropriate actions" (see link below).

Example Global Competence Frameworks

  • The Global competence matrix was created through a collaboration between World Savvy, Teachers College, Columbia University, and the Asia Society. The matrix identifies components of global competence, which assists educators as they foster global competence in themselves and develop it in their students.
  • Global Competencies: 21st Century Skills Applied to the World was developed by the Global Competence Task Force, formed and led by the Council of Chief State School Officers' EdSteps Initiative and the Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning

Example Global Issues

Example Projects for Inspiration

“PBL Pilot: Student Work Showcase”

“Using Digital Tools to Make a Difference” by Bill Ferriter

Calls for Student Voice, Places for Students to Publish

Digital Communication Curriculum Resources

Digital Literacy Resources

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

The items in this following section detail what must be submitted for evaluation. To earn this micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1 and 3 and a “Yes” for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview Questions

(500-word limit total):

  • What were your goals and expectations for engaging students in using technology to communicate as part of their action/advocacy project? How did you plan and prepare for facilitating this kind of learning experience with students?
  • What did you observe during the process? Please describe what you observed about your students’ use of technology tools to communicate for action/advocacy as well as notes about your own actions to support the students’ learning and progress.

Part 2. Work Examples/Artifacts

Please submit a video or audio recording of students participating in the reflective debrief at the end of the action/advocacy project (maximum length: three minutes) OR written reflections from three to five different students that demonstrate how they learned to use technology tools to communicate for action/advocacy (maximum length: three pages).

Part 3. Reflection

(750-word limit total):

  • What did you learn from your experience planning and facilitating the use of technology tools for communication as part of an action/advocacy project? How did you help students develop their technology and communication skills through the use of this method?
  • What did you learn from your own observations as well as the insights students shared in the reflective debrief and in their individual written reflections?
  • Given what you’ve learned, what will you do the next time you help students learn to use technology tools for communication as part of an action/advocacy project? Please include things you will do the same and differently in the future.

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


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